future gardiner

Phase 1 of The Bentway opened in 2018, demonstrating how the Gardiner Expressway can support civic life alongside mobility needs, and the imagination that Toronto is capable of. What comes next for the Gardiner?

Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan approved by City Council

Over the last 2 years, The Bentway and the City of Toronto have collaborated on a comprehensive vision for underutilized public spaces below and adjacent to the Gardiner Expressway, from Dufferin to the DVP. In April 2024, City Council endorsed the plan. Over the coming year work will continue to realize this exciting vision.

Bentway Seeking Design Teams for Next Phase of Growth

The Bentway, in partnership with the City of Toronto, is launching a search for design services to guide a future phase of The Bentway’s growth.  

Studying the Bentway’s Carbon Impact (with Ha/f Climate Design)

As The Bentway embarks on our next chapter and plans for future growth along the Gardiner Expressway, we want to better understand the impact of our physical spaces on the local environment. The Gardiner is a carbon-intensive structure built primarily of concrete, steel and asphalt, as are many of the roads and trails that surround it

The Bentway partners with muf architecture/art

The Bentway is pleased to announce a new partnership with celebrated collective muf architecture/art, based in the UK. Building on recommendations identified in the Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan for new site amenities and features, muf will explore possibilities for future enhancements to The Bentway’s Phase 1 site (250 Fort York Blvd).

The Expressway runs elevated for 6.5km and past 17 downtown neighbourhoods, moving more than 140,000 vehicles every day. A defining feature of Toronto’s landscape, the Gardiner corridor links major civic priorities present and future – including planned Ontario Line stations at Exhibition Place and East Harbour; attractions like BMO Field, Rogers Centre, and Scotiabank Arena; as well as the Waterfront, Quayside, and the Port Lands.

Over the last two years, The Bentway and the City of Toronto have collaborated on a comprehensive vision for underutilized public spaces below and adjacent to the Gardiner Expressway, from Dufferin to the DVP. In April 2024, City Council endorsed the plan. Over the coming year work will continue to realize this exciting vision.

testing creative strategies

The Bentway believes that testing innovative thinking can help prove out new possibilities for the Gardiner.

We’re using demonstration projects to test recommendations of the Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan through real-time prototypes, which offer touchpoints and opportunities for public feedback and engagement.

Read more about our under-Gardiner pilot projects here:

Waterfront ReConnect: Boom Town

On view through 2025

Winnipeg-based firm 5468796 Architecture and Toronto’s Office In Search Of employ vibrant colour, playful characters, and environmental lighting to enliven the York Street intersection, improving safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Pedestrians explore a colourful wall under an expressway.
Waterfront ReConnect: Pixel Story

On view through 2025

O2 and ENTUITIVE address the many vantages, scales, and speeds from which we experience the Gardiner, using colour, iconography, and storytelling to draw attention to the Simcoe Street intersection, and the entire under-Gardiner corridor, as a cultural connector.

Bentway Staging Grounds

On view through 2025

Bentway Staging Grounds is a site of active, environmental learning that continues The Bentway’s creative work along the Gardiner Expressway. Visitors are invited into a living laboratory for urban ecology, with experimental gardens that use rainwater run-off from the highway above to support the growth of flowering plant species.

Wooden picnic tables reassembled into a large overarching structure inside an open space room.
Confluence

October 1 – 30, 2022

In 2022, The Bentway teamed up again with our neighbours at Exhibition Place to demonstrate the benefits of connectivity between our sites. Artist duo Striped Canary created a large-scale art project that invited visitors back into a set of hidden “Cubicles” under the Gardiner.

supporters

Special thanks to The Bentway’s supporters on this project: