The Bentway is run by a charitable organization that relies on the support of park-lovers like you! Let’s find new possibilities for our city together – please consider donating today.

our context

The Gardiner Expressway is an elevated mega-highway built in the 1950’s, running for 6.5km through Toronto’s downtown core, just steps from Lake Ontario. Singular in its intent and objective – to bypass the city itself in service of mobility – the Gardiner is a physical embodiment of mid-century ideals.

But Toronto has changed. Though convenient for cars above, the Gardiner acts as an obstacle at street-level below. Our waterfront, formerly a major industrial corridor, is now a thriving a site for recreation, tourism, and culture. The city continues to bloom upwards – today more than 200,000 people live next door to the Gardiner, mostly in tight high-rise communities.

But what if the Gardiner could do more for the city? What it we could unlock its opportunities for our community?

our impact

The Bentway leads a creative movement “to ignite the urban imagination”, working together to find new possibilities for the Under-Gardiner Corridor.

See our impact in action:

Taking on the street
STREET, Summer 2022
Concrete meets current
Confluence, Fall 2022
Playing together in new ways
Playing In Public, Summer 2021
A great first year
The Bentway 2018 highlights reel

We’re a new type of civic organization in Toronto: an independent not-for-profit and registered charity fueled by a unique partnership with the city.

Our impact began in 2018 with the opening of Bentway 1.0, a 170,000 sq. ft site that quickly became a beloved backyard park for local families and a growing platform for artists working in the public realm. Since then, our sites and programming has drawn over 940,000 visitors.

Now, our work continues, with pop-up and roaming programming throughout our neighbourhood; research and advocacy to unlock the Gardiner’s potential from end to end; and a steadfast commitment to radical accessibility and co-creation throughout all our work. The Bentway’s programming is accessible and participatory, exploring the site’s unique histories, features and possibilities.


Winter Skating
@ Bentway Skate Trail (2021)

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram
@ Bentway Stratchan Gate (2019)

Pulse Topology by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
The Bentway @ Exhibition Place (2021)

Bentway Block Party
@ Bentway Strachan Gate (2022)

Double Dribble by Esmaa Mohamoud
@ Bentway Skate Trail (2021)

our supporters

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the growing family of city-builders who support The Bentway year-round.

founding team

Judy & Wil Matthews
Mayor John Tory
Ken Greenberg
City of Toronto
The Bentway board, staff & volunteers
Waterfront Toronto

corporate partners

Waterfront BIA
Toronto Downtown West BIA
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Ports Toronto & Nieuport Aviation)
Concord Pacific
TD Bank Group
Fort York BIA
Canadian Club
On The Rocks Cocktails
The PReP Clinic
Best Buy
Beanfield Metroconnect
Hop Valley Brewing Co.
Bone & Biscuit
St. Joseph’s Communications
Craft Public Relations
Puncture Design


City of Toronto
Government of Canada
Maxine Granovsky Gluskin & Ira Gluskin
Richard M. Ivey
The Hilary & Galen Weston Foundation

government partners

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Canada Council for the Arts
Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
Department of Canadian Heritage
Ontario Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council
Fort York National Historic Site
Exhibition Place
Cultural Human Resources Council

donors & foundations

Anonymous (2)
Robin & Robert Ogilvie
The Balsam Foundation
Rosamond Ivey
Barbara & Dougal MacDonald
Eleanor & Francis Shen
Tony & Anne Arrell
Hal Jackman Foundation
Hogarth Family / The Pioneer Group
Mazyar Mortazavi & Bita Doagoo
Donald K. Johnson, O.C. & Anna McCowan-Johnson
The McLean Foundation
Canadian Parks and Recreation Association
Liza Mauer & Andrew Sheiner
The Ouellette Family Foundation
Tom MacMillan
DiamondCorp and Lifetime Developments
The Kopas Family Foundation
The J.P. Bickell Foundation
The Ottawa Foundation
Erin & Daniel Shearer
Jane & Kate Zeidler
KPMG Foundation
Ilana Altman & Brian Melcher
Gabe Gonda
David & Jolie Carey
Mary Rowe
The Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Foundation
Tessa Chan