The late-2015 unveiling of a massive plan to improve the underside of the aging Gardiner Expressway, made possible through a generous philanthropic donation from Judy and Wil Matthews, has garnered much media attention since November. The City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto made an announcement earlier today that put the wheels in motion for the project—known at the moment by the working title of Under Gardiner—that would see a major overhaul of the underside of a 1.75 kilometre stretch of the Gardiner Expressway extending from Strachan to Spadina.

Under Gardiner, PUBLIC Work, City of Toronto, Waterfront TorontoMap of Under Gardiner, image courtesy of PUBLIC Work

Closely related to the project's goal of creating spaces for the public's enjoyment, today's announcement celebrates local involvement by asking members of the public to participate in a city-wide brainstorming campaign, known as Reclaim the Name, that will develop the official name for the over 10-acre project.

The Reclaim the Name campaign will be carried out in four phases between March and June 2016, with the first phase calling on the public to submit their name submissions at: www.undergardiner.com/name.html. A number of tools and resources have been made available as part of the campaign's first phase, including a DIY Brainstorming Toolkit, a pop-up at the Spacing Store at 401 Richmond St. W., school outreach programs, and three "brainstorm parties". 

Under Gardiner, PUBLIC Work, City of Toronto, Waterfront TorontoRendering of Under Gardiner, image courtesy of PUBLIC Work

Name submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2016, after which, phase two of the campaign will begin. During April, phase two will see a Naming Jury convene to select a shortlist of between three and five names to consider for public voting. Members of the Naming Jury, who will hail from design, cultural, artistic, civic engagement and social activism fields in Toronto, will be announced in April.

The campaign's third phase will kick off in May, during which time members of the public will be able to select their favourite name from the shortlist of candidates. Public voting details will be announced in late April, and once a winner has been selected, the name will be presented to city council for review and adoption as the project's official branding.

The fourth and final phase of the campaign, slated for June, will confirm the project's new name and finalize the logo and other branding, with details to be announced in either late June or early July. 

Put on your thinking caps!