Entering Liberty Village from King West will soon become easier for pedestrians and cyclists alike. As the current situation stands, the only entry point into Liberty Village from the east is at Strachan Avenue. 800 metres to the west, Atlantic Avenue will take you in from King Street. Set to provide a direct route into the middle of the Village is a new pedestrian and cycling bridge, spanning from Douro Street on the north to Western Battery Road.

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoAerial view of the planned pedestrian cycling bridge, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

Dating back to 2011, an environmental assessment (EA) study was undertaken to measure potential environmental impacts of the new bridge, with the report submitted in November of that year. The EA studied various sites within the King-Liberty area for the bridge, before determining the Douro/Western Battery site would be the best option. 

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoThe Douro and Western Battery Road entrances, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

The design offers the following attributes:

• Poses minimal impact to possible future multi-use path on Douro St;

• Elevators will eliminate the need for out-of-way travel, being accessible for cyclists at all levels;

• Minimal tree removal during construction;

• Will have minimal impact to residential and commercial properties;

• No impact to archaeological or heritage resources; and

• No Impact to Metrolinx/CN/CP rail operations. 

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoLighting concepts, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

According to the City of Toronto, the design of the bridge is 90% complete, though there is still an opportunity for some minor variations. As it stands, the bridge will have a 5-metre wide deck that will be largely sheltered by the elements. Both entrances to the bridge will have a staircase accompanied with a bike channel, in addition to elevators that will allow for barrier-free accessibility. The passageway and entrances will be illuminated 24 hours, while video cameras and emergency call buttons will cover security concerns.

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoAlternate glazing options are currently being considered, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

On the top of the roof (which is 3-metres above the deck) will be a public art component to further enhance the overall design of the bridge. Various cladding and glazing options are currently being explored, including brick, glass and metal panels for the elevator shafts, while single-glass or multi-tinted glass will stretch across the 40-metre long bridge, rising 2-metres tall. As well, two options being explored for the roof; a flat design with multiple skylights, or curved metal. 

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoOptions for the roof treatment are too being studied, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

The next steps in the process include a public drop-in event to review the proposal on Thursday, July 27, 2017 from 6 PM to 8 PM at 150 East Liberty Street . The general public will have an opportunity to talk to the project team, and provide feedback. After this, the design will be finalized this Fall, with construction anticipated to begin in February/March 2018, and wrapping up at the end of the year, or in early 2019.

King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycling Bridge, TorontoPublic art concepts for the roof, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

We will keep you posted once more information becomes available. Want to share your thoughts on the design of the bridge? Feel free to write a comment in the space provided below, or join in the ongoing discussion in the associated Forum thread.