Large donation expected to spark Gardiner underpass transformation
http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/11/13/large-donation-expected-to-spark-gardiner-underpass-transformation.htmlA Toronto philanthropist is set to announce a major donation to kick off a transformational “animation” of a stretch of bleak grey below the Gardiner Expressway, the Star has learned.
Judy Matthews, an urban planner, volunteer and benefactor, will announce her gift Tuesday at a news conference, with dignitaries including Mayor John Tory and Waterfront Toronto chief executive John Campbell.
Sources told the Star, on condition of anonymity, that Matthews’ “very significant” donation should help transform the waterfront-area underpass from Fort York east to Parliament St.
Ken Greenberg, the celebrated urban designer, principal of Greenberg Consultants and a former City of Toronto director of urban design and architecture, is expected to take a leading role in the project, which will be overseen primarily by Waterfront Toronto.
A source called Matthews’ gift one of the biggest investments in “public realm infrastructure” in Toronto history, adding it should help to leverage other funding to help bring life and vibrancy to the controversial elevated barrier between the business district and an increasingly interesting waterfront.
Two sources compared the project’s scope to that of New York City’s wildly successfulHigh Line, a park built on an elevated railway line through Manhattan — while cautioning that “the Gardiner Expressway is not coming down.” In apparent homage, “Underline” is one of the names bandied about for the Toronto project.