Toronto The Bentway (was Under Gardiner) | ?m | ?s | Waterfront Toronto

What should be the permanent name for the park under the Gardiner?

  • The Artery

    Votes: 12 6.5%
  • The Bentway

    Votes: 79 42.5%
  • Under Gardiner

    Votes: 52 28.0%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 43 23.1%

  • Total voters
I really like that it sounds as though they will keep a raw feeling to this project. Very fitting of the structure, and the city. Toronto has a gritty charm. We should embrace that rather than trying to polish everything.
So I guess the landscaping for Fort York Visitor Centre is going to get rolled into the scheme. Also interesting to see how the design will tie in with the Mouth of the Creek Park which is by Public Work as well.

Some of the same team that was on that park project is on this project
Some of the same team that was on that park project is on this project

Makes complete sense - hopefully we will see the two projects flow into one another, considering the proximity.

I really like that it sounds as though they will keep a raw feeling to this project. Very fitting of the structure, and the city. Toronto has a gritty charm. We should embrace that rather than trying to polish everything.

Yes and no - you still need money to buy quality materials (like paving units) or good lighting, much less art and water features.

Both the concept and the unexpectedly rapid timeline for completion are welcome but I think that the jury is out on how it will be used. Will it just end up becoming an outdoor homeless shelter?

I think that the major issue that needs to be addressed is light. Natural light will only peek through early and late in the day. These spaces are dark most of the time. Hanging outdoor lighting that isn't just functional but beautiful will be a key to changing the atmosphere.

I would've wanted to see some of those concrete pillars replaced by something more modern and lightweight. Perhaps OCAD style pencils in one section, rusted iron I beams in another, mirror cladding in a different section and covered in LEDs somewhere else. Just painting these heavy concrete pillars that are repeated far too often isn't going to disguise the ugly brutalist structure that is the Gardiner.

I'd like for the Gardiner itself to be beautified. The sides should be clad with a something that looks not only to form but to function. Sound barriers could be made to be both useful and beautiful.

While I had hoped to see the Gardiner removed, I'm being won over with what has been done to the parts of the expressway and the rail corridor that have been built densely around. In those areas, we've essentially removed the barrier by building right up to it so that it doesn't feel like a windswept abandoned part of the city where pedestrians aren't welcomed. I especially like the PATH bridges built up to the rail corridor connecting buildings. You would never know that there is a rail corridor behind it.

This is a good start. It could become something unique to Toronto. However, for the Gardiner East, given that we have to knock down and replace what is there, I hope that we find a different solution rather than rebuilding a downtown expressway.
Some preliminary information indicated that would indeed be the case -- a very good thing!

I like the way the scheme also provides flow to June Callwood and Canoe Landing. With a decent bike / pedestrian corridor, this could be really fun.

PL, you sound like you have a fair amount of 'inside' info on this project -- given that, are you happy with the preliminary results? Do you think it'll be transformative, or will the $25M get sucked into a whirlpool of design changes and safety concerns?
I wish there is more info available on the scheme - like the WT competition proposals for the Eastern Gardiner.

The scheme is not all planned in detail yet, it's mostly conceptual now. There will be public consultations coming up to hammer out the details, and community groups and cultural agencies will be engaged as well to work out programming.

They've only got a year and a half to open the first portion in time for Canada's Sesquicentennial year, so I don't fault them for trying to get the easiest to transform section going first. There are two other reasons to start here, 1) being that they'll connect the greatest number of (the new) condo neighbourhoods with this stretch, and biggest of all, 2) this is the first section which will have had its deck completely replaced in time to allow this to happen at all.

Ah, makes sense. But I still hope the City soon decides to do a bare-bones improvement to other parts of the Gardiner. Bay, York, Yonge, and Simcoe probably see +150k pedestrians walking underneath every day. The status quo of cold + dank + dark could be easily changed with paint, paneling, and lights into something a little warmer and welcoming. And not even just for peds, but drivers as well. IMO the whole underside of the Gardiner needs a basic aesthetic makeover. Nothing monumental and frilly, just some minor flair.
I don't have a lot of info, haha, just one of many that got advance notice about it. They did say at the presentation today that there are still details to be worked out -- there will be public consultations and some sort of committee/body working on it. I'm sure we'll see lots more detail and more design/information coming out soon.
Seems nice, but ...

What's in it for the Matthewses? Does Tory owe them a favour or something?

Is any of this going to be subject to an EA and/or discussion by council?

</ cynicism >
It's not their first donation. They supported a couple of other projects.

As Judy Matthews said today, it's important to give back to the community.
This is a great idea for Toronto and this is particularly true due to Toronto being a winter city. Walking in the sunshine is wonderful but when it's snowing or raining people stay indoors and certainly do not bike or walk unless they have to.

I think the thing that will make this especially successful is that it is a destination and urban amenity that can be used regardless of the time of the year which is unusual and adds to its appeal.