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

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

  • The Artery

    Votes: 7 5.1%
  • The Bentway

    Votes: 50 36.2%
  • Under Gardiner

    Votes: 50 36.2%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 31 22.5%

  • Total voters
    138

jje1000

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Still a lot of grey- I hope they do mural projects like what they've done around Underpass Park.
 

MetroMan

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Still a lot of grey- I hope they do mural projects like what they've done around Underpass Park.
I’d rather more greenery than murals that end up becoming magnets for tagging.

If they want to follow in the footsteps of other industrial park conversions like New York’s High Line, then they need actual vegetation. High grass and trees that do well in shade would do marvels for the space under the Gardiner.
 

isaidso

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Agree. If they could use those columns to support greenery and maybe even turn the underside of the Gardiner into a green 'hanging' ceiling? Maybe they should take inspiration from Singapore's Gardens by the Bay.
 
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jje1000

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I’d rather more greenery than murals that end up becoming magnets for tagging.

If they want to follow in the footsteps of other industrial park conversions like New York’s High Line, then they need actual vegetation. High grass and trees that do well in shade would do marvels for the space under the Gardiner.

IMO it's going to be tagged up anyways at some point in the future, I would rather have a program implemented that preempts this and helps improve Toronto's street art scene (maybe a rotating mural project as the pillars get stripped and patched up over time?).

I also don't think the city would like having greenery directly attached to the infrastructure as it would interfere with maintenance efforts- the pillars will always likely stand on their own. But overall, I agree- I would rather have taller ornamental grasses and bushes rather than the rather dull lawns. @Northern Light - are small trees viable under these parts of the Gardiner ?
 

Northern Light

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IMO it's going to be tagged up anyways at some point in the future, I would rather have a program implemented that preempts this and helps improve Toronto's street art scene (maybe a rotating mural project as the pillars get stripped and patched up over time?).

I also don't think the city would like having greenery directly attached to the infrastructure as it would interfere with maintenance efforts- the pillars will always likely stand on their own. But overall, I agree- I would rather have taller ornamental grasses and bushes rather than the rather dull lawns. @Northern Light - are small trees viable under these parts of the Gardiner ?
The unsatisfying answer is ....it depends.

From a light level POV, yes, there are small trees that could handle minimal overhead light, with some southern exposure.

Salt spray may be an issue, but probably not that bad, on the other hand any drainage from the Gardiner will be salt saturated in the winter months, and difficult for most species to handle.

I suspect the biggest challenge would be water, the Gardiner itself (assuming it's structurally tight) would act as roof, eliminating any direct precipitation, anything more than a few feet in would require an irrigation supply.

If you have irrigation, and the contaminated drainage from the Gardiner is diverted away from any plants, then there's no reason shade-tolerant species wouldn't do well.

Though I should add, I expect the raw soil under the Gardiner, from both the highway and portions that were a railway spur are likely quite polluted and in need of a change out or capping.

Planters that sit on top of the base, if large enough would also work.

Alternate Leaf Dogwood would give you a small/medium tree and is highly shade tolerant.

Several species of fern might do well, including some that stay alive and green through the winter (Christmas Fern)

White Spruce would get too big at some point.....but if you plant them at different times, you could periodically cut some down as Christmas trees and replace them.

Beech Trees would be an interesting fit, when young they retain golden-hued leaves well into winter.

*****

As to stringing green directly on the Gardiner columns............certainly plausible, but as noted, I imagine the City would object.

However, there are alternative ways to achieve that effect.

You put up free-standing lattice work, likely metal, surrounding (but not attached to) the Gardiner columns, and grow the vines on that, you have the vine root in a box as the base of the lattice work.

The structure should be designed to be easy to move/take down/vines and all, and be able to look behind, even while up.

If the lattice is laid out correctly, you should be able to prevent/discourage the vine from growing on the inside, but to be sure, it doesn't harass the column, you can coat the column in a clear stain or paint that the ivy can't adhere to well

Experimental Data on the above, can be found here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/588221e420099e47b8fe06d8/t/589cc065e6f2e1bd3c7f5e8c/1486667879618/JLIV2016_Volume3_Issue1-Blanusa_etal.pdf
 
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MetroMan

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WT have posted the bridge tender call.
Request for Proposals (RFP) #2018-34: The Bentway Phase II Bridge
(11/2018)
Waterfront Toronto (legally named Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation) is seeking proposal submissions from prospective firms for The Bentway Phase II Bridge.
Is anybody able to find the result of this RFP? It’s been a while. This should have moved along by now.

Building the pedestrian bridge over Fort York Blvd is crucial to extending The Bentway. It won’t work as isolated parts. If it’s to be like the High Line that inspired it, it’s going to have to be a continuous walk, an uninterrupted pedestrian realm with no intersecting car traffic.

Bridges will be needed at Bathurst and Don Leckie Way in future phases.
 
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DSC

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Is anybody able to find the result of this RFP? It’s been a while. This should have moved along by now.

Building the pedestrian bridge over Fort York Blvd is crucial to extending The Bentway. It won’t work as isolated parts. If it’s to be like the High Line that inspired it, it’s going to have to be a continuous walk, an uninterrupted pedestrian realm with no intersecting car traffic.

Bridges will be needed at Bathurst and Fleet in future phases.
Why would you need a bridge @ Bathurst. There is a perfectly good (though currently blocked) pedestrian pathway under the Bathurst Street Bridge that will bring one to the park etc planned for the land just north of the Library. Not sure how a bridge would work at Fleet Street but .....
 

achender

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I think the Bentway phase II bridge is going to follow the path of the Gardiner above and deposit folks south of "Garrison at The Yards". So you will hit Bathurst between Fleet and Fort York Blvd.
It might be nice to have a continuous path across Bathurst here leading to West Block and Panorama.

Not sure how to embed a google street view page, but here is a link.
https://goo.gl/maps/tCLtc5C3uyH2
 

MetroMan

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Why would you need a bridge @ Bathurst. There is a perfectly good (though currently blocked) pedestrian pathway under the Bathurst Street Bridge that will bring one to the park etc planned for the land just north of the Library. Not sure how a bridge would work at Fleet Street but .....
That would no longer be The Bentway but one of the parks connected to it. The Bentway extensions will follow under the Gardiner. The planned pedestrian bridge does just that, hopping over Fort York Blvd to proceed along the elevated expressway’s route to the south. There’s about a kilometre of free land under the Gardiner from Bathurst to Spadina. To create an uninterrupted park under the Gardiner, they’ll also have to jump over Bathurst and Don Leckie (not Fleet).
 
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jje1000

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The unsatisfying answer is ....it depends.

From a light level POV, yes, there are small trees that could handle minimal overhead light, with some southern exposure.

Salt spray may be an issue, but probably not that bad, on the other hand any drainage from the Gardiner will be salt saturated in the winter months, and difficult for most species to handle.

I suspect the biggest challenge would be water, the Gardiner itself (assuming it's structurally tight) would act as roof, eliminating any direct precipitation, anything more than a few feet in would require an irrigation supply.

If you have irrigation, and the contaminated drainage from the Gardiner is diverted away from any plants, then there's no reason shade-tolerant species wouldn't do well.

Though I should add, I expect the raw soil under the Gardiner, from both the highway and portions that were a railway spur are likely quite polluted and in need of a change out or capping.

Planters that sit on top of the base, if large enough would also work.
Thanks for the info- definitely agree that conditions under the Gardiner are likely hardly ideal for most vegetation- irrigated beds of just ornamental grasses and shade shrubbery would probably work best with the majority of the space, but I wonder if smaller groves of trees (as indicated in the renderings) could do well at the periphery of the sites.
 

3Dementia

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Good start but me thinks the journey should arrive at a "wow" finale arrival (with due respect to "hot chocolate as an iconic crossing reason").

For the kids I'd suggest the ultimate Lego recreation of downtown Toronto (weather protected/adapted). Some of the lego could be messed with.

For parents I'd suggest a mini-Allan Gardens with low light tolerant species - might be a rather big suprise to find this under an expressway (and hard hats to protect from falling concrete may be necessary).
  • Ivy. English and Algerian ivies do well in low to moderate light. ...
  • ZZ Plant.pushes the low-lightlimit to its extreme. ...
  • Snake Plant. ...
  • Staghorn Fern. ...
  • Pothos. ...
  • Maidenhair Fern. ...
  • Dieffenbachia. ...
  • Philodendron.
Then hot chocolate ..... ;-)
 

Northern Light

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Good start but me thinks the journey should arrive at a "wow" finale arrival (with due respect to "hot chocolate as an iconic crossing reason").

For the kids I'd suggest the ultimate Lego recreation of downtown Toronto (weather protected/adapted). Some of the lego could be messed with.

For parents I'd suggest a mini-Allan Gardens with low light tolerant species - might be a rather big suprise to find this under an expressway (and hard hats to protect from falling concrete may be necessary).
  • Ivy. English and Algerian ivies do well in low to moderate light. ...
  • ZZ Plant.pushes the low-lightlimit to its extreme. ...
  • Snake Plant. ...
  • Staghorn Fern. ...
  • Pothos. ...
  • Maidenhair Fern. ...
  • Dieffenbachia. ...
  • Philodendron.
Then hot chocolate ..... ;-)

I take you mean in a heated greenhouse/conservatory, as most of those tropical plants that wouldn't otherwise survive here.

Not sure I agree that this is the space for that.
 

MetroMan

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Good start but me thinks the journey should arrive at a "wow" finale arrival (with due respect to "hot chocolate as an iconic crossing reason").
The clear terminus for The Bentway is the upcoming Rees Park on the waterfront. The under Gardiner part would conclude at Spadina and then for a short segment run alongside the Gardiner to about the SkyDome and then under the Gardiner and over Lake Shore to Rees Park’s artificial mountain.

63E7A74A-8AFE-4B2C-A794-CAA64B3B5A10.jpeg
 

LostAlbertan

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The clear terminus for The Bentway is the upcoming Rees Park on the waterfront. The under Gardiner part would conclude at Spadina and then for a short segment run alongside the Gardiner to about the SkyDome and then under the Gardiner and over Lake Shore to Rees Park’s artificial mountain.

View attachment 180616
How is it intended that Lake Shore be criss crossed - elevated pedestrian bridges each time?
 

MetroMan

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How is it intended that Lake Shore be criss crossed - elevated pedestrian bridges each time?
The Spadina/Lake Shore intersection is going to be redesigned at some point. It’s unnecessarily complex with flyovers and elevated segments that don’t need to be there. This kind of simplification is happening all along the Gardiner, first with the removal of the York ramp, next with the Gardiner east rebuild and then with the removal of the Bay ramp and reconfiguration of the Yonge intersection.

Once Spadina/Lake Shore is reconfigured, it’ll be simpler to create a crossover. A wooden pedestrian bridge suspended under the Gardiner as is being done at Fort York would be a good solution at Spadina as well.
 

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