Puente de Luz, a pedestrian connection spanning the rail tracks halfway between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue, opens to the public today at 4:30 PM. The $8 million bridge fulfills requirements of Concord Adex by the City to facilitate easy pedestrian travel to and through the CityPlace neighbourhood.

The engagement of pedestrians with their surroundings is much greater than that of drivers, while simultaneously the scale of pedestrian infrastructure is more intimate. Pedestrian bridges therefore provide the perfect opportunity to infuse an area with public art, and this bridge has proven to be the perfect infrastructural canvas forChilean artist Francisco Gazitua to work some metallic magic. The renowned  sculptor already has several significant installations in the GTA, including Buen Amigo at Absolute World in Mississauga, Perpetual Motion in Liberty Village, and Rosa Nautica and Barca Volante at other sites in Concord CityPlace. Puente de Luz, or Bridge of Light, now takes its place amongst over a dozen other major pieces by several celebrated artists in the largest privately commissioned collection of public art in Canada.

Many photos by several UrbanToronto members have been featured on the site over the course of construction, and you can see them and relive the journey by clicking on the related article links below this story. Today we have a quick look back at the night the bridge was installed with massive cranes, and publish for the first time some of the detail shots of Gazitua's sculptural elements growing from the bridge.

Installing Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Installing Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Let's approach from the north side.

Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

And now reverse for a look from the south side.

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

The mesh that you can see above and below has been a controversial element, required by GO Transit to prevent objects dropping on the bridge and onto the tracks below. It was also at the behest of the rail operator that Puente de Luz sits much higher than was originally contemplated; maintaining sightlines for train drivers to signal lights is of paramount importance for safe train movements, so ramps were required to take pedestrians to the bridge's unltimate height.

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

Detail of Francisco Gazitua's Puente de Luz at Concord CityPlace, image by Craig White

The bridge's opening has had to wait for the clearing of construction-realted materials and conditions around the base of Parade, the latest complex at Concord CityPlace, to be cleared away and declared safe. Parade features its own dramatic bridge of course, linking its two main towers together 30 storeys above this one.

UrbanToronto will be tweeting from the opening ceremony this afternoon, expected to happen in potentially rainy conditions. The public opening happens at 4:30 PM, and we expect that many people will be giving the bridge their first crossing soon thereafter.

You can see and read much more about Puente de Luz in our dataBase entry linked below or in the related thread in UrbanToronto's Projects and Construction section.

Related Companies:  Concord Adex, Francisco Gazitua, MMM Group Limited, Walters Group