We recently covered the installation of a new PATH bridge spanning over Lake Shore Boulevard but under the Gardiner Expressway This was followed by the raising of a second bridge spanning over Harbour Street, connecting Menkes' under-construction Sun Life Financial Tower and Harbour Plaza Residences complex with the recently-completed RBC WaterPark Place III office building to the south. Today, the new link opened to the public, allowing pedestrians to finally access the city south of the Gardiner without going outdoors. The new link is especially notable for its unconventional path through an active construction site.

Map of the new PATH extension

Come along for a walk through the new link, starting where the PATH climbs up from the Air Canada Centre north lobby. To find it, just look for the ridiculously downmarket crash doors.

PATH doors leading to the Air Canada Centre and Maple Leaf Square, image by Craig White

After ascending a quick flight of cheap stairs, you will find yourself in a glassed-in PATH corridor on the west end of the Air Canada Centre's second floor. Up until yesterday, this section of the PATH only led into Maple Leaf Square, and anyone wanting to go any further south would have required a trip outside. 

View of the Air Canada Centre's west side, including the existing PATH walkway on the second floor, image by Craig White

Now, the PATH continues past the Maple Leaf Square bridge to the south where you enter the first of the two bridges to recently have been hoisted into place, running above Lake Shore Boulevard but below the Gardiner Expressway.

Facing south on the bridge connecting the Air Canada Centre with the Menkes development, image by Jack Landau

The first bridge provides some cool views of traffic below on Lake Shoe Boulevard, with the concrete supports of the Gardiner clearly visible framing the view.

View of Lake Shore Boulevard from new PATH link, image by Jack Landau

The south end of the bridge brings you to a ramp which raises you up to the second floor level of the Sun Life Financial Tower and Harbour Plaza Residences complex.

Approaching the south end of the Lake Shore bridge section, image by Jack Landau

It's pretty obvious that you're in temporary surroundings here; behind these walls is an active construction site.

Exiting the bridge and entering the enclosed walkway passing through the Menkes site, image by Jack Landau

The muffled clatter of tools, smell of fresh drywall and the exposed concrete columns lining the hallway provide the evidence that you are now passing through the Menkes construction site.

Enclosed walkway passing through the Menkes construction site, image by Jack Landau

Photographed just three weeks ago, here's what the area through which the corridor passes looked like then. You can see the studding for the interior walls going up.

The walkway goes through the east end of the Harbour Plaza Residences, image by scamander24

Reaching the south end of the Menkes development, you will find yourself at the second bridge, this one spanning over Harbour Street.

Entrance to the southern bridge over Harbour Street, image by Jack Landau

The south bridge has a much brighter and airier feeling, with a great deal more natural light than the bridge which passes below the Gardiner Expressway.

Southern bridge over Harbour Street, image by Jack Landau

Forum contributor hawc took this image which shows the exterior of this bridge, and its connection to the construction site, viewed from the east on Harbour Street. An off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway passes beneath the bridge. The City plans to tear down this ramp in the near future and replace it with a ramp in another spot. 

Exterior of the Harbour Street bridge, image by hawc

The south end of the Harbour Street bridge empties into the second floor food court of the recently completed RBC WaterPark Place III. Go a little further, and you come into the recently renovated and expanded atrium between the WaterPark Place towers.

Interior public space at RBC WaterPark Place, image by Jack Landau

Want to head back north? Here's the door!

Looking north towards from the second floor of RBC WaterPark Place III towards the bridge entrance, image by Jack Landau

Now that you know your way around the new PATH extension, go check it out for yourself!

Want to know more about the buildings connected by this extension? Check out UrbanToronto's dataBase files for the project, linked below. Want to talk about it? Join in on the conversation in one of the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  American Standard (part of Lixil Canada Inc.), architectsAlliance, Brandon Communications, Cecconi Simone, City of Toronto, DTAH, EllisDon, HOOPP, Kramer Design Associates Limited, Menkes Developments, NAK Design Group, Oxford Properties Group, RJC Engineers, Stephenson Engineering, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., tcgpr (The Communications Group), The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Trillium Architectural Products, WSP, WZMH Architects