The Bentway is gearing up for The Street Summit – an immersive event taking place May 27 and 28, focussing on the theme of the 'street' by challenging traditional understandings of city streets and reimagining how they can become more inclusive, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone. 

The Street Summit will be hosted at The Bentway’s Strachan Gate and will feature free art installations, performances, workshops, and industry professional-led talks that will all encompass the theme of the street as a place that connects us. 

Rendering of public art installation PARADE by Mimi Lien, image courtesy of The Bentway

The event goes hand-in-hand with the 'Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan' (PRP) that The Bentway is developing in partnership with the City of Toronto. The plan is working to provide guidance for spaces under, and adjacent to, the Gardiner Expressway’s central elevated section between Dufferin Street and Yonge Street, as well as bring forth recommendations for the eastern section between Yonge Street and the Don Valley Parkway.

The goal of the plan is to determine how the spaces under the expressway can better serve Torontonians by being transformed from parking lots and underused areas into spaces that offer an engaging public realm, such as what has been done at The Bentway's main location at 250 Fort York Boulevard. 

Timeline of the PRP, image courtesy of The Bentway

The scheduled events at The Street Summit will get attendees thinking about the unlimited possibilities of what can be made of our city streets, and create an opportunity for ideas to come about and influence the PRP. Events will include panels, presentations, and performances featuring guests including “Hip Hop Architect” Michael Ford, the Commissioner of Chicago Department of Transportation Gia Biagi, a creative partnership with New York-based WXY Studio, and more. 

Industry professional-led talks, image courtesy of The Bentway

There will also be the chance to participate in drop-in workshops, and learn about the many different factors that contribute to our public spaces, such as street art, street food, and even street dancing – of which will be exemplified through a 'block party' featuring a breakdancing performance on the evening of the 27th. 

The Bentway Block Party (2019), image by Andrew Williamson

Registration for the event is encouraged, but not required.

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