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View underneath the Gardiner Expressway

Designed for a car-centric era, Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway has long served as a street-level barrier between the City’s core and a blossoming waterfront. As the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, The Bentway is asking: What if this obstacle could be re- imagined as a vital point of connection? This presents an opportunity to develop an inclusive process, involving multiple public and private stakeholders, and demonstrate the potential of the Under Gardiner to become an integral part of the larger public realm.

The Bentway is seeking input from professional Canadian artists and designers, who will be engaged in the development of creative interventions that re-imagine the experience of the intersections for pedestrians and cyclists at grade at two key intersections under the Gardiner – York Street and Simcoe Street. Advancing the work of the Waterfront ReConnect program, these interventions will further demonstrate what the potential of these under Gardiner spaces could be, setting a trajectory over the next decade. The goal of the competition is to create more welcoming and accessible connections to Toronto’s Central Waterfront.

The Bentway intends to select up to six (6) Proponents – three (3) for York Street and three (3) for Simcoe Street – to participate in a Design Competition. All shortlisted proponents will be entitled to honoraria for participation in the Design Competition.

One winning proposal for each intersection will be selected to be constructed in mid – 2022. These demonstration projects will be in place until the Gardiner Expressway is re-habilitated in this area between 2025-2028.

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