Proposed multi-use space will stretch from Spadina to Strachan
TORONTO – Tucked away below hundreds of condominium balconies, the underside of the western stretch of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway is generally a quiet space, save for the rumble of overhead traffic or the occasional burst of jackhammers performing maintenance.
As soon as two years from now, however, that quiet space stands to be transformed into a bustling civic space, spanning 1.75 kilometres and inspired by innovative projects like New York City’s High Line park.
Temporarily dubbed “Project: Under Gardiner,” the revamped public space is aiming for 2017 completion, and will stretch all the way from Spadina Avenue in the east, to Strachan Avenue in the west. While the transformation is being spearheaded by the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, it was made possible by a generous gift from private donors Judy and Wil Matthews.
Following a similar principle to that of the recent revitalization of Queen’s Quay East, the new space’s multi-modal trail will provide Torontonians with an off-street walking and cycling route that connects many of downtown Toronto’s most popular real estate neighbourhoods – including Liberty Village, Fort York, CityPlace, Wellington Place, and more.
Additionally, the revitalized space will include up to 55 “programmable spaces,” envisioned as massive outdoor “rooms” separated by the Gardiner’s support beams. These are intended to provide a public outdoor space for a wide variety of cultural and recreational offerings such as farmer’s markets, community gatherings, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances.
Currently, there are three ways for the public engage with the project and offer feedback:
- In December, the development team will launch a “Reclaim the Name” campaign, in which members of the public can suggest new names to replace the project’s working title.
- The project’s “Connect” page offers tools for either contacting the team directly, or signing up to receive updates via email.
- Those looking for real-time updates are invited to follow the project’s official Twitter feed at @UnderGardiner.
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