The Gardiner Expressway

Toronto, Canada ,2023

The Gardiner Expressway is an elevated highway that runs along the northern edge of Toronto’s downtown lakefront area. Historically, the spaces beneath the expressway were underutilized, often serving as parking lots, storage, or neglected areas that contributed little to the city’s public realm.

However, 6 years ago, @thebentway, a nonprofit organization partnered with the @cityofto City to rethink 15800 square meters under the Gardiner Expressway. What used to be a monofunctional road was turned into a garden, which serves as a water retainment and filtering system, a network of pathways and bike lanes, as well as spaces for markets and events.

The transformation under the Gardiner Expressway is not just remarkable for its physical redevelopment; equally impressive is the inclusive approach taken by The Bentway and the City of Toronto to formulate the Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan. This collaborative process highlights the project’s commitment to not only revitalizing the area but also fostering a strong sense of community and partnership in shaping Toronto’s urban landscape.

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