To kickstart the Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan, Toronto City Council adopted recommendations put forward by Councillor Joe Cressy (and seconded by Councillor Mike Layton) on September 30, 2020. This member’s motion initiated a unique partnership between The Bentway and the City of Toronto to deliver the Under Gardiner PRP.
The Bentway Conservancy specializes in bringing different interests together to help create and program ambitious and accessible public spaces in the space underneath the Gardiner Expressway. The Bentway Conservancy took a leadership role in developing the public realm plan for the space under the Gardiner, in close collaboration with the City of Toronto, Indigenous voices, and a wide range of diverse communities and other stakeholders. The final decision on whether the City of Toronto will adopt the Under Gardiner PRP (following an extensive engagement process), ultimately rests with Toronto City Council.
The City of Toronto and its many Divisions work hard to meet the needs of the people they serve by allocating public resources according to public values. City staff and elected officials have powerful insights into the needs and priorities of the people that live, work, and play in and around the space under the Gardiner Expressway. They also are responsible for maintaining infrastructure, investing in new projects, developing new policies, and delivering public services. The City is working in close collaboration with The Bentway Conservancy on the Under Gardiner PRP to identify opportunities for that best align community and stakeholder priorities with the City’s public policy priorities.
This collaborative effort between the City and the Bentway Conservancy brings together asset owners, subject matter experts, diverse perspectives, and practical experience in planning, programming, operating, and animating the public realm.