Strachan to Fort York
The Bentway Phase 1 and Fort York National Historic Site tell complementary stories about the history of Tkaronto/Toronto. Year-round indoor and outdoor programming of these exceptional spaces has shown a glimpse of what is possible for Under Gardiner spaces.
The presence of The Bentway and the Fort York Visitors Centre are proof of the untapped potential for public space below the elevated highway. The Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan looks to build on these successes by extending connections to nearby communities.
Key Insights from the Outreach Process
The Under Gardiner spaces in The Bentway / Fort York district provide much-needed amenities for unhoused and precariously housed communities. The need for public washrooms, power stations, water fountains, and shelter from inclement weather across the corridor was identified as a priority by the stakeholders present at this district roundtable.
Participants said they like:
- The War of 1812 public art and want more public art under the Gardiner.
- Pedestrian bridges over the rail corridor.
- Destinations and attractions such as The Bentway (Phase 1) and Stackt Market.
Participants said they dislike:
- Noise from traffic on the Gardiner.
- The underused parking lot at the end of Stadium Road because it should be used to connect the two parks.
- The crowded and narrow multi-use path by HMCS York and at Bathurst and Queens Quay. These trails are often crowded with cyclists, pedestrians, and dogs.
Ideas and suggestions shared by participants:
- Pave a path straight from the foot of the Garrison Crossing stairs to the stairs at the Fort York Visitor Centre, going down to The Bentway. The grass is worn because people walk this desired path anyway.
- Add a dog park to the open space north of the Garrison Crossing bridge.
- Create a wide bike/skate corridor under the Gardiner that connects to The Bentway Skate Trail.
PLEASE NOTE: The ideas represented in the diagram presented are subject to further study
Bentway Bridge & Landing
The Bentway Bridge will provide a new, safe, way for cyclists and pedestrians to cross Fort York Boulevard and improve access to The Bentway, Fort York National Historic Site, and emerging commercial destinations to the east. The project will build on the connectivity that the Garrison Crossing bridges provide and offer unique vistas into the National Historic Site.
The Landing plazas will result in new public spaces for informal and coordinated gatherings, public art presentations, celebrations, and recreation spaces.
Located at the eastern side of The Bentway, the new bridge will add connections to the public parks in the area, such as the planned Garrison Creek Park, June Callwood Park, and Centennial Park.
Bathurst Crossing is a critical east-west connection that will unlock possibilities on either side of Bathurst. Many pedestrians and cyclists use this crossing informally to access privately owned public spaces (POPS) to the west and commercial spaces to the east. The at-grade crossing should be formalized as an extension of Housey St. to ensure the safety of all users.
Shoreline Trail Extension
An interpretive shoreline trail extension will create a link between The Bentway Landing and the planned Lower Garrison Creek Park. The extension will include a multi-use trail that will complement the existing pathways and recreation activities at The Bentway.