Exhibition Anchor
Dufferin to Strachan
Bents 1-46

This district is characterized by linear spaces including Manitoba Drive, a TTC loop, a long straight Under Gardiner space (currently used as a Green P lot), and large enclosed storage rooms under the Gardiner Expressway. The Gardiner and rail corridor act as a barrier between Liberty Village to the north and Exhibition Place, The Bentway Phase 1 site, Ontario Place, and other waterfront destinations. With the introduction of the Ontario Line terminus station, the Exhibition Anchor district will play a critical role in enhancing connectivity for transit users, local residents, tourists, and event-goers.

The Possibility

The last station of the Ontario Line is planned at Exhibition Place, which will create a major transit hub on the western edge of downtown, resulting in new and faster connections for local and regional travelers. The Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan explores improved active transportation links in this area to strengthen first mile/last mile connection and multi-modal interfaces, as well as opportunities for adjacent cultural and recreational activities.

Key Insights from the Outreach Process

Access and connectivity emerged as key priorities for many of the sites within the Exhibition Place West Anchor district.

Considering the number of major events that occur in this area, the need for clear, multi-functional circulation was identified as an essential upgrade. Maintaining critical operations for the Exhibition Place campus (parking, transit, and storage) was also highlighted as a key consideration.

Participants said they like: 

  • Use of the enclosed storage room under the Gardiner as a temporary exhibit space for art projects.

Participants said they dislike: 

  • The “back of house” condition at the Under Gardiner point of arrival from Exhibition Station.

Ideas and suggestions shared by participants: 

  • There should be a connected pathway from The Bentway to the planned Ontario Line station and existing Exhibition GO station, and improvements to the public experience on Manitoba Drive.
  • Improve accessibility, especially given the lack of safe circulation routes within this area. 
  • Clear, accessible multi-use paths to and from major trip-generating uses are essential.
  • Improvements to the public realm should not inhibit the operational capacities of Exhibition Place, the TTC, or Metrolinx.

Emerging Opportunities

PLEASE NOTE: The ideas represented in the diagram presented are subject to further study

Multi-modal Transit Plaza

The South Station Plaza will act as a new doorstep to Exhibition Place and numerous waterfront destinations. The future Exhibition Station will connect travellers from the existing regional GO Transit, with the new Ontario Line and TTC streetcar service. The design of the plaza will prioritize multi-modal transit connections and provide a safe, accessible, and welcoming moment of arrival to Exhibition Place.

Strachan Gateway

The Strachan Gateway will establish key connectivity between civic destinations including Exhibition Place, Fort York National Historic Site, and The Bentway; extension of the existing multi-use path to the east, as well as a threshold between Fort York, Liberty Village, and Waterfront Neighborhoods.

An Ontario Line step-up sub-station (infrastructure to power the transit line) will be delivered by Metrolinx at this location.

Manitoba-Under Gardiner Redesign

The Manitoba-Gardiner Promenade is a significant opportunity to enhance the experience of arrival at Exhibition Place and the planned Ontario Line Exhibition Place Station.

Through further study, Manitoba Drive and the Under Gardiner could be reimaged as a multi-use urban promenade that preserves important functionality for operators, while creating inviting, accessible, and safe experiences for visitors. Planned studies to inform the area include Exhibition Place’s traffic and storage feasibility studies, TTC loop redesign studies, and future Exhibition Place landscape studies.