Picture Berczy Park in Toronto – before the cute dog statues were added to the fountain. On a hot summer day at this modest little slice of green in an otherwise busy downtown area, a woman decides to sit on the fountain’s edge.
The Bentway is a new public space that transforms Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a gathering place for the city’s growing population.
The initial phase knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront and providing access to important attractions and destinations. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including a skate trail, recreational amenities, public art, festivals, live performances, and more.
The Bentway follows the original shoreline of Lake Ontario, when it was an important junction for trade, and a hunting and a gathering place for Indigenous peoples. The site is located on the Treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is the traditional territory of the Haundenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and many other Indigenous nations. The first phase of The Bentway is located on lands that are part of Fort York National Historic Site, recognized by the Government of Canada as being of national significance.
|Status||Open / Ongoing|
|Size||10 acres, 1.2 miles|
|Design Team||PUBLIC WORK, Greenberg Consultants, Inc.|
Managed by the Bentway Conservancy in partnership with the City of Toronto
|Project Leader||Ilana Altman & David Carey|
Latest News / The Bentway
Toronto has long been a city of cyclists, but since the COVID crisis began, biking has surged in both popularity and relevance. People looking for alternatives to public transit during the pandemic are taking up biking as a way to navigate the city. And with the acceleration of cycling-friendly initiatives and infrastructure this past summer, many who were once hesitant about biking in the city, now feel safe enough to do so—though much work remains to be done to reach a “vision zero” benchmark of road safety.
As we reimagine public spaces amid COVID-19 how do we make them more inclusive? Toronto’s Bentway asked artists and activists
Cities around the world have reimagined public space throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help residents get moments of exercise, fresh air and some sort of distanced social interaction. In Toronto, entire roads were closed to make way for cyclists and joggers as part of ActiveTO. Its sister program, CafeTO also closed roads so that restaurants could extend outdoor patios in lieu of indoor dining. Circles were painted on the grounds of Trinity Bellwoods park so that people could still gather while physical distancing.