Part of Toronto’s ongoing waterfront revitalization, this pioneering urban landscape planned and designed by local studio Public Work is a communal corridor running under the surprisingly majestic 15-metre-high exposed-concrete bents holding up the Gardiner Expressway near Exhibition Place. A $25-million gift from a philanthropic private citizen funded this city-building initiative, which has transformed 1.75 kilometres of veritable wasteland from mono-functional infrastructure into a covered, multi-functional urban trail that crosses at least seven neighbourhoods. The architects used the highway’s bents to break up the unique spatial environment into 55 “civic rooms” that delimit the park’s different programs. Among them are a sloped-lawn amphitheatre, an ice skating trail, gathering places, gardens and – perhaps most crucially in the low-lying area – wetlands.
Project The Bentway Location Toronto, Canada Firm Public Work, Canada Team Marc Ryan, Adam Nicklin and Lauren Abrahams with Greenberg Consultants, Blackwell Structural Engineers, Tillett Lighting Design Associates, DPM Energy, e-Lumen, WSP, Bespoke Cultural Collective, Kearns Mancini Architects, Gensler, DEW and Smart Watering Systems