The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population.
The initial phase – from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street – knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront, while providing access to important attractions and destinations – from Fort York National Historic Site, Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to Harbourfront Centre and the CN Tower. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skate trail, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances, and more.
The area surrounding The Bentway is rich with a layered history. The site 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 Bentway site is located on the Treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is the traditional territory of the Haundenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, the Metis 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.
The Bentway is maintained, operated, and programmed by The Bentway Conservancy. The project was made possible through the collaboration of a range of city-builders and experts, including the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, Judy and Wilmot Matthews, Ken Greenberg Consultants, PUBLIC WORK, Fort York National Historic Site, and Artscape. The Bentway is a proud member of the High Line Network, an international network of projects that transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes.
Programming at The Bentway
The Bentway is a new public space and programming platform that is both of the city and about the city. Through the lens of arts, culture, and recreation we explore the changing landscape of Toronto and urbanism on a global scale.
The Bentway offers year-round artistic, cultural, and recreational activities and events, including public art installations, seasonal and special exhibitions, theatre and musical performances, festivals, creative marketplaces, and more. The Bentway’s programming is accessible and participatory, exploring the site’s unique histories, features and possibilities.
Future Phases of The Bentway
The first phase of The Bentway opened in January 2018 with The Bentway Skate Trail and was completed in August 2018 with the opening of Strachan Gate. This first phase stretches from Strachan Ave. to Fort York Blvd. and is located on lands that are part of Fort York National Historic Site, recognized by the Government of Canada as being of national significance. The Bentway is currently planning for future phases of the project that will extend across Fort York Blvd in the east and on towards Spadina Ave.
Under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) – Phase 1, the Government of Canada is investing up to $320,000 for The Bentway project. The City of Toronto is matching this funding contribution.