Welcome to The Bentway

As an organization dedicated to the creation of shared and inclusive public space, we acknowledge that our work takes place on the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit and the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and many other Indigenous nations.

Tkaronto, “the place in the water where the trees are standing”, is now home to many diverse Indigenous people. We recognize them as the past, present and future caretakers of this land. We would like to pay our respects to all who have gathered and will continue to gather in this place. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work together to care for The Bentway lands and act as stewards of the space.

About The Bentway

The Bentway re-imagines how we build, experience, activate, and value public space together.

Of the city; about the city; for the city.

The Bentway Conservancy is an independent charity, a not-for-profit powered by vital partnerships with the City of Toronto, residents, supporters, artists, creatives, city-builders, and dreamers.

Our work is anchored by a new and growing site located under Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, which we operate, maintain, and program as a platform for creative practice, public art, and connected urban life. As a new model for public space in Toronto and a forum for social engagement, The Bentway continues to evolve amidst the changing landscape of the city, developing opportunities and partnerships that address the key issues of our time.

Read more about our work here:

Our Site

Phase 1 of The Bentway – under the Gardiner from Strachan Avenue to Fort York Blvd – opened in 2018 and knits together seven local neighbourhoods with nearly 100,000 residents, creating 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, public art installations, recreational amenities and programs, community programming, performances, and more.

The area surrounding The Bentway is rich with layered histories and futures. 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.

Our Origins

The project was made possible through the collaboration of a range of city-builders and experts, including the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, Waterfront Toronto, Judy and Wilmot Matthews, Ken Greenberg, 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 industrial 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.