Posts Tagged ‘waterfront’

Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

The water levels in Lake Ontario are higher than normal this spring – some beaches are under water and a large percent of the Toronto Islands are flooded.  In front of the Power Plant Art Gallery the water level is even with with the concrete walkway… but not high enough to deter people from enjoying the waterfront this past weekend.

a young couple sits by the waterfront, on a stone bench. He has his arm around her. There is yellow caution tape behind them because the water level in Lake Ontario is high.

It seems appropriate that the artwork on the exterior wall (facing the lake) of the Power Plant features an image of water – white crested waves on a large lake.  The piece is “Bound, Hupfield 2017” by Maria Hupfield; it is 19 feet high and 31 feet wide.   The central image is a seascape painted by the artist’s mother, Peggy Miller, many years ago.  It is being wrapped (unwrapped?) with grey felt-like material.
Is it a treasured artwork that is being readied for storage?
Is it a painful memory that is being covered up to be forgotten?
Is it a family heirloom that is being brought out for someone to admire?

a large art installation on the south exterior wall of the Power Plant contemporary art gallery, with a small tree in front of it.

a girl sits on the rail between the walkway on the waterfront and the water while she reaches a hand out towards a duck. Her mother and younger sister watch.

a mother crouches down beside a young child who is wearing a helmet and is on a scooter, the mother is waving at the Kajama as it docks, the Kajama is a boat with sails that gives tourists rides on Lake Ontario

If you are interested in more information about Maria Hupfield, check the CONTACT website.

“Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail a trace of a human gesture, and trigger reactions and memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. In her artistic practice, Maria Hupfield reveals the interrelational potential triggered by objects between humans or cultural environments.”

The finishing touches are being put on five installations for the new Ice Breakers event along Queens Quay West and the waterfront.  Everything will be up and running this weekend and the installations will remain until the event ends on the 26th of February.    Ice Breakers is the result of a collaboration between the Waterfront BIA and Winter Stations (the people that brought the winter warming stations installations to the Beaches)

below: The first installation that I saw was ‘Incognito’ which stands out in Rees Street Parkette on Queens Quay.   It is by Curio Art Consultancy and Jaspal Riyait.

a public art installation in a park, winter time but no snow, no leaves on the trees, muddy brown grass, condo in the background. Artwork is a series of shapes stacked in a pile, all shapes are painted in black and white wide stripes. The stripes are horizontal, vertical and diagonal in the resulting structure, called incognito, by Jaspal Riyait and Curio

below: Set your sails and round you go!  Sailboats that go in circles.  ‘Leeward Fleet’ by RAW design sailing at Canada Square.

with the lake in the background, art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round.

art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round. CN Tower in the background as well as some of the downtown condos.

below: ‘Icebox ‘ is a black box on HTO beach which is where the yellow umbrellas are.  Alan and Alex of Anex Works were putting the finishing touches on it when I walked by.   Polymetis designed it, but Anex Works built it.  In fact, they are the ones responsible for construction of most of these installations.   I didn’t take any photos inside the box in part because it’s not complete… but the inside walls are made from hardened spray foam insulation and that’s all I’m going to tell you.  This one will be more fun if it’s a surprise.   I definitely plan to go back later in the month to check out the finished product.   And yes, it is reminiscent of the black box that was one of the Warming Stations in 2015, Hot Box, because it was the same artist (or group of artists).

black box on a beach with muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas,

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach

below: From across the street it looks like two hands gesturing like “It was this big!”
Or perhaps they are holding that grey building up?

looking across Queens Quay west to the buildings and condos in downtown, the edge of the Skydome (Rogers Center) is just visible, two large hands rise upwards as part of an art installation.

below:  The hands are made of wood.  The palms are covered in a shiny gold coloured material that will reflect the light that shines from the bottom of each hand.   “Tailored Twins” by Ferris + Associates.

two large wooden hands face each other, beside the sidewalk, condos behind, the plams are covered with shiny gold,

below: And last, an installation that probably looks much better in the dark when each diamond shaped module is lit from inside.   This is ‘Winter Diamonds’ and it was designed by Platant, a Danish design and artistic consultancy.  Their website is in Danish but it does have some interesting pictures on it, including an installation similar to this that was in Copenhagen last winter (I think!)

public art installation in a park along Lake Ontario, diamond shapes stacked in a pile, 10 pieces altogether, 5 on the bottom, 4 on the next row and one on top, grey in colour, bare trees and boats covered for the winter are in the background.

#TOicebreakers | #TOwaterfront

Note: Winter Stations returns to Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches on the 20th of February.

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach

Did you do something lazy like sleep in and then stay in your jammies all day?
Did you stay home and stay warm?

I know a few people that did just the opposite! More than 60 people took the plunge and got wet, frigid cold wet that is. The 12th annual Polar Bear dip at Sunnyside Park was well attended this year and these are some of the brave and crazy people who were there (and the less brave and crazy who came to watch, support, and take pictures of the swimmers).

 

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

below: The event is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and over $64,000 was raised this year. Habitat for Humanity had a team who participated, they could be spotted wearing orange T-shirts and orange hard hats.
people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - Habitat for Humanity team wore orange T shirts and orange hard hats

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - members of bearded villains team

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

blog_crowds_water_polar_bear

blog_fuzzy_brown_robe_guy

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man with large black beard and many tattoos is wearing a pink tutu held up with bright green cord

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a series of 3 shots as a boy gets into the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man does the front crawl in the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a swimmer with a Santa outfit sort of, apron and tie

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

#dothedip | #topolarbear

This is another meandering blog post… a post about being out and about on yet another wonderful autumn day, going wherever my feet and eyes take me.

below: The first picture of my day was this intriguing wall made of old wooden doors.  Bathurst Street.

a tall narrow wall about three storeys high made of old white doors.

below: A small elicser mural tucked away at the end of a parking lot.   The man has his back to the viewer but I can’t figure out what’s behind him or what he might be doing.

small mural on a fence, a man's head is back to the viewer

below: The leaves have fallen off the vines to reveal a yellowish creature with his baseball cap askew.

graffiti painting of a yellow animal like creature wearing a blue and yellow baseball cap. The creature is yellow. On a red brick wall, with spots on its back

below: Toronto’s tallest icon framed by a construction crane.

CN Tower in the distance, condo construction in the foreground, with a red crane

below: And on a similar note, a vacant lot cleared and ready for the next stage of its life.

a box beside a fence that has been scrawled over with blue spray paint. Behind it is a fence around a vacant empty lot. There are some small trees growing in front of the fence.

below: No more cranes here (and not many vacant lots either for that matter).  A view showing how much development there has been on the south side of the railway tracks.   Fort York is between the tracks and the condo towers.

a VIA Rail train passes by on one set of many tracks, in the background is Fort York and then a series of new condo buildings.

below: And what’s this? An old blue canoe beached on the tracks?

looking at the scene from a above, a blue canoe has been used to plant plants in. It lies across an old railway track, a chainlink fence separates the canoe from the main railway tracks that still function.

below: Standing guard over Bathurst Street, Fleet street and the Lakeshore, is one larger than life gold replica of a Royal Newfoundland Regiment and his fallen silver American foe. A sculpture by Douglas Copeland entitled “A Monument to the War of 1812”, a nod to nearby Fort York and the history of Toronto.

Douglas Copeland's sculpture of two tin soldiers, a gold one standing with backpack on and rifle in hand, and a silver one lying on its back on the ground, uniforms circa War of 1812, seen from the back, figures are much large than life sized and they are on a corner at an intersection, Bathurst St. and Fleet St.

below: My favorite example of bad grammar still exists!  Off-leash dog area at Coronation Park.

a wood fence around a dog park, in autumn with lots of leaves on the ground, on the fence is a white sign with black letters re the Toronto municipal code 608,

A beautiful day in the park.  A slight November nip was in the air but it was sunny and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue.  Coronation Park is named in honour of the coronation of King George VI who was crowned on 12 May 1937.  At that time nearly 150 trees were planted here.

Apparently, an oak tree was planted to honour the king.  Surrounding it, a ring of silver maples was planted.  This was to symbolize the countries of the British Empire.  I wish I had known that bit of trivia before I walked through the park because now I am curious if these trees are still there.   Some of the trees are quite substantial.

below: Long shadows for the morning sun, low in the sky.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park.

below: Looking back towards the city center, past the empty docks of the National Yacht Club to the residences on Stadium Road.   A small group of people were making a video in the dog park.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park. a small group of people in the distance are filming a video

below: This Victory Peace Monument was unveiled on 14 November 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and honour those who died in that war.   It was designed by John McEwen; the bronze pieces resemble the bow of a ship.

Metal partial cylindrical shapes on a concrete circular monument. World War 2 memorial

below: On the inside of one of the bronze pieces is a map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.  Each boat on the map represents a ship or U-boat that was sunk during the war.  The Canadian ships are located on the map at “their last known position”.  I hadn’t realized that so many ships were lost so close to North America.

relief map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, in bronze on a WW2 memorial. Little ships are shown on the ocean where they were sunk during WW2.

Trees were also planted to represent the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (WW1) and its units as well as those who fought in the Fenian Raids of 1866-1870, the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, and the Boer War (1899-1902).  Once upon a time, brass plaques were placed at the foot of each tree to indicate the units the tree stood for.  If any plaques remain, I didn’t see them.

below: Another memorial is close by, a  “Memorial to Lieut. Tommy Hobbs gallant British Canadian soldier in the Great War 1914 – 1918.  Died on active service November 10, 1940.  Beloved and remembered by his comrades.”   Tommy Hobbs was involved in the creation of this park.

a memorial in a park made of a small pile of rocks. The top rock is inscribed, memorial to Tommy Hobbs, died 1940, in Coronation Park

below: A little farther on I noticed another rock, one that was painted red.   The bronze plaque on the rock says that 20 trees have been planted here in commemoration of the G20 Summit held in Toronto in 2010.

a large rock with a bronze plaque on it. The rock has been crudely painted red

below:  A 30 foot tall Inukshuk stands looking out over Lake Ontario.  Approximately 50 tonnes of mountain rose granite was used to create the Inukshuk, which was made by Inuit artist Kellypalik Qimirpik from Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

a tall stone inuksuk on a raised mound of warth

below: Streetcars across the baseball outfield.

Looking across the outfield of a baseball diamond towards a street. A line of mature trees by the street with two red and white TTC streetcars on the street, condo towers behind.

below: A closer look at that brown octagonal structure in the middle of the streetcar loop for the 509 and 511 cars.  Apparently it’s the Queens Wharf lighthouse, one of a pair built in 1861.

a brown structure, the Queens WHarf Lighthouse, sits on a patch of grass beside TTC streetcar tracks in front of a new condo.

The lighthouses marked the entrance to the Toronto Harbour from 1861 until the Western Channel was built in the early 1900’s.   This one stood on Queen’s Wharf which used to be at the foot of Bathurst Street, adjoining Fort York.  The wharf was built by the military; in 1833 it was a pier 42 feet long.    The pier no longer exists; a hundred years ago it was buried under what is now Bathurst Quay.

below:  A picture of an historical map (1886 or 1887) of the area showing Toronto Harbour, Fort York and the railway lands.  Queen’s Wharf is the pier on the left.   At that time, Front Street was the southern most street in this part of the city.   All the present day development south of the train tracks is on reclaimed land.

picture of historical map of part of Toronto Harbour from 1886, showing Fort York, Front St., and Bathurst St., and the railway lands and wharves into Lake Ontario,

below:   Taken from google maps, what the layout of the city looks like now.   As you can see, there have been many changes!

present day map taken from google maps of Coronation Park and Bathurst Quay including Fort York

Lake Ontario in the foreground, trees in Coronation Park in the middle and Toronto skyline in the distance with the CN Tower and a large Canadian flag.
a sticker of a rainbow in a heart shape. A small purple heart is in the center, then a blue heart is drawn around it, moving outwards in rainbow colours.

July is almost over – yes, summer is flying by.
So far, it’s been a good one!

below: Staying cool and having fun in the Yonge Dundas square fountains

young children play in the fountains at dundas square

below: A giant bite from a giant watermelon slice

a woman attempts to take a bite out of another woman who is wearing a giant watermelon costume

below: A Bay Street hug and kiss.

a photo shoot on Bay St., downtown Toronto. The bride and groom are kissing on the crosswalk in the middle of the intersection. People turning to look.

below: An impromptu serenade

a young man plays a guitar for a mother and daughter, sitting on the edge of a planter outside. Another woman is watching

below: Watching the entertainment at the waterfront – it’s magical

a magician entertains a crowd on the waterfront, many people are watching, men, women and kids

below: Making comfort at Afrofest, Woodbine Park

a couple are lounging on a large light blue foamy thing, amongst a crowd at an outdoor music festival

below: A Canada Day kiss.

A man in a red cowboy hat in the foreground on the right, a couple kissing on the left. People watching a show on a stage in the background with Canadian flags and a banner that says Happy Canada Day

below: Leave your message by the outdoor facilities!

Two lines of Johnny on the spots, facing each other, in the middle is a small message board on a metal pole, outdoors, green leaves above

below: A mother and daughter stroll on the waterfront

A mother and daughter in sarees walk hand in hand along the waterfront. Paddle wheeler boat for scenic tours behind them, mother on a phone

below: Posing, Pride fun

Pride weekend, two policemen with rainbow sunglasses and small rainbow flags pose with two men in drag, wearing green dresses, one in a curly blond wig and the other in a black wig

below: Blowing bubbles by the lake.

A family sits by the lake, two young sons in matching fedoras. Mother is yawning, father and one son have backs to camera, other son is blowing bubbles towards the camera

Happy August everyone!

Many legs and feet on a red carpet outdoors. People dressed for hot weather, only face in the picture, a young girl looks bored as she looks at the camera

The Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway, commonly just called the Gardiner, has been in the news a lot lately.  This 18 km stretch of road between the city and the lake was completed in 1965 after years of planning and building.  At the time that it was built, Toronto’s waterfront was largely industrial and there wasn’t much objection to having a 4 to 6 lane expressway, with many sections elevated, built there.   The railway had begun the process of dividing the city from its waterfront a hundred years previously.

As the city changes and grows, more and more people live in the downtown core.  Industry has moved out and residents have moved in.  For so long the land south of the Gardiner as well as under the Gardiner was neglected, especially from a city planning point of view.  But now, the city is looking differently at that swath of land.  The far east elevated section between the Don Valley Parkway and Leslie Street was demolished in 2001 and there have been calls for the next section (Jarvis to the DVP) to be demolished as well.   There has been some controversy as to whether to demolish it or move it… and if move it, where to? I am not even sure what the plans are at the moment.   On the other hand, the western section of the elevated expressway (Strachan to Spadina) will remain standing.  Work is underway to refurbish the structure – the city doesn’t want any more stories of pieces of concrete dropping onto cars beneath!  Plans are being implemented to use the land under the Gardiner much more efficiently.  To make it work for the public.

The Bentway is the name that has been given to this new park, or public space, beneath the Gardiner Expressway from Strachan 1.4 kilometres east to Spadina. The first phase is due to open Canada Day 2017 and it involves the stretch between Strachan and Bathurst.  Many of you have probably driven on the Gardiner but do any of you know what is under it now?  Let’s take a look.

below: The Gardiner passes over Strachan Avenue which  in turn passes over the railway tracks.

bridge over a street, many orange and black construction cones down the center of the road, some pedestrians on the sidewalk

below:  On Strachan Ave looking west.   Condo development in this area has extended right to the railway line.  The Exhibition GO train station is in the distance.  You can also see the Gardiner to the left of the tracks.  Here the north side of the under part of the expressway is walled in and the enclosed space is used by Exhibition Place.  At this time there is no plan for the Bentway to extend this far; I have used this photo to provide more context as to the location of the park.

railway tracks in the center of the picture, condos on the right. On the left is the elevated Gardiner expressway, but under it is a concrete wall that makes it look more like a concrete building than a road

below: A closer look at the Gardiner on the west side of Strachan Avenue.  Maybe there is potential to expand the park westward? to Exhibition GO station? And by the way, those concrete structures holding up the expressway – those are called ‘bents’ and that is why the park is called what it is.

a dirt road runs alongside the Gardiner Expressway, some condos in the distance

below: This photo was taken as I stood on Garrison Common and looking towards Strachan Avenue.  This will be the western end of the new park. You can see the underside of the Gardiner as it passes over Strachan Ave which in turn is also a bridge.  This bridge once crossed the Grand Trunk Railway tracks that were built in the 1850s.  New entrances to the park are planned that incorporate the present sloped embankment of the bridge.

The elevated Gardiner Expressway passes over Strachan Ave which in turn has a bridge over what used to be a rail line. The bottom part of the bridge is covered with graffiti. The whole area is a construction site at the moment.

below: A quick aside:  It’s a slightly different angle, but here is a photo of the Strachan Avenue bridge from 1959, before the Gardiner was built.  I suspect that there has been upgrades made to the bridge since then.  Photo credit: R.L. Kennedy, found online (also a good source for the history of the Grand Trunk Railway in Toronto).  Garrison Common is to the right.

vintage photo from 1959, GTR tracks pass besidde Garrison Common park and under the bridge at Strachan Ave

Garrison Common is the green space surrounding Fort York.  It will abut (be continuous with?) the new Bentway.  Fort York is a National Historic Site and on its 43 acre site are original buildings from the War of 1812 as well as an 1813 battle site.  Did you know that the Americans beat us here in 1813 and controlled the city of York (as Toronto was known then) for a few days?

below: The new Fort York Visitors Centre is now open. There is still being work done both inside and outside, but it is open to visitors. For so long the fort was hidden away and difficult to get to; it is nice to see it receiving more attention.

entrance to Fort York, under the Gardiner, still a construction site but nearing completion

below: Jake from Park People, one of the groups helping to design the new park, stands under the Gardiner as he talks to a group of us on a tour.    Here, by Fort York, the Gardiner is the equivalent of 5 storeys from ground level, the highest it reaches as it crosses the city.

a man is standing in front of a group of people on a walking tour, he is standing under the Gardiner Expressway where it is 5 storeys above ground level.

below: Standing on the grounds of Fort York.  The Bentway will be beyond the stone wall.  You can get a good idea of the spacing between the bents.  These spaces are being referred to as ‘rooms’ and there are 55 of them between Strachan and Spadina.

from the grounds of Fort York looking south to the Gardiner and the condos built beyond it. Grass field in the foreground.

below: One obstacle is the fact that Fort York Blvd passes under the Gardiner on a diagonal.  Plans are to build a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the street.  Also in the photo, note the TTC bus – Fort York and vicinity are finally on a bus route.  Route 121 runs between the Portlands and Fort York via Union Station.

fort york blvd is in the foreground, a TTC bus and a car are on it, the Gardiner is to the right and a short condo building is in the background along with the CN tower

below: The section under the Gardiner Expressway between Bathurst Street and Fort York Blvd is not city owned. It is owned, and has already been developed, by the Onni Group who built the Garrison at Fort York condominiums on either side of it.  This is the eastern end of phase 1.

evening, low angle sunlight shines under the Gardiner Expressway where it has been developed with paving stones and some large rocks.

below: Northbound traffic on Bathurst passes under the Gardiner.

some traffic on Bathurst street on a rainy day, as the street passes under the Gardiner Expressway, condos on the right, construction hoardings on the left.

Phase 2 of the park’s development involves land between Bathurst and Spadina. This is an area that is undergoing a lot of changes at the moment, i.e. a lot of construction.

below: Immediately south of the Gardiner on the northeast corner of Bathurst and Lakeshore is a construction site.  Demolition of the old 1928 Loblaws warehouse building is now complete.  The facade of the old building was disassembled rather than demolished; after cleaning and refurbishing of the bricks, it will be rebuilt in its original location.  Two condo towers are planned for the space between Loblaws and the Gardiner.  Yes, more condo towers to face the Gardiner and add to the tunnel effect that you get when you drive on the expressway.

construction site in downtown Toronto, Gardiner Expressway runs behind the site, rubble in the foreground, a few remaining remnants of the old Loblaws building that was there, high rises in the background.

below: The development of this site is a collaboration between a number of developers.  I found a photo of one rendition (source) of what the space under the Gardiner will look like here in the future.  Public space including a cafe are part of the plans.  Check back in a couple of years to see what really happens here!

artist's rendering of what a planned development for under the Gardiner would look like, part of a larger condo and retail development.

below:  Standing on Bathurst Street, looking east along what will be Housey Street.  This is just north of where the Loblaws development (above) will be.  As you can see, you can’t walk there yet.

the elevated road, the Gardiner Expressway passes over a construction site on the right, a new street being built on the left.

below: Southeast corner of Bathurst and Fort York Blvd.  This is the section of land just north of Housey Street.  Construction hoardings and cranes – familiar sights in this area.  It also means that taking photos of under the Gardiner here are difficult!

late afternoon, long shadows, yellowish tint to the photo, looking east from Bathurst, south of Front, north of the Gardiner, wood construction hoardings with posters on it, many orange cranes, some condos already built, a woman jogging past, cars on the street.

below: Development north of the Gardiner between Bathurst and Dan Leckie Way.

construction site under the Gardiner, cranes and condos being developed on the left, CN tower in the fog in the distance.

Dan Leckie Way is a north-south road that runs under the Gardiner just east of Bathurst.  It is the western boundary of Canoe Landing Park.  This park is north of the Gardiner and the Lakeshore.

below: ‘Tom Thomson’s Canoe’, by Douglas Coupland sits at the highest point of land in the area; it’s almost at the same level as the Gardiner and is very visible as you drive by.   This park extends down the hill.

The end of a large red canoe, an artwork by Douglas Coupland called 'Tom Thomson's Canoe' sits in a park, high above the surrounding scenery. Looking southwest towards the elevated Gardiner Expressway and the condo developments south of it.

below: Looking the other way from the same vantage point. The street running under the Gardiner here is Dan Leckie Way . Up until this point the Lakeshore is south of the Gardiner.

The elevated Gardiner Expressway with traffic is in the middleground, some trees and parkland in the foreground, and condo developments in the background.

At Dan Leckie Way, the Lakeshore is still south of the Gardiner and the space under the expressway is wide open.   By Spadina, one major block east, the situation changes.   The Lakeshore splits and westbound traffic lanes go north of the Gardiner and eastbound lanes stay south.  Shortly after Spadina, the Lakeshore runs under the Gardiner and there is no room for any further development under the road.

below: Standing on Spadina, just south of the Gardiner and looking west.  Here there is a lot of road to cross for pedestrians on Spadina.  Not only has the Lakeshore split to run on either side of the Gardiner, but there are also ramps between the Gardiner and the Lakeshore.

major road with traffic under an elevated expressway in a city, long ramp from the upper level to the lower. Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto, at Spadina looking west

below:   Still on Spadina, and still looking west, but now under the Gardiner.  The space under the road is not as high as it was previously.  Its lower and darker and not as inviting.   It will be interesting to see what phase 2 of the Bentway development will look like in this space.  I am not sure when it will to be finished but I will keep an eye on it!

under an elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway, at Spadina.

As for the eastern Gardiner, what does that look like?  Well, that’s a whole other blog post!

 Project: Under Gardiner  On this site you’ll find detailed maps and diagrams of this area as well as information about the plans for the various sections of the space.