No matter how crowded Toronto is, there's always some free, unused space somewhere. Urban planners Marc Ryan, Adam Nicklin and Ken Greenberg are hoping to capitalize on one particular space in Toronto that is often overlooked: underneath the Gardiner.

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The Bentway, formerly known as Project: Under Gardiner, aims to take the 1.75-km stretch of empty space under the Gardiner Expressway (from Strachan Avenue to Spadina Avenue) and transform it into a social hub and interactive area. With plans to include farmer's markets, exhibition halls, aquariums, museums, gardens, and 55 outdoor civic rooms using the Gardiner's columns and beams, the entire space will be a covered by the highway directly above it.

Aside from protection against rain and UV rays, there seems to be other benefits to a roofed park. Studies have shown that air and noise pollution are reduced for areas below roads. New construction methods are also being deliberated to optimize the use of empty space for future projects. Perhaps the only downfall to this concept is the risk of potential earthquake events that may be dangerous; however, such issues aren't completely unaddressable.

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