If you're a true Torontonian, you've experienced the fear as you walked, or even drove, through the Gardiner underpasses. It's no surprise that these underpasses are a bit outdated, and pedestrians often feel unsafe as they navigate the tunnels in attempts to get to the waterfront. However, the Waterfront BIA has just announced that they will be giving a facelift to these underpasses and will start Gardiner underpass renovations as soon as this month.
According to a press release, the Waterfront BIA is "taking lead to ReConnect the city to its waterfront" in its new Waterfront ReConnect Project.
Starting in October 2019, the BIA will work towards improving the Gardiner underpasses to make locals and visitors feel safe while trying to navigate to the waterfront. Of course, they are also working towards making the underpasses look a bit prettier too.
According to the BIA, they will be working on painting the underpass gold, and will also be adding quotes as a way to entertain pedestrians who are heading north and south throughout the confusing route.
So, instead of the dull and crumbling grey bents that Torontonians have grown used to, the BIA's bents will be painted a bright gold to help brighten up the space.
On top of that, they will also be working on making Vision Zero pedestrian enhancements to make pedestrians feel safer. These enhancements even include zebra crossings.
Yet, this is only the beginning. The BIA states that they are also planning on including lighting enhancements and greenery by 2020, to make the underpass even more welcoming.
These changes are meant to be temporary over the next 5-8 years before the Gardiner Rehabilitation is completed throughout the downtown core.
Throughout the next few years, the City of Toronto will be working on rehabilitating the entire Expressway to help keep it in "a safe and operable condition."
According to the Waterfront BIA, "The long-term vision of Waterfront ReConnect is to combine with those other visionary plans and have a new type of enhanced, people-first public space. This is the City of Toronto's opportunity to turn the Gardiner into one of its greatest assets."