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Bentway Staging Grounds Brings Plant Life Under the Gardiner

Bentway Staging Grounds

The new offsite project aims to extend The Bentway’s footprint eastwards through a network of walkways, benches and experimental gardens

By Joseph Cicerone
Photography by Samuel Engelking

As the season changes and cooler days creep in, a new discovery project in the city gives reason to spend time outdoors. A previously-vacant 20,000-square-foot space at Dan Leckie Way and Lake Shore Boulevard has been repurposed in The Bentway’s latest offsite project dubbed Bentway Staging Grounds. Designed by New York-based Agency—Agency and local architecture firm SHEEEP, Bentway Staging Groundscollects and leverages runoff water from the highway above to irrigate oversized planters in the space below.

Toronto Design
The project was completed in collaboration with Buro Happold (engineering), Neil Donnelly Studio (graphic design), and Brother Nature (horticultural consulting).

During its official opening event on September 18, The Bentway co-director Ilana Altman expressed that “The Bentway has always believed that the Gardiner can, and must, do more for the city,” The project’s dual-design aims to unlock a new public space under the Expressway while simultaneously discovering new strategies for water filtration and planting that could one day be applied across its length.

Adding a burst of colour to the otherwise bare lot, Bentway Staging Grounds is the most recent marker of the non-profit organization’s continued effort to extend the spirit of the iconic Skate Trail east and transform the Expressway into a better connector for pedestrians and cyclists, celebrating their procession to surrounding waterfront parks and trail systems.

The Bentway Staging Grounds

The Bentway Staging Grounds is a temporary installation set to remain in place until the initiation of the Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation by the City of Toronto, which is currently slated for late 2025. THEBENTWAY.CA

Categories: Urban Update

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