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Have your say: What would you name new 'Under Gardiner' space?

Last Updated Mar 2, 2016 at 1:24 pm EDT

The vision for "Project: Under Gardiner" includes a grand staircase at Strachan that doubles as seating for an urban theatre. Photo by Public Work via Waterfront Toronto.

What’s in a name? Everything. Especially when it comes to transforming a dreary stretch of the western Gardiner Expressway underpass.

Torontonians can have their say in naming the 1.75-kilometre “outdoor living room” slated to be completed next year. Last November, the city, along with Waterfront Toronto, announced a plan to transform more than four hectares, or 10 acres, under the expressway between Strachan and Spadina avenues in several public spaces.

The plan, which is temporarily called Project: Under Gardiner, will convert the area into an evolving space with up to 55 civic spaces – or rooms – that feature arts, culture, and recreation offerings including skating. It will also feature a multi-use trail and garden space for walking and cycling.

From now until May, Torontonians can “reclaim the name” of the Gardiner underpass by envisioning its potential and making the space their own. Yes, that’s the power of a name.

“Our city is ready for a new story about the Gardiner – one filled with hope and possibility. Let’s reclaim the name together,” the website UnderGardiner.com reads.

The project funding of $25 million was a gift from philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews.

Artist rendition of wintertime at "Project: Under Gardiner" near the Fort York Visitor Centre. Photo by Public Work via Waterfront Toronto.
Artist rendition of wintertime at “Project: Under Gardiner” near the Fort York Visitor Centre. Photo by Public Work via Waterfront Toronto.


The public brainstorming session starts in March and will be narrowed down to a shortlist in April. In May, residents get to vote on the name they love the most. And finally, in July, the city will announce the winning name and logo.

Residents are invited to have naming parties with fun activities that are suggested in this handy toolkit. There’s also a video to help come up with the (hopefully wining) name.

Some of the names suggested on the toolkit include: The Gardiner Galleries, The Pass, The Underway, or Room 55.

The city says construction on the project is expected to start in the summer of 2016, with the initial phase to be completed by 2017.