For years, the area under the Gardiner Expressway near Fort York has been wasted space. But not anymore.
The Bentway skating trail officially opens to the public on Saturday morning but BT’s Adam Wylde got a chance to be the very first person to break in the ice one day early.
Do this morning I got robe the first person EVER to skate on the new #Bentway…
Honestly – SO COOL (and FREEZING) pic.twitter.com/K9HtO4Aj8w
— Adam Wylde (@AdamWylde) January 5, 2018
“We’re really excited. It’s obviously a bit chilly but we’re really excited to open this thing that we’ve been working so hard on for a couple of years, and open it to the community,” Sara Peel, director of operations for The Bentway, explained.
And after skaters work up an appetite they can stop for a drink and take in a little culture.
“It’s not just a skating trail. We also have a winter art exhibition, we have a Strongbow lounge where we’ll be serving hot chocolate and coffee as well as Strongbow and booze, to help you warm up,” Peel said.
The 220-metre-long figure-eight rink also comes complete with skate rentals.
Mayor John Tory said he’s hoping people from across the city come down to check out the new skating trail.
“There are 70,000 people who live around here who will use it but I hope people from across the city will come here, on the weekend, to see this because I don’t think they’re going to believe what they’re going to see underneath the Gardiner Expressway,” Tory said.
Tory says the creation of The Bentway is thanks to Wilmot and Judy Matthews, who donated $25-million to help build it.
Members of The Toronto Ice Skate Group b-boys were also on hand on Friday to give Adam a sneak peek into their performance that will kick, spin and headstand the opening of The Bentway.
The grand opening of The Brentway happens Saturday at 11 a.m.