What should be the permanent name for the park under the Gardiner?

  • The Artery

    Votes: 12 7.2%
  • The Bentway

    Votes: 65 38.9%
  • Under Gardiner

    Votes: 51 30.5%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 39 23.4%

  • Total voters
    167

Torontovibe

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Ah, makes sense. But I still hope the City soon decides to do a bare-bones improvement to other parts of the Gardiner. Bay, York, Yonge, and Simcoe probably see +150k pedestrians walking underneath every day. The status quo of cold + dank + dark could be easily changed with paint, paneling, and lights into something a little warmer and welcoming. And not even just for peds, but drivers as well. IMO the whole underside of the Gardiner needs a basic aesthetic makeover. Nothing monumental and frilly, just some minor flair.
I'd also like to see the walkways under the railway lines renovated or at least creatively painted. They also have a big impact on people walking to the waterfront, along with the Gardiner underpass. The sad thing is, it would be so easy to make those spaces pleasant to walk through but the city does not want to spend the small amount of money to beautify them. It just takes a bit of imagination and $$$.
 

mrgrieves

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The Matthews' clearly have a lot of love for their city, but this seems like an awfully strange project to donate $25mm to (a lot of money!!). Especially because it is without precedent in a city with a very poor reputation regarding its urban parks and public spaces.

We certainly have a unique situation in this city where condos keep sprouting up next to the Gardiner. But I just don't know many people who enjoy spending time under noisy and polluted highway overpasses. There is probably also limited amounts of light, not ideal conditions for a park...literally a few metres away we have the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario.

I can appreciate this donation to the city but worry about the execution, and ultimately the effectiveness of this
project. I hope they prove me wrong!
 

Skeezix

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[...] it is without precedent in a city with a very poor reputation regarding its urban parks and public spaces [...] under noisy and polluted highway overpasses [...]

Aren't those precisely the reasons they are donating the money? To show leadership on an issue where we have not had great direction, to demonstrate ambition and innovation on a file where this city has been lacking in both, and to revitalize a public area that is too easily dismissed as hopeless.

ETA: I don't plan on making a habit of quoting Downton Abbey, but this quote is appropriate here:

"Because it's the gloomy things that need our help. If everything in the garden's sunny, why meddle?"
 

PinkLucy

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I think a lot of people have never been under the section of the Gardiner in question. It's much higher than along Lake Shore, and while you are still under the Gardiner, it's not dark and gloomy like the lower sections. It's also much more open and less noisy. It's a completely different beast in this section.

I think it's wonderful that the Mathews aren't content to put up with the poor execution of city parks and have decided to pitch in and see something done about it. And it's not without precedent -- these same generous donors were involved in the Music Garden, and that's turned out quite well.
 

the lemur

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The Matthews' clearly have a lot of love for their city, but this seems like an awfully strange project to donate $25mm to (a lot of money!!). Especially because it is without precedent in a city with a very poor reputation regarding its urban parks and public spaces.

We certainly have a unique situation in this city where condos keep sprouting up next to the Gardiner. But I just don't know many people who enjoy spending time under noisy and polluted highway overpasses. There is probably also limited amounts of light, not ideal conditions for a park...literally a few metres away we have the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario.

I can appreciate this donation to the city but worry about the execution, and ultimately the effectiveness of this
project. I hope they prove me wrong!

It sounds great; I'm just wondering what's behind the motivation to 'give back to the city' - for what? The fact that Wilmot Matthews made a bundle as an investment banker to Torontonians?
 

Tuscani01

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It sounds great; I'm just wondering what's behind the motivation to 'give back to the city' - for what? The fact that Wilmot Matthews made a bundle as an investment banker to Torontonians?

If you had more money than you needed, would you not consider the same thing? I can think of several pet projects throughout the city that I would want to help bring to life. No motivation needed other than myself.
 

Towered

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If you had more money than you needed, would you not consider the same thing? I can think of several pet projects throughout the city that I would want to help bring to life. No motivation needed other than myself.

Agreed. If I had money to burn, I would definitely donate to various projects in Toronto to beautify public spaces or create new ones.
 

AndreaPalladio

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It sounds great; I'm just wondering what's behind the motivation to 'give back to the city' - for what? The fact that Wilmot Matthews made a bundle as an investment banker to Torontonians?

Does the motivation matter, or outweigh the gift? Has anyone ever gone to Central Park, MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum, Bryant Park, the High Line, etc., etc., etc., and thought "The rich people who pay for this must be up to something! Things would be so much better if they hadn't given all that money."?
 

mrgrieves

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Regarding the motivation of the Matthews, TO Life interviewed Judy Matthews. She claims to have a background in civic activism (Stop Spadina) and has worked for the city and U of T in urban planning capacities. So the level of interest is there.

http://torontolife.com/city/six-in-the-six-judy-matthews/

When asked about the source of the money she said "My husband is an investment banker" lol

I would think there are better ways to "give back to the community". You know, say by donating to a hospital, local schools, a university or homeless shelter. Instead of improving space underneath a city highway. But its their money and they can spend it however they like. I'm just speculating, but it sounds like she wants to work and have her name tied to a cool project.

If anything, this project speaks to the city's failure in maintaining an acceptable public realm. Most of the condos in that part of the city are new, and therefore tiny. As a result I would think most residents are relatively transient. Those who stand to benefit the most would appear to be property owners and developers.
 

PinkLucy

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If you had more money than you needed, would you not consider the same thing? I can think of several pet projects throughout the city that I would want to help bring to life. No motivation needed other than myself.
Absolutely. During the presentations, I definitely thought that if I had a few million hanging around, I'd also love to leave a legacy project. We need more philanthropists.
 

T-Bor

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It sounds great; I'm just wondering what's behind the motivation to 'give back to the city' - for what? The fact that Wilmot Matthews made a bundle as an investment banker to Torontonians?

I don't really see why it's relevant either. No different in my opinion than the fact every hospital wing is named after its major contributor
 

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