If you’ve ever been to New York City and walked on the High Line, you were probably wondering why in the world a cosmopolitan city like Toronto doesn’t have something similar. Well, our day could be coming. Known more commonly as the Bloor Viaduct, it’s actually named the Prince Edward Viaduct and it could be undergoing a major revamp thanks to plans shared by Farrow Partners.
The plans start by extending the sidewalk into five lanes of existing traffic and there would be room for outdoor seating, events, and more. The plans reveal that three lanes will be for traffic with one that’ll be parking at off-peak traffic times. There will also be two bike lanes and a pedestrian precinct that is close to half the width of the viaduct, from the existing five lanes of traffic, flanked by bike lanes and a sidewalk.
All in all, it’ll be similar to New York’s High Line but on a smaller scale.
If you’ve ever walked the Bloor Viaduct, then you know that it’s not one of Toronto’s more inspiring outdoor spaces. This plan will certainly spice things up a bit and the plans even made space to connect it to the nearby Don Valley’s extensive trails.
“What the pandemic has shown us is that we need to reimagine our public realm to be friendlier and inviting to pedestrians, versus car-dominated streets,” Farrow Partners explain in its report of the project. “Co-creatively imagining and exploring varying ways that might make the Viaduct a more inviting and celebrated community place seem like a fitting challenge as we make our way out of the pandemic, through a shared and participatory discourse: about opportunities for health-oriented thinking at an urban scale.”
Time will tell if this project will even get off the ground — pun intended — and while it’ll be beautiful for folks to enjoy, no doubt it’ll annoy the drivers who’ll be forced to merge into just one lane each way.
Featured Image: Farrow Partners