The Bentway Update (Spring 2017)
by Julian Sleath
Over the last couple of months I have been delighted to get to know the project better and to build relationships with our good friends at Fort York and others in the neighbourhood. I have also been busy building The Bentway team and would like to welcome David Carey as director of development and Ilana Altman as director of programming. It is wonderful to see the progress that has been made—we are all excited to turn this wonderful vision into reality.
Construction work is well underway. More than 50% of the earth moving is complete and later this month we will begin construction of our two main building structures—Strachan Gate, our main performance space, adjacent to Strachan Bridge, and the Skating Shed, which will house the skate trail operations, adjacent to the Fort York Visitor Centre. The contract to build the skate trail has been awarded and we are working hard to make sure that construction is on track for our projected opening for the 2017-2018 winter season.
We are excited to share the news that we have been given access to the north section of the car park at 800 Fleet, which we will turn into a green amphitheatre. A number of city departments came together to make this happen and we are immensely grateful to them all. This is a fantastic addition to the range of facilities at The Bentway and a great opportunity for additional outdoor programming.
We are also delighted that “WATERTABLE”, the public artwork by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, will be reinstalled in the fall of this year. The original installation—in 2009—provided a new way to look at the underside of the Gardiner Expressway and helped catalyse the thinking behind The Bentway. It inspires us to look at spaces that have traditionally been overlooked from a new perspective. This is our aim at The Bentway and we are very happy to see this work come to life again.
Julian Sleath was appointed CEO at The Bentway effective 27 March 2017.