The Young Leaders Initiative of the Urban Land Institute Toronto awarded the concept of the Dillon Consulting team entitled “Inundation” as the “Overall Vision Winner” in the Urban Ideas Competition this year. The team envisaged seven wide water channels leading north to Front Street. It also paints a radically different picture of the developed Toronto that we know of today. “Inundation” takes out large sections of the Gardiner Expressway and turns the elevated monuments into public downtown spaces. The rail corridor now serves as the foundation of a park system that links east and west “with local and regional transit flowing beneath.” The “Inundation” team is composed of Merrilees Willemse, Martina Braunstein, Kiran Chhiba, Mark Hillmer and Jay Leasa.
“Green Deck City,” a scheme proposed by Line Architecture Group was the “People’s Choice Winner.” The design assumes that in the future, there may be a need to build “self-sustaining cities ready to withstand all perils.” Meanwhile, Carolyn Rowan and Robyn Whitwham’s “ReVamp” was awarded as the “Site Specific Winner.” It rethinks the Gardiner Expressway as a network of links which Rowan describes as “like a synapse between the City and its Waterfront” and a “draft outlining the potential repurposing of orphaned or decommissioned infrastructure.”
While it did not get any acclaim, the “Shoreline Skyway” by University of Toronto’s Kyle Miller and Matthew Kelling was interesting in its own right. They conceptualized a cable car to run above the Gardiner Expressway. The cable car, which would bring passengers from Ontario Place in the west to the Don River in the East, would be six kilometers long and would travel at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour. It is set to make 11 stops throughout its route.