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Have you hosted a party to name Project: Under Gardiner?

Under Line? The Six Under? Bent Alley?
Waterfront Toronto’s collaborative campaign to come up with a permanent name for the project that will create welcoming public spaces under the Gardiner Expresseway between Strachan and Spadina avenues goes into phase two this week, as the long list of suggestions is handed off to a jury.
Temporarily called Project: Under Gardiner, the initiative would create 55 outdoor civic “rooms” formed by the Gardiner’s structure of columns and beams (also known as bents). Prompted by a $25-million donation from philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews, the 1.75-kilometre space would connect adjacent neighbourhoods and provide amenities like children’s gardens and performance stages. Waterfront Toronto has been hosting brainstorming sessions and has created a DIY Naming Toolkit to encourage Torontonians to throw naming parties. A week before the April 1 deadline, Waterfront Toronto had received more than 500 submissions, though that number’s expected to double by month’s end.
“Some folks have said, ‘I like the name Under Gardiner name, we should keep it,’ but we think there’s a lot more to draw from and we want to engage Torontonians in that larger conversation,” says Christopher McKinnon, manager of digital and social media for Waterfront Toronto.
While there have some whimsical suggestions—one name that came up during a school workshop was Shark Park—the words “under” and “line” have come up a lot. “Partly it’s a descriptive thing and partly it’s the influence of other high-profile projects in North America, specifically the High Line [in New York],” says McKinnon. “We’re also seeing trends related to The Six, which is the nickname for the GTA amalgamation” of the six boroughs. (Drake’s affection for the nickname The Six might also have something to do with it.)
A panel of judges will trim the list down to between three and five names that will be then put to a public vote in May, then presented to council for approval in June. The project itself is expected to be complete in 2017.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Christopher McKinnon
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