Once-dead Fort York bridge ready to rise
Torontonians can now see images of the $19.7 million stainless steel bridge that will let cyclists and pedestrians skim over the rail corridor separating southwest downtown from Fort York.
The architectural renderings of the Fort York pedestrian and cycle bridge were released Tuesday along with news that Dufferin Construction Company, a subsidiary of Dublin-based CRH PLC, is building it.
Construction of what is actually a two-part, north-south span, linking the King St. W., Liberty Village and Fort York neighbourhoods, is expected to last one year starting next spring.
One bridge will span a south extension of Stanley Park on Wellington St. to the north side of future Ordnance Triangle Park. The other bridge will join the south side of Ordnance Triangle Park with the Fort York grounds.
Dufferin Construction says it is the first stainless steel bridge of its type in North America, and will be cheaper to maintain than those built with traditional materials.
“The two bridges work together visually in a Yin and Yang effect that enhances the notion of a single integrated crossing from Stanley Park to Fort York, expressing a modern, understated and elegant esthetic,” according to a statement from the construction firm.
The original bridge proposed for the gap was to cost more than $26 million and open by July 2012, in time for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
But in 2011 city council, led by fiscal conservatives allied with then-mayor Rob Ford, voted to cancel a plan to build the striking S-shaped span.
Councillor Mike Layton, whose Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina includes the bridge, was initially furious but later brokered a compromise for the cheaper alternative. Layton, whose wife Brett Tryon had a baby girl, Phoebe, on Monday, missed Tuesday’s unveiling but tweeted his approval.
Mayor John Tory applauded the “city building” effort, following last week’s news about a $25 million donation to animate the Gardiner Expressway underpass just to south, and lamented that such projects sometimes become a “political football.”