Gardiner Expressway

This is what the Gardiner Expressway looked like being built

This is what the Gardiner Expressway looked like being built

The Gardiner is the expressway Toronto loves to hate.

Controversial from the get-go, it was initially built in stages between 1955 and 1966, completely transforming the city's waterfront.

When completed in 1966, the Gardiner extended from west of the Humber River to Leslie Street. Since then, there have been more than a few calls to demolish the highway, replace it with a tunnel, or to turn it into a park.

None of those have come to pass, and the highway still stands tall across Toronto's waterfront.

Here are photos of the birth of the Gardiner Expressway.

Gardiner Expressway

From the Toronto Daily Star in 1947

gardiner expressway

Across the Humber, 1956

gardiner expressway

Jameson to York Street section prior to construction, around 1959

gardiner expressway

Jameson to York Street early construction, 1959

gardiner expressway

Same area, later that year.

gardiner expressway

Construction near the Ex, 1959

gardiner expressway

1959, construction with Royal York Hotel in the distance

gardiner expressway

Construction, 1959

gardiner expressway

Dufferin Bridge, 1959

gardiner expressway

Below Dufferin Bridge

gardiner expressway

Aerial view, 1960, at the Humber River where the Palace Pier Condos and Arch Bridge are located today

gardiner expressway

Aerial view, 1960. This was the final nail in the coffin for Sunnyside Amusement Park, which was demolished to make room for the expressway.

gardiner expressway

Construction near Jarvis Street, 1963

gardiner expressway

Construction near Lake Shore Avenue East, 1963


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto loses out to Winnipeg on latest ranking of world's greatest places

Police are now ticketing cyclists for going too fast in a Toronto park

Toronto ferry undergoing major transformation that will be a first for Canada

Someone in Toronto is sending passive aggressive notes telling people how to park

Toronto is finally doing something about noisy Fast & Furious-style drivers

Toronto police seeking anti-lockdown bros who assaulted woman for wearing a mask

People condemn Toronto Police actions as more encampment protest footage emerges

Nearly 50% of people in Ontario say they won't hang out with unvaccinated friends