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Project: Under Gardiner announces members of the Naming Jury, the next phase in the Reclaim the Name campaign

Toronto, April 5, 2016 – Reclaim the Name, the naming campaign that is underway to create a new name for the public space under the Gardiner Expressway, is now entering its next phase with the announcement of the Naming Jury. The Jury consists of a diverse group of Torontonians from across the cultural, artistic, design, civic engagement and social activism fields. Their task is to sift through the hundreds of names that have been submitted, and develop a shortlist of three to five names that will then be voted on by the public in May.

With the naming submissions now closed, the campaign has received 884 suggestions, including those generated by over 480 youth from nearby schools and at 31 naming parties that reached everyone from preschoolers to seniors.

The Naming Jury members are:

  • Jane Farrow (Chair): Director of Learning and Participation at MASS LBP, Community Organizer and founding director of Jane’s Walk
  • Judy Matthews (Donor): Urban planner and philanthropist
  • Sabina Ali: Chair, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee, Jane Jacobs Prize recipient
  • Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml'ga't Saqama'sgw (The Woman Who Walks In The Light): Deputy Executive Director of the Toronto Centre for Community Learning & Development; Artistic Director of Red Slam Collective Indigenous HipHop Movement and TAC Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow.
  • David Balzer: Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Art magazine
  • Vass Bednar: Associate Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute
  • George Elliot Clarke: Parliamentary Poet laureate, E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature, University of Toronto
  • Mark Kingwell: Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
  • Amee Lê: Arts manager and cultural producer with Mayworks Festival and imagineNATIVE
  • Roberto Dante Martella: Owner of Grano restaurant, Jane Jacobs Prize recipient
  • Melony Ward: Publisher, Canada’s History magazine
  • Jesse Wente: Director of Film Programmes at TIFF

Biographies of each member are attached.

“Words and names have the power to upend meaning and change a story – and the Gardiner Expressway needs a re-write,” said Naming Jury Chair Jane Farrow. “I am excited and honoured to help steward the naming of Toronto’s next great place, hiding in plain sight, underneath the Gardiner.”

"We want this new public place to belong to the people of Toronto,” said Judy Matthews. “That's why we are asking all of you to help us name it. We can't wait to hear the name you finally choose."

“The jury’s work is important in engaging residents of our city on this transformational project,” said Ward 19 Councillor Mike Layton. “The many voices contributing to shaping Project: Under Gardiner will make this space all the better – and that includes a new name.”

“The name for this important new public space should reflect the diversity of voices and perspectives in Toronto,” said Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy. “I look forward to seeing which names this impressive jury of Torontonians will bring forward for a public vote.

The Project: Under Gardiner project team solicited recommendations for the Naming Jury, which aimed to assemble a vibrant group of community builders, volunteers, cultural leaders and engaged citizens who represent a cross section of creative, artistic and engaged Torontonians. Our final jury brings together respected ambassadors of Toronto’s many diverse communities. Jury member suggestions were reviewed and approved by the project team, which has representation from the donors, Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and the design team. The goal of this phase of the naming campaign is to ensure we navigate the complexities and richness of a wide range of name submissions as thoughtfully as possible.

Citizens can continue to be involved in Project: Under Gardiner through attending public consultation meetings, the first of which will be on April 7. You can also participate in our upcoming walking workshops, which will present an opportunity to learn more about the project and also provide your feedback and ideas to the project team. We’ll also start on-line consultations later in April.

About the Reclaim the Name

Reclaim the Name is a four-month campaign that started with an open call for ideas and ends with a new name, as voted on by the public. The campaign is a new way of thinking about how we name public space. Like the space under the Gardiner, the name should be unique to Toronto and stand the test of time as the city and the space itself evolve.

With the completion of Phase One, here’s how the rest of the Reclaim the Name campaign will unfold:

  • Phase Two – April
    Members of a Naming Jury will meet and select a shortlist of three to five names for public voting.
  • Phase Three – May
    Members of the public can vote for the name of their choice on the project website. The public’s favourite name will be presented to the Toronto City Council for review and adopted as the official name of the project. Public voting details will be announced in late April.
  • Phase Four – June
    The winning name will be confirmed and the project's logo and look will be updated accordingly. All of this will be announced in late June or early July.

About Project: Under Gardiner

A generous philanthropic gift from Wil and Judy Matthews is funding the creation of more than four hectares (10 acres) of new public space and 1.75 kilometres of multi-use trail beneath the elevated expressway from just west of Strachan Avenue, across the Fort York National Historic Site, to Spadina Avenue. This unprecedented philanthropic partnership represents a new, collaborative model for building high-quality public spaces in Toronto.

Project: Under Gardiner will transform the areas beneath the expressway into vibrant community spaces that will play host to a range of cultural programming – creating a new outdoor living room for the use of the 70,000 residents in nearby neighbourhoods and for visitors who use the many amenities and attractions in the area.

Project: Under Gardiner envisions a dynamic new public space that creates connections between some of Toronto's newest and most dense neighbourhoods, including Liberty Village, Niagara, Fort York Neighbourhood, CityPlace, Bathurst Quay and Wellington Place. The project will knit these communities together with innovative programmable spaces that will showcase Toronto's unique cultural and related offerings – history, music, food, theatre, visual arts, education and civics, dance, sports and recreation.

For more information, contact:

Christopher McKinnon
Public Engagement Lead, Project: Under Gardiner
Waterfront Toronto
Office: 416-214-1344 ext. 219
E-mail: cmckinnon@waterfrontoronto.ca

media kit

  • New Release (PDF)
  • Jury Member Biographies

For more information, visit www.undergardiner.com

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