By Christina McAllister and Nicole Williams
John Tory joined philanthropist and urban activist Judy Matthews to announced a $25 million dollar donation by the Matthews family for the project temporarily called “Project: Under Gardiner”
Matthews says the project’s main goal is to build a livable community under the Gardiner Expressway. She says the urban space is unused and wasted.
The project is intended to revitalize of the space and would include building skating rinks, promenades and farmer’s markets. “Project: Under Gardiner” would cover the between Strachan to Spadina avenue.
The money is dedicated exclusively to the development of the unused space, while Tory is expected to maintain the highway structure itself.
This is not Matthews’ first generous donation to the city of Toronto. She, along with her husband Wilmont, have donated to various city projects like the ROM, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Evergreen Brickworks.
The project’s proposal came with the condition that the development of the space is to be completed by 2017.
Tory says Matthews urged him to avoid delays to this project that has plagued some other city hall projects.