Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gardiner: concrete art

The sheer scale of many civil projects, like bridges and buildings, tend to make many objects art installations and not merely functional creations. Toronto's own space needle, otherwise known as the CN Tower, really makes the Toronto skyline. I look for the CN Tower as I come down from the Niagara Escarpment and feel comfortable knowing where Toronto is. The Gardiner Expressway is like that. One of my favourite views is down near the Air Canada Centre (above).
It brings thousands of people into and out of the City, day in and day out - except for maintenance or accidents, and it's raised presence has annoyed many people, but as I have said before, the highway is a lot smaller than the wall of condos that Toronto has built along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Part of the Gardiner along the far eastern reaches of Lakeshore Boulevard have a series of vertical supports left in place as an X marks the spot tribute and art installation of the Gardiner. One day it will be too expensive to maintain and too expensive to replace (or put underground) and it will come down, and that time won't be that far in the future. On that day we will miss it when it worked and how it looked when it worked.
In the downtown core the east and westbound lanes are separated by a small wall of vertical green fins. When you come in from the west you approach a wall of cranes as they construct new buildings which of course include many more condos. It's time to get your down payment ready and get a condo of your own, I think interest rates on mortgages are still low, low, low!

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