Toronto unveils plans for $19.7M pedestrian-friendly bridge at Fort York

WATCH ABOVE: A two-part bridge to span rail corridors east of Strachan Avenue promises to connect Fort York and Liberty Village communities. Mark McAllister reports.

TORONTO — Cyclists and pedestrians living in the Fort York neighbourhood are getting some new-found relief, after a two-part bridge aimed at linking communities was announced Tuesday.

“It’s an investment in connecting our community together and creating a vibrant, mobile, livable downtown core,” Mayor John Tory said at the unveiling of the $19.7 million project with BUILD TORONTO President and CEO Bill Bryck.

“It will help to get people moving across Toronto and it’s an integral part of the city’s plan to revitalize and connect up the waterfront.”

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The two-part bridge will span across two railway corridors in the downtown just east of Strachan Avenue.

The first bridge will extend from South Stanley Park Extension on Wellington Street and end on the north side of Ordnance Triangle Park.

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The second bridge will begin on the south side of the Ordnance Triangle Park and extend over the south Lakeshore railway corridor, landing on the Fort York grounds.

Dufferin Construction Company will be responsible for the design and construction for the multi-million dollar project, which will be the first stainless steel project of its kind in North America.

The Fort York pedestrian and cycle bridge will be another addition to the blooming Fort York neighbourhood, which saw new 23,000 square-foot visitor centre added in 2014.

The 43-acre historic site is most notably recognized for its role in the War of 1812 in its defence of the Town of York.

The bridge was announced just one week after Project: Under Gardiner was unveiled, a multi-million dollar project that is aimed at transforming the space beneath the Gardiner Expressway.

“[The Fort York pedestrian and cycle bridge] is also a part of a plan to incorporate ambitious public space into a way that Toronto is growing and developing downtown,” Tory said.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2016 and is anticipated to be complete one year later in spring 2017.

With files from Mark McAllister