Bentway launches summer program Beyond Concrete

The Bentway has announced its Summer 2023 season, Beyond Concrete, presented under the Gardiner Expressway, running from May 26 to September 24.

As Toronto wrestles with important questions about the Expressway and its future, The Bentway invites the city to dive “beyond the concrete” and explore the nature of the Gardiner. Visitors will discover a thriving urban ecosystem beneath the highway, where human-made infrastructure intertwines with resilient flora and fauna, growing in spite of, and because of, the concrete.

“The Gardiner is so much more than the concrete, traffic, and debates we’ve become used to (in fact The Bentway has already helped reveal that),” says Anna Gallagher-Ross, Senior Manager of Programming at The Bentway. “We’re excited to be working with artists from Toronto and around the world to consider, in the midst of a rapidly changing climate, the ways in which urban nature and the built environment can co-exist, entangle, even collaborate.”

Beyond Concrete includes a collection of artworks, performances, parties, and conversations, including the first North American commission by Filipino artist Leeroy New. The installation emerges from the history of waste materials used as land fill to create the solid ground where the Gardiner now sits. Woven together with bamboo, living plants, and hundreds of locally-sourced discarded plastics it will transform the frontage of the Bentway/Fort York site.

A number of the program’s participating creatives explore interspecies habitats and collaborative design tools, including architect Joyce Hwang and artists Nerea Feliz and Alex Sheriff.

The program also includes the North American premiere of Brazilian choreographer Clarice Lima; new and existing works from Torontonian artists Lisa Jackson and Public Visualization Lab/Studio; a vibrant Opening Night Party on Friday, May 26; and an array of free talks, tours, and workshops.

The Bentway’s popular al fresco dining experience, Communal Table, and Roller Skating with SUSO Skate, also return.

Details about Beyond Concrete, including RSVPs and tickets to opening weekend events, are now available at