The east side of the Toronto waterfront is getting four new additions in the form of eye-catching bridges designed to look like steel sculptures.
The new bridges — collectively known as the Port Lands Bridges — will connect downtown to the not-yet-developed Villiers Island — a planned 88-acre residential neighbourhood on a new island at the mouth of the Don River.
Two of the bridges will sit at Cherry Street North, with one bridge dedicated to cars, bikes, and pedestrians, and the other for public transit. A third bridge will sit at Commissioners Street, and the fourth will be at Cherry Street South.
The Commissioners and Cherry Street South bridges will cross over the new Don River mouth that is currently under construction.
The first of the two Cherry Street North bridges arrived in Toronto back in November, and half of the Commissioners Street bridge is on its way to Toronto by ship from Nova Scotia and will arrive later this month.
According to Waterfront Toronto, these new bridges were designed with aesthetics in mind, wanting them to look like “steel sculptures.”
Using ship-building techniques, we’re making bridges for the Port Lands that look like steel sculptures. How did the design for bridges in the Port Lands evolve and why? Learn more: https://t.co/jLhjVExWrl pic.twitter.com/NCDPrEJbDj
— Waterfront Toronto (@WaterfrontTO) May 8, 2021
To get to their final design, they went through several iterations, with the first design concept for the bridge having it look like a metal tube with holes cut in it. After several changes to make the bridges appear more open, Toronto will now get four bridges with an open, sculpted, and sloping appearance.
Getting the metal to look this way, though, was no easy feat. According to Waterfront Toronto, the metal had to first be bent by a shipbuilding company in the Netherlands before being sent to Nova Scotia to be assembled.
“These ship builders have the expertise needed to bend steel into the unique shapes needed for the bridge shell,” Waterfront Toronto wrote in a blog post.
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Each of the bridges will be painted a vibrant colour on the inside. The Cherry Street bridges are red, while the other two will be yellow and orange.
It will still be a while before the bridges are open, though. The Port Lands project is expected to be wrapped up in 2024.