The City is responsible for the maintenance and inspection of more than 900 road, pedestrian bridges and structures, including 510 bents of the F.G. Gardiner Expressway.

From November 2-5, 2018, the F.G. Gardiner Expressway in Toronto closed for fall maintenance and improvements. This video tells the story of the work that was done.


The City ensures that bridges meet today’s standards and remains safe for vehicles and pedestrians into the future. The purpose of the work is to restore and preserve the structural integrity of the bridge, prolong the service life of the bridge, achieve conformity with the current Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code, and improve the durability of the structure as part of a bridge maintenance and improvement program. Bridge inspections happen in two, bi-annual inspection cycles. Cycle A includes 279 and Cycle B includes 649 bridges and structures. Information about the condition of the City’s bridges is available.


The City handles the maintenance and inspection of three expressways. The F. G Gardiner Expressway, The Don Valley Parkway and the Allen Expressway. The sole purpose of an expressway is to move traffic, travel speeds vary between 80 – 100 km/h. Traffic volumes exceed 40,000 vehicles each day.

The City performs a number of maintenance and rehabilitation activities every year on the Gardiner Expressway. Over the past decade, the City has spent nearly $75 million on Gardiner repairs and maintenance. Starting in 2013, the City has embarked on an extensive rehabilitation plan for maintenance of the roadway.

Keeping the expressway in a state of good repair is critical. The roadway is a key element of the city’s transportation system which sees people and goods travelling in and out of the city every day. That’s why Toronto council has approved about $900 million be allocated for roadway repairs over the next decade.

Currently, the rehabilitation on the Gardiner Expressway consists of the following:

  • visual inspections and controlled chipping
  • falling concrete incidents

Visual inspections and controlled chipping program

Standardized inspections of the Gardiner Expressway are conducted every two years, to comply with Ministry of Transportation standards. The inspections assess the condition of the various components of the expressway. Visual inspections of the underside and fascia of the structure are conducted twice per year. These visual inspections guide the city’s controlled chipping program where crews use equipment to remove potentially loose pieces of concrete cover from the sides or underside of the structure.

Falling concrete incidents

The Gardiner Expressway is a 50-60 year old structure.  There is the potential for pieces of concrete from the underside of the structure to become loose.  However, while these incidents are serious, it must be noted that they are in no way an indication that the roadway is not structurally sound.

After several concrete falls were recorded from the Gardiner Expressway in 2012, the City enhanced its inspection and controlled chipping program. The table below summarizes the calls received by the City per year since 2012 alerting of incidents of fallen concrete:

Year Calls Received Total
2017* 0 confirmed
2 unconfirmed
2016 3 confirmed
9 unconfirmed
2015 6 confirmed
14 unconfirmed
2014 4 confirmed
15 unconfirmed
2013 5 confirmed
19 unconfirmed
2012 4 confirmed
5 unconfirmed

* as of June 1, 2017

Additional information on the Strategic Plan for the Rehabilitation of the F.G. Gardiner Expressway is available.

Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design Study

The City and Waterfront Toronto (the Proponents) have completed the environmental assessment for the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design Study (Gardiner EA). As required under section 6.2(1) of the Environmental Assessment Act (Act) and according to the Terms of Reference approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on November 30, 2009, the Proponents have submitted the Gardiner EA to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for review and was approved on January 27, 2017.

The EA determined the future of the elevated Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East corridor, from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to just east of the Don Valley Parkway at Logan Avenue. Alternative solutions considered as part of the EA include: maintain, improve, replace, remove and an additional hybrid option that combines maintain, replace and remove alternatives.

On June 11, 2015, Toronto City Council approved Hybrid as the preferred alternative solution in the EA study. View the full decision history as well as staff reports. In March 2016, City Council then endorsed the ‘Hybrid Alternative Design Three’ as the preferred alternative design for the project.

Hybrid 3 includes maintaining the existing elevated expressway between Lower Jarvis Street and Cherry Street, removing the existing Gardiner-DVP connection and rebuilding the connection along an alignment closer to the rail corridor. The preferred alternative design also requires the widening of the Metrolinx Don River/DVP rail bridge, removal of the Logan Street ramps and the addition of two ramps in Keating Channel Precinct.

The Gardiner EA was available for public review and comment from January 27, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

Public review

Read the EA Report online.

A hard copy of the Gardiner EA can be viewed at the MOECC (135 St. Clair Ave. W., 1st Floor), Toronto City Hall Library (100 Queen Street West, Main Floor), Waterfront Toronto (20 Bay Street, Suite 1310), during regular business hours. An electronic copy of the Gardiner EA can also be viewed on the Gardiner East website Document Library or Participate page.

If you have any questions or need further information about this project, please contact the Facilitator’s Office at or call 416-479-0662.