Softer City Opening Weekend at The Bentway

Photo by Brandon Ferguson.

Three days of art and events!

Opening Weekend: May 24 – 26, 2024
Get Tickets for the Opening Night Party
Season runs until October 6
The Bentway, Toronto

Let’s get together at The Bentway this summer! The Bentway’s summer 2024 programming brings the city back together in public space, with an Opening Night Party, community recreation, creative workshops, and an exhibition of free public art, Softer City, presented under the Gardiner Expressway. It all kicks off this weekend!

Toronto has been named one of the loneliest places in the country, but The Bentway knows that urban public spaces play a fundamental role in bolstering social connections and building community health. Their programming line-up this summer is designed to help Torontonians reconnect with the city and each other through a series of invitations: to hold hands together; to dance, draw, sing, and move together; to soften the barriers that separate us.

Summer Opening Night Party
May 24

The season starts with the Summer Opening Night Party on May 24. Come mix, mingle, and dance under the Gardiner. The evening culminates with a massive collective dance led by local queer line dancing icons, SPURS. And, be the first to see The Bentway’s new public art exhibition Softer City. It’s the must-attend party to kick-off summer! Tickets are $20.

Get tickets here


Photo by David Pike.

Softer City public art exhibition
May 24 – October 6, 2024
The Bentway
Free

The cornerstone of the season is The Bentway’s free public art exhibition, Softer City, a series of commissioned art installations, performances, and events that explore “softness” as a collective strategy for social connections.

Esteemed artists Nnenna Okore and Nico Williams transform the hard lines of the Gardiner by softening the concrete infrastructure with colourful Ankara fabric and traditional Indigenous regalia designs. Share space together and align perspective with Chloë Bass’ sculptural benches situated around the The Bentway Skate Trail. Sing into Toronto-based sound artist Heather Nicol’s Wind Ensemble where visitors can create their own choir and watch brightly coloured windsocks soar. And relax and fall back at Soft Fits, a playful lounge-scape under the trees facing Canoe Landing Park, created by WIP Collaborative and local teenagers.

Learn more


Softer City Curators’ Tour
May 25 at 2pm
May 26 at 2pm
The Bentway
Free

Be among the first to explore the Softer City outdoor exhibition by joining a curators’ tour on opening weekend. Learn about the inspiration behind the exhibition theme and come see how Softer City invites artists, architects, and designers to explore new approaches to social connection and soft encounters in our city.

Take a tour of the new Softer City outdoor exhibition, guided by Bentway curators Anna Gallagher-Ross (Senior Manager, Programming) and Alex Rand (Manager, Programming). Explore this series of public artworks installed along The Bentway Skate Trail. Learn about the inspiration behind the exhibition theme and come see how Softer City invites artists, architects, and designers to explore new approaches to social connection and soft encounters in our city.

Register for free here


About The Bentway

The Bentway works to ignite the urban imagination, using the city as site, subject, and canvas.

Anchored under Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and guiding its complex future, The Bentway is a growing public space, and much more. The Bentway is a new type of civic organization: a not-for-profit, powered by vital partnerships with the City of Toronto, residents, supporters, artists, city-builders, and dreamers. The Bentway is a catalyst rooted in experimentation, leading a creative movement to re-imagine the opportunities of urban spaces. ​

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The Bentway
250 Fork York Blvd, Toronto
thebentway.ca
hello@thebentway.ca

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Accessibility:
The Bentway is fully accessible. For more information, visit here.

The Bentway’s Summer 2024 season is generously supported by: Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Dream Community Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, Partners in Art, and RBC Foundation.