Until six years ago, the neglected space under the elevated Gardiner Expressway in Toronto wasn't a place where people wanted to spend time. Now a half-mile stretch of the Under Gardiner is now filled by a winter ice-skating trail, new walking and biking paths, art installations, redesigned intersections, and an experimental garden designed to filter stormwater that runs off the highway. "When you're standing under the highway, sometimes you forget that there are cars moving above you," says Ilana Altman, co-executive director of the Bentway, a nonprofit that is working with the City of Toronto and residents on a plan to transform the rest of the area under the road, which covers more than four miles. The experimental gardens are temporary because the city will begin rebuilding the deck of the highway over that space in a couple years.

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