MIDTOWN YONGE BIA
HONOURING THE PAST, ANIMATING THE PRESENT AND GALLOPING INTO THE FUTURE
Midtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (BIA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, is bringing back the much-loved Iron Horse sculpture as a permanent public art installation. Upon completion, it will sit atop the Kay Gardner Bridge that crosses Yonge Street, just south of Davisville Avenue.
Part of Midtown’s Streetscape Master Plan, which is a public realm improvement and animation program, the original life-size 12-horse sculpture was designed by Robert Sprachman and brought him to prominence as a location-specific artist. Mr. Sprachman was the creator of the temporary installation unveiled on May 5, 1994, which remained in place until 1996. The permanent version will provide a dramatic visual reminder of the area’s railway history and will serve as an important new Toronto landmark.
“We are excited to bring back this much-loved public art installation that will denote the gateway to our neighbourhood,” says Jennifer Gittins, Board Chair, Midtown Yonge BIA. “Residents, visitors and new businesses alike will benefit from the transitions that will come with implementation of the Streetscape Plan we are embarking upon.”
The Kay Gardner Bridge and new Iron Horse sculpture at the southern entrance to Midtown Yonge leads to an impressive array of almost 280 member businesses (Find a Business) and local amenities. They span the gamut from restaurants, to retail venues, services and spas, and one of Toronto’s most extensive collections of dentists and other medical professionals. Frequented by members of the public from across the Greater Toronto Area, all of this is located within a quick stroll to a wealth of neighbourhood greenspace for the over 11,000 households already living here.
Midtown (Map) extends from the Kay Gardner Bridge at Merton Street, north to the Soudan Avenue, where plans are in the works for a new public park designed by multi-award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm – Janet Rosenberg & Studio. Mount Pleasant Road is the eastern boundary and Oriole Parkway the west. Over the years, the bridge morphed from an active part of the now defunct CN Beltline Railway into a well-used road crossing that is part of a 9 km, three-part cycling and walking trail system.