Toronto invites citizens to decide the future of the Gardiner Expressway

Restructuring an urban environment is never easy. Fifty different people will have fifty different opinions on what should be done - and sometimes the opinions are less than well-informed! While citizen involvement is desirable, it’s crucial that outreach strategies be relevant, educational, and user-friendly. That’s a tall order. What’s a public planning commission to do?


For the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto - co-proponents in an assessment and planning strategy for a heavily-used highway - finding the answer is supported by a website powered by EngagingPlans. Tasked with the incredibly complex challenge of deciding how to improve a large section of the Gardiner Expressway East, the city is reaching out to the public at every step through an informative website that encourages participation and feedback.

Visitors to the Gardiner East website will first get a sweeping glance of the whole project through a rotating banner that invites users to explore the four alternative solutions for the highway and to access the public forum for more detailed information. The project area’s history, current condition, and possible future are discussed using an attractive blend of articles, documents, maps, and charts. People can register for updates, follow the project on social media, or contact decision-makers directly through the site.

Gardiner East utilizes a variety of features from EngagingPlans, ensuring a dynamic user experience for every learning style. Citizens can view videos of recent public meetings, flip through a slide deck covering key points, peruse recent social media chatter surrounding the project, or walk through an interactive activity that uses a simple “thumbs up-or-down” format to allow the most popular ideas to rise to the top. All the while, decision-makers gain valuable feeedback and residents gain a sense of ownership and pride in their area as they learn and participate online.

Revitalizing an urban highway may not be easy, but EngagingPlans makes the process of public involvement and education a whole lot simpler. Build your own fully customized engagement website for your public project… it all starts here.