New exhibition examines the passionate discussions and debates of Toronto’s love affair with the water’s edge

July 31, 2014 | Media Relations

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Includes six visionary ideas about the future of the Gardiner Expressway

Thursday July 31, 2013 (TORONTO) -Toronto Public Library is pleased to announce a new exhibition, Dreaming Big, that examines the city’s relationship to the waterfront. 

Through art, architecture, design and media, Dreaming Big tells the story of Toronto’s waterfront: the history of passionate discussions and debates – of competing visions and proposals – and an inspiring glimpse into the future of our love affair with the water’s edge.   


Presented in partnership with Waterfront Toronto, Dreaming Big is the latest exhibition at the library’s TD Gallery, located on the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library. The show opens Saturday August 9 at 9 a.m. and runs until October 11, 2014. 


What:              Dreaming Big: Toronto’s Waterfront – 1852 to Tomorrow

When:             August 9 to October 11, 2014  

Where:            TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street – Main Level

Hours:              Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

                        Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

                        Sunday, 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (after Labour Day Weekend)


Exhibition Highlights:

From the library’s special collections

  • Personal scrapbooks of Frederick G. Gardiner
  • Design for the waterfront by John George Howard in 1852
  • View of the Yonge Street Wharf, 1887


From Waterfront Toronto

  • Visual concepts for re-visioning the Gardiner Expressway
  • An opportunity to see what the future of Toronto’s waterfront could be, and what it has been in the past


Media Preview:


Members of the media are invited for a pre-opening tour between 2 and 4 pm on Thursday, August 7, 2014.  Please contact Edward Karek at 416-397-5925 or  to reserve a spot.  Electronic images of gallery material are available upon request. 

Related Programming:


Six Visionary Ideas for the Future of the Gardiner Expressway

Waterfront Toronto held an international competition that produced six breathtaking designs for the future of the Gardiner. Christopher Glaisek, Waterfront Toronto’s Vice President of Planning & Design (and well known for his role in the rebuilding of lower Manhattan after 9/11) will host a panel of urban design experts to discuss how international design competitions fuel our imaginations and inspire us to build better, more beautiful cities.

September 16, 7 pm

Toronto Reference Library - Atrium


Watch for an announcement of the panel guests on September 16 and for additional programs.


Exhibit Tours:


August 13, September 17, October 8, 2 pm

August 25, 5 pm


About the TD Gallery in the Toronto Reference Library & TD Bank Group’s Collection of Contemporary Canadian Art


The TD Gallery is the main venue to showcase Toronto Public Library’s Special Collections, which document the cultural history of our nation. These heritage collections include books, manuscripts, art and artifacts collected by the library since its inception in 1884. The collections are available to everyone for viewing, during regular library hours, or online 24/7.   


About Waterfront Toronto


Waterfront Toronto is the public advocate and steward of waterfront revitalization. Created by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto is mandated to deliver a revitalized waterfront.


Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.




Media Contact/Media Image Reproduction:

Edward Karek, Communications Officer



Christopher McKinnon, Social Media Project Manager

Waterfront Toronto

416.214.1344 x219