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Vector Corrosion Services

Vector Corrosion Blog


Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation

June 19th, 2019    

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic, free-standing CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces, from the orderly oval of Queen’s Park to 400-acre High Park and its trails, sports facilities and zoo.

It also has some of the worst traffic in all of Canada, second only to Montreal.

February 2017 Global News study ranked Toronto #2 as the worst city for commuting in Canada, with an average 45.6 peak hours spent in traffic congestion. If you’re going into the city for business, the hours to avoid the grid lock is between 10AM & 3PM.

The biggest culprit behind all this traffic gridlock is the The Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway, commonly known as the Gardiner Expressway, that runs East/West on the very far end of the city.


The condition of the highway has deteriorated over the years. The highway has been described as an out-of-date, crumbling and frequently traffic-jammed freeway. Extensive repairs became necessary in the early 1990s, and significant commercial and residential development has occurred in the core.

Gardiner Expressway Decay.jpg

Above: Crumbling substructure about to undergo repairs.

As a result, the Gardiner has been the subject of several proposals to demolish it or move it underground as part of downtown waterfront revitalization efforts. A section east of the Don River was demolished in 2001. The City of Toronto commissioned a study of possible options for the segment east of Jarvis Street to the Don River and City Council voted in June 2015 to rebuild the section.

This presented an excellent opportunity for Vector Corrosion Technologies to promote the use of galvanic protection to prolong the life of concrete repairs. 

Haixue Liao, Business Development Manager for Vector Corrosion Technologies (VCT) in Southern Ontario, had previously worked with the MTO (I.e. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario) on earlier projects that now have a new life extension thanks to VCT’s Galvanode® DAS distributed anodes.

Galanode<sup>®</sup> DAS Anode.jpg

These large, custom-manufactured anodes are ideal for concrete repairs for bridge abutments, substructures, parapet walls and decks. They are commonly used for galvanic encasements, a process which strengthens and protects structures.

The proven benefits of these products and established relationship of trust with the City of Toronto allowed VCT and the City to move forward with plans to rehabilitate the Gardiner Expressway substructures at two locations, illustrated below.


The City assigned Doug Dixon of Doug Dixon & Associates (formerly of McCormick Rankin/MMM Group/WSP) as the design engineer for these repairs.

Liao worked closely with Mr. Dixon during the design phase to ensure the specific system met the performance and service life objectives for the project. Torbridge was the successful general contractor and Vector Corrosion Technologies' local offices in Mississauga provided turnkey cathodic protection design, technical site support and supply of the Galvanode® DAS anode system.

Gardiner Expressway Substructure RepairAbove: Repaired substructure.

The entire project will be completed in 2019. Be sure to bookmark the Vector Corrosion Technologies website to follow the restoration work-in-progress.