Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to walk from the north of Trinity Bellwood’s Park to the south of Fort York using the Garrison Crossing Bridge, which opened earlier Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Tory, accompanied by Spadina-Fort York Coun. Joe Cressy and University-Rosedale Coun. Mike Layton, stood at the entrance of the bridge and cut the ribbon for the grand opening.

Tory called the bridge a “vital connection” that links “vibrant, local, and growing neighbourhoods such as King West, Liberty Village and Fort York.”

“Today when we have people who want to live downtown on either side of these rail corridors, it becomes crucial to putting structures in places that allow people to connect to each other and to connect to the vital open space and parkland, which is something people miss when they don’t have a backyard or front yard,” Tory said.

“This project was first proposed in the early 2000’s, but then voted to cancel it because of the expected cost of the project. In 2012 the council once again approved the project with a reduced budget of 19.7 million dollars, and early in 2014 city council approved the design,” said Tory.

Spanning over two rail corridors within the core of downtown, the full bridge required two separate installations, and construction started in spring 2016. The first bridge is 52-metres-long, which is the north side of the bridge. The south end of the bridge is 29-metres-long.

“Stainless steel has a higher strength than other traditional materials. This results in a structure that is lighter, more corrosion and weather resistant, and requires less maintenance, and that reduces its overall life cycle cost,” he said.

The bridge is ready days prior to Nuit Blanche, an overnight outdoor festival downtown on Oct. 5 to 6.

The project is the first stainless steel bridge to be built in Canada, and was led by CreateTO and Dufferin Construction Company.