In 2003, to help protect city residents, a safety barrier – called the Luminous Veil – was added to the bridge following a national design competition.
Due to budget constraints, the lighting concept was not fulfilled. But on July 4, this additional and extraordinary component of the project will finally come to life - thanks to the City of Toronto’s Host City Showcase Program.
Created to honour the spirit and legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Games, the City council-endorsed Host City Showcase Program includes a variety of initiatives to improve and enhance various City services and programs.
One of these major projects is the illumination of the Veil by adding lights across the upper part of the bridge structure.
The design includes the installation of a dynamic LED lighting control system that uses real-time data from a weather sensor located on top of the Luminous Veil.
This sensor triggers changes in colour, rhythm and tone in response to wind direction, velocity and ambient temperature.
“The bridge will be transformed into a 500-metre canvas. It’s painting in time and light. It will never look the same,” project designer and artist Dereck Revington said. "There’s nothing like it in the world."
Revington also noted the unique engineering challenges of the project given the harsh Canadian climate.
“The dynamic lighting system needs to function 360 days a year even in arctic conditions, changing second by second, day by day, and through the round of the seasons,” he said.
Bridge: Historical significance
The Prince Edward Viaduct bridge is considered a key infrastructure project in Toronto’s history.
Built in 1919, the Prince Edward Viaduct was a major achievement in city building, serving to connect the central city on the west side of the Don River to the vibrant community developing along Danforth Avenue.
Special ceremony July 4
The Prince Edward Viaduct Illumination event will take place on July 4 at a Pan Am Games community torch celebration, complete with a surprise musical performance!
The lights on the historical landmark bridge will serve as a legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games for years to come.