news from our new blue edge

April 2011


New Minimum Green Building Requirements Released


Waterfront Toronto has released updated Minimum Green Building Requirements that build on the organization’s original Mandatory Green Building requirements developed in 2006.

The new Minimum Green Building Requirements update existing requirements and incorporate additional categories to reflect changes in the marketplace and to address local and regional priorities.  The revisions also reflect the growing market acceptance of green building strategies which allows Waterfront Toronto to set even higher standards for waterfront communities.

They were renamed “Minimum” to encourage design and development teams to innovate and go beyond the thresholds set within the requirements.

A strategic tool for achieving sustainable development goals, the requirements guide Waterfront Toronto’s developer partners and increase the potential for the design and development of high performance buildings.

Among the changes are new requirements for water conservation and an increase in the energy efficiency requirement for buildings, from better than code to 50 percent efficiency. Also, three percent of a building’s total energy use will now need to be supplied by on-site renewable energy.

The new minimum requirements will ensure that waterfront buildings will be able to support electric vehicles. All parking in new buildings, both residential and commercial, must be built with the electric vehicle infrastructure roughed in. Plus two percent of the parking spaces in residential buildings must be fully built with charging stations for electric vehicles.

The new requirements will apply to all future development projects. 

Developers of existing projects must follow the earlier Mandatory Green Building Requirements and can elect to incorporate the new requirements as part of their design as voluntary innovations.

Review the updated Minimum Green Building Requirement.


Underpass Park Now Under Construction


Construction has stared on Underpass Park in the West Don Lands. The Park will be the most extensive park ever built under an overpass in Canada, and the first one in Toronto.

Construction started in early April with site mobilization. The park is being built in two phases, with the two sections adjacent to River City and Toronto Community Housing development being constructed first.  Construction of the third parcel on the west side of St. Lawrence Avenue south to Eastern Avenue is expected to start later in the year.

The section immediately east of St. Lawrence Avenue is being graded to bring the site to a sub-grade elevation.  This work is necessary to accommodate tree planting, footings for the ribbon seatwalls, and installation of play equipment and surface treatments.   Once complete, similar work will take place on the section further east and closer to the Don River.

Located under and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses, Underpass Park will be a key pedestrian link and a unique urban amenity in the West Don Lands. It will cover a total of 1.05 hectares (2.7acres) and include striking public art, multi-functional recreational spaces and playful climbing structures, as well as flexible community space and gathering places that will deliver a socially-engaging park for people of all ages. The first two sections of the park are expected to be completed in late 2011.


East Bayfront Sanitary Sewer Construction To Start 


Construction of the East Bayfront sanitary sewer project is set to being on May 2 along Queens Quay Boulevard.

The project, which will replace sewers along Jarvis Street and Queens Quay Boulevard and add a second sewer line along the Esplanade, will be constructed in three phases. The first phase will take place on Queens Quay between Jarvis Street and Sherbourne Street from May to October 2011.  Jarvis Street, from Queens Quay to The Esplanade, will be constructed from July 2011 to December 2011, and on The Esplanade sewers will be installed between August 2011 and March 2012.

The expanded sanitary sewer infrastructure is needed to meet the capacity required by the new East Bayfront mixed-use community.

Construction is scheduled for regular hours, Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm and two-way vehicle access will be maintained on all streets.


New and upgraded sanitary sewers will support the East Bayfront Community

Waterfront Toronto held a public information session about the planned construction and the presentation  is available on our website.

If you have questions or feedback about construction, contact Waterfront Toronto at (416) 214-1344 or


Canada’s Sugar Beach Will Be Even More Accessible


Waterfront Toronto is adding a new feature to Canada’s Sugar Beach that will better enable visitors in wheelchairs to enjoy the waterfront attraction.

Visitors in wheelchairs will be able to access the beach through a special ramp leading from the main pathway into beach portion of the park. The ramp will lead down to a four meter squared platform on the beach that features one of the park’s iconic pink umbrellas and Muskoka chairs.

While the park was built to City of Toronto accessibility standards, Waterfront Toronto decided to add the new platform to further enhance accessibility.


York Quay Construction Update


York Quay construction continues to progress with the recent completion of caisson wall drilling to create the watertight “bathtub” that will enclose the future underground garage.

Now that the wall is completed, tie-backs, which act to hold the walls back from toppling into the excavation, must be installed. Once the tie-backs are installed, the water inside the footprint of the garage can be extracted, following which all the soil and some of the bedrock inside the wall will be excavated.

The excavation should be fully underway in May and the work is expected to be completed by August. Once this stage is finished, construction of the garage itself will begin. 

If you have questions or feedback about construction, contact Waterfront Toronto at (416) 214-1344 or


West Don Lands Stormwater Infrastructure 


Waterfront Toronto is developing an innovative stormwater treatment infrastructure system to service the West Don Lands community and future development in the North Keating portion of the Lower Don Lands.

The system includes a series of pipes and tunnels, a main shaft and a treatment facility on the western side of the 480 Lake Shore Boulevard property.  

The management and treatment of stormwater, the water created by runoff from rain and melting snow, is a critical part of urban development. Stormwater needs to be collected and treated separately from sewage so that severe weather and heightened run off do not cause system overflows or backups, and to ensure that water is clean before it enters rivers and lakes.

Due to its age and previous industrial usage the West Don Lands lacks appropriate stormwater infrastructure, plus the area’s new flood protection landform has resulted in a new route for stormwater flows.

The new system will convey stormwater from the West Don Lands through a series of underground pipes and tunnels to the main treatment facility. The stormwater will undergo several stages of treatment where pollutants in the runoff will be removed and then ultraviolet radiation technology will be used to remove any bacteria present in the runoff.  Clean stormwater will then flow through a tunnel to the Keating Channel where it will be discharged into Lake Ontario.

The tunnel system is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2012.  

The treatment facility is designed to be an iconic stone structure which celebrates water and symbolizes traditional stone water wells. Designed by GH3, the building will feature a stainless steel structural support system and will be clad in limestone. Construction of the facility is expected to begin in late 2011 and be completed in early 2013.


Temporary Don Valley Trail Detour


A section of the Don Valley Trail has been temporarily rerouted to facilitate the construction of the new West Don Lands stormwater treatment infrastructure system.

The Trail has been rerouted east of Cherry Street between the rail corridor and Lake Shore Boulevard. The portion of the trail parallel to the rail corridor has been closed until completion of construction in  early 2013.  Please see the Trail Detour Map below for further details.

There will be ongoing construction activity in the area so please exercise caution while using the trail. Thank you for your patience as we construct this vital system of infrastructure.


Cherry Beach Sports Fields Open For The Season


The Cherry Beach Sports Field opened for the 2011 season in mid-March and will be in use until November 30. Built by Waterfront Toronto and opened in 2008, the two elite soccer and lacrosse fields are managed by the City of Toronto Parks Department and have become a core recreational destination for the waterfront.

This spring they hosted the third annual Jammer Classic Field Lacrosse Tournament , which saw more than 30 teams and 700 participants converge on the fields. 

The fields are also home to the Cherry Beach Soccer Club, a not-for-profit organization run by dedicated volunteers with in-depth soccer knowledge.  Founded by former professional soccer player Georgio Trikkas,  the club was established in 2009 to provide grassroots soccer programming for youth in the downtown Toronto. Visit the club’s website to learn more.


Cherry Beach Sports Fields

For information about booking the Cherry Beach Sports Fields call City of Toronto Customer Service at 311.


Jane’s Walk on the Waterfront - Reminder


See the transformation happening on Toronto’s waterfront first-hand by taking a walking tour of the East Bayfront and Lower Don Lands communities on May 8th as part of the annual Jane’s Walk event.

Jane’s Walk is a free annual event that celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring their neighbourhoods.

The East Bayfront and Lower Don Lands walking tours are being organized by dedicated community members who want to help promote the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.

You do not need to RSVP for this event. Walks will happen rain or shine.

To learn more about Jane’s Walk, please visit:


Jane's Walk May 8th
Tour Details

East Bayfront:  Meet at 11:00 a.m. for a tour of Canada’s Sugar Beach, Corus Quay, the Water’s Edge Promenade, Sherbourne Common and other exciting new developments along the eastern portion of the waterfront.  

Lower Don Lands:  Set off from The Historic Distillery District at 2:00 p.m. Walk along the Keating Channel with its industrial heritage and discover how this "brownfield" will one day be transformed into a vibrant new waterfront community and new Don River mouth.


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