news from our new blue edge

April 2013


Last Chance to Suggest a Name for Our Newest Waterfront Park


Waterfront Toronto and The Grid are making a final call for submissions for names for the city’s newest waterfront park. Submissions are being accepted online at Name That Park until 11:59pm on April 25th 2013.

Don River park looking southeast from pathMembers of the community are invited to submit their suggestions for naming the park, which has had the working name of ‘Don River Park’ due to its proximity to the Don River. The beautiful and innovative park will be the cornerstone of the revitalized West Don Lands and a year-round destination for community members of all ages and abilities to gather, exercise, play and socialize.

The goal of the contest is to select a name that reflects the park’s unique setting on Toronto’s waterfront in the heart of what will become one of Canada’s newest, most technologically advanced and sustainable communities.

A selection committee made up of a broad range of community representatives will create a shortlist of three to five names that will appear on the contest website for public voting from May 6 to May 17. The winning name will be announced on May 22, 2013 and will be declared official following approval by the city.

Designed by renowned landscape architectural firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the park is inspired by the site’s many inherent assets – its strong connections to the city, its proximity to the Don River, its unique ecological history and its position on top of the area’s flood protection landform. The design maximizes the exceptional topography and capitalizes on the unique landscape to open sightlines to the Toronto skyline, the Don River and beyond.

At 7.3 hectares (18 acres) the park is the largest in the area and will become the heart of the new community. Located between Bayview Avenue and the GO/CN railroad lines, from King Street to the rail corridor in the south, the park is leveraging essential public infrastructure to deliver a magnificent public amenity.



Lower Yonge: Urban Design Guidelines and Transportation Master Plan 


Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto will be undertaking two studies in the Lower Yonge Precinct: an Urban Design Guidelines study and a Transportation Master Plan Environmental Assessment (EA).  Located between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard and north of Queens Quay East, the Lower Yonge area encompasses about 9 hectares (22 acres) of prime waterfront land.
When complete, the studies will be used to inform the development of a Lower Yonge Precinct Plan led by the City of Toronto. The goal of this work is to provide Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto with the planning context required to develop policy and review development applications for these prime waterfront lands. 
The Urban Design Guidelines will include direction on blocks, streets, parks and public realm. It will also set out requirements for building form and how buildings are arranged. The Transportation Master Plan EA will develop the framework for the transportation infrastructure required to support the development of the Lower Yonge Precinct. The section of Harbour Street from Lower Simcoe to Yonge Street will also be considered.

Public consultation is an important part of this work. A public meeting, planned for late-May, will give neighbouring residents, businesses and other interested parties an opportunity to learn more about the project and provide feedback to the team. Meeting details will be posted in our calendar when available.




Coming Up: Jane’s Walk – Transforming Queens Quay


Join Waterfront Toronto on Saturday, May 4, to celebrate Jane’s Walk along Toronto’s main waterfront street.  Inspired by urban thinker Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walk is a series of walking tours designed to help people better understand the cities they live in. Last year, walks were held in 85 cities around the world.
The Queens Quay walk will begin at the Spadina WaveDeck at 1pm. During the walk, participants will learn more about the visionary design for Queens Quay from Waterfront Toronto’s Vice-President of Planning and Design, Christopher Glaisek and West 8 + DTAH landscape architect, Jelle Therry. As the walk moves east on Queens Quay, the group will see firsthand how construction is unfolding. Along the way, participants will see where 2.5 million pieces of granite will be installed for an impressive new promenade and how the new roadway will be reconfigured. There will also be time to climb Toronto’s must-see wavedecks and stroll along the water’s edge promenade at Canada’s Sugar Beach.
This is a rain or shine event and RSVPs are not required. More information is available on the Jane’s Walk website.

Walk Details
Date: Saturday, May 4, 2013
Time: 1pm
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes
Locations: Meeting Place – Spadina WaveDeck (Lower Spadina Ave. and Queens Quay)
Accessibility: Accessible

TTC: 509 Harbourfront Bus from Union Station or 510 Spadina 
Parking: Paid parking is available to the east and west of the Spadina WaveDeck (at Dan Leckie Way or Rees Street) 

Join Us to Celebrate the Improvements to Tommy Thompson Park


Join Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and our government partners as we celebrate the official opening of the improvements at Tommy Thompson Park on Saturday, May 11, 2013 as part of the annual Spring Bird Festival.

Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation have completed a number of improvements at Tommy Thompson Park as part of the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront. The project included significant natural restoration and habitat improvements, as well as enhancements to the park’s infrastructure. 

The three small buildings that make up the infrastructure project emphasize an unobtrusive design and comply with the city’s bird-friendly development guidelines. The buildings blend beautifully into their surroundings and are designed to improve park services and enhance visitor experience, while also supporting the extensive research conducted at the park.

The new staff booth features display space for park information and functions as an interpretation centre allowing staff to interact with visitors and provide park information. The environmental shelter is an outdoor amphitheatre nestled within a hill on the shore of a series of wetland habitats that functions as an outdoor classroom and observation area. The newly constructed Ecological Research Station is a much-needed upgrade to a facility that provides valuable information regarding the park’s 300-plus bird species. It will allow research activities to expand while also allowing for better interpretive and educational program opportunities.

Tommy Thompson Park is Toronto’s largest green space and provides critical stopover habitat for migrating birds. There have been 314 native species, plus 10 introduced, recorded to date at the park. At more than 250 hectares (618 acres) the park provides a unique urban wilderness experience and is visited by more than 250,000 people each year.

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival. A variety of activities will be offered for people of all ages and all birding abilities, including guided birding hikes (registration required), live bird banding demonstrations and great displays.


    An artist's rendering of the completed Interim Martin Goodman Trail and sidewalk.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Time: 9am 
Location: Tommy Thompson Park is located at the foot of Leslie Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard East. The celebration will be held at the new environmental shelter.
Accessibility: Main roads are paved and accessible to people in wheelchairs, however no accessible washroom facilities are available. 


TTC: From Bloor/Danforth Subway, take the 83 Jones bus from Donlands Station to Commissioners Street, and continue a short distance south. From Downtown, take the 501 Queen Streetcar to Leslie Street and then catch the 83 Jones bus south.
Parking: Free parking is available on Unwin Avenue or Leslie Street, and in the Tommy Thompson Park Parking Lot. 

For more information, contact Waterfront Toronto at 416-214-1344 or email or Toronto and Region Conservation at 416-661-6600 ext. 5770 or email

Save the Date: Doors Open – Queens Quay Revitalization


Join Waterfront Toronto and our construction partners on Saturday, May 25 for a unique Doors Open experience. Take a “behind the construction fencing” look at Queens Quay – one of the city’s most significant revitalization projects.
Perfect for families, construction and urban design enthusiasts, Queens Quay is this year’s only Doors Open location that will open up a construction site to give you a look inside. From huge sanitary sewer pipes, to new tree planting techniques, participants will be able to see, touch and learn more about what it takes to rebuild a major city street. It’s also the perfect place for kids to play in the sand and have a picture taken with the impressive construction equipment on the site. Don’t forget to stop at the construction trailer for a behind the scenes tour and a look at the massive construction drawings for the street.
Designed to transform Toronto’s main waterfront street into a world-class boulevard, the $110 million revitalization of Queens Quay Boulevard is well underway. Stretching 1.7 kilometres, from just west of Lower Spadina Avenue to just east of Bay Street, construction crews are completely rebuilding and revitalizing the area.

Doors Open on Toronto's Waterfront
Toronto's waterfront will be bustling with activity during the Doors Open weekend. Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the Toronto Police Marine Unit where a 16-vessel fleet handles rescue and response calls on Toronto's waterways. The William Lyon MacKenzie Fireboat will also be on display. At the water's edge, 15 ships will have their "gangways" open allowing visitors to tour some of Toronto's most majestic vessels. Back on land, at Queen's Quay Terminal, a unique photo exhibit featuring over 100 archival images will showcase the fascinating history of Toronto's waterfront. Doors Open on Toronto's waterfront is presented by the Waterfront BIA.



Event Details
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Time: 10am – 4pm
Eastern Construction Trailer (Lower Simcoe Avenue at Lake Shore Boulevard), Queens Quay Construction Site  (South side of Queens Quay at Lower Simcoe Avenue)

TTC: 509 Harbourfront (to Exhibition) bus from Union Station (Lower Simcoe stop)
Parking: Paid underground parking is available at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, enter at Lower Simcoe Street) 

At Queen's Quay Terminal, a unique photo exhibit will showcase the history of Toronto's waterfront.


Queens Quay Construction Update


In March, another construction milestone was met when Toronto Hydro finished its work in front of the Westin Hotel. This allowed Waterfront Toronto crews to begin the construction of the first new granite curbs and sidewalks on Queens Quay. By the end of June, construction and tree planting will be complete in the area and the new granite sidewalk will open.

Other recent construction highlights include:

  • Works is underway on the installation of a new watermain at Bay Street and Queens Quay. Work is expected to be complete by the end of May.
  • Crews continue the installation of a new sanitary sewer on the north side of Queens Quay. Waterfront Toronto is replacing aging sanitary sewers between York Street and Lower Spadina Avenue.
  • Toronto Hydro crews completed the construction of several new cable chambers including one at the southwest corner of Lower Simcoe intersection, one east of Rees Street and one east of the EMS Station (west of Rees Street). This work is part of a major upgrade of Hydro infrastructure on Queens Quay.

To receive detailed weekly updates, subscribe to our Queens Quay Construction Update.


Community Update Meeting

Join Waterfront Toronto for a detailed Queens Quay construction progress report.
Learn more about c
onstruction activities to date and our overall construction schedule, the types of construction to expect this spring and summer, and traffic management and TTC service.
During the meeting, we’ll also provide an overview of other Waterfront Toronto projects underway and take your questions.

Meeting Details

Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Harbourfront Centre, The Brigantine Room
235 Queens Quay West 


TTC: 509 Harbourfront (to Exhibition) bus from Union Station (Lower Simcoe stop)

Parking: Paid underground parking is available at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, enter at Lower Simcoe Street



East Bayfront Update: New Traffic Signal


Waterfront Toronto is installing a new traffic signal at Lower Sherbourne Street/Dockside Drive and Queens Quay East next to Sherbourne Common and George Brown College. The new signalized intersection will provide a safe pedestrian crossing for those moving between the north and south side of Queens Quay. Construction crews will install underground conduits and new traffic poles with signals over the next six to eight weeks. Associated work includes realigning the asphalt sidewalk on the south side and replacing it with concrete, as well as restriping the painted lines on the road and installing traffic signage. The new signalized intersection is expected to be complete and activated in late June.


Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District Construction Update


Installation of the subdivision underground hydro chambers and hydro duct bank continues in the West Don Lands, in the area to be used for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village. When complete, installation of underground electrical utilities can be completed, which will provide permanent power to the area by summer. The placement of underground conduit and foundation work for the street lighting is also in progress.

The installation of the underground services on Sumach Street between Eastern Avenue and King Street is now complete. Road reconstruction on the west side of Sumach Street will begin at the end of April. This work includes the removal of the existing road and sidewalks, excavation work, installation of retaining walls and landscaping. North/south access will be maintained along the east side of Sumach Street during reconstruction. Street parking will not be permitted during this time.

Road work on Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue has resumed. On Old Eastern Avenue, crews are now installing Silva Cells to support tree growth. On Cherry Street the installation of the concrete road base, concrete base for sidewalks and concrete curbs continues. 

Both Cherry Street, between Eastern Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East, and Old Eastern Avenue will remain closed to through traffic until summer 2013 to allow for the completion of the reconstruction projects. Access will be maintained to All City Storage. 

YMCA/George Brown College
At the YMCA, crews continue to erect the structural steel roof and expect to complete it in the coming weeks. At the George Brown Student Residence, crews are working to form the tenth floor of the east tower and the third floor of the north tower. Installation has begun on the building’s personnel and material hoist, a cage elevator on the outside of the building that will be used to hoist construction staff and materials up the building. 

Affordable Housing Buildings
At the Fred Victor building, crews are forming and pouring the floor of the mechanical penthouse, and the window wall has been installed from the second to fifth floors.  At the Wigwamen building, crews are forming the 12th floor and window wall installation has started on the second floor. The personnel and material hoists have been installed on both blocks. 

Canary District Condominiums
On the first market housing condominium, crews are forming and pouring the second floor slab on the north tower and the mezzanine slab on the south tower. The underground mechanical services have been completed.
On the second market housing building, the forming of the third floor slab in the north tower is underway. On the south tower, the forming and pouring of the vertical columns to the first floor and the installation of the underground mechanical services are in progress.

For more information on the Canary District Condominiums, visit the website at or the sales centre located at 9 Mill Street. 



River City Construction Update


Residents continue to move in to 47 Lower River Street, part of the first phase of River City in the West Don Lands.The installation of balcony railings on the west side of the building is nearly complete. On the east side of the building, installation of the railings will begin shortly. 

Work is progressing steadily at 51 Trolley Crescent, the larger building abutting King Street. Occupancy in this building is scheduled to begin in mid-June. The completion of interiors continues to progress with drywall installation having reached the 13th floor, the completion of flooring up to the 4th floor and kitchen installation reaching the 5th floor.

At phase two of the project, the installation of the caissons that form part of the foundation is nearly complete. Steel reinforcement piles are currently being driven into the ground. Following installation of the site’s crane, which is scheduled for mid-May, above-grade form work will begin.

To learn more visit, or visit the presentation centre at 554 Queen Street East (at River Street). 


Toronto Community Housing Construction Update


Toronto Community Housing’s three-building development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands continues on schedule, with occupancy for all three buildings slated for fall 2013. The 243-unit development will provide affordable rental units for families and seniors.

At the seniors building on King Street, brickwork has been completed and roofing work is ongoing.  Inside the building, interior masonry work, mechanical and electrical distribution and the installation of the elevators and drywall partitions continue. The installation of kitchen and bathroom tiles has begun. 

At the family buildings located between Lower River and St. Lawrence Streets concrete forming has been completed and exterior masonry work has begun. Inside the buildings, the wood structure and window installation has reached the 4th floor and mechanical and electrical distribution is ongoing.


Toronto Hosts Delegation in Bid to be Named World’s Most Intelligent Community of 2013


On April 17 and 18, Toronto hosted Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) co-founder Robert Bell as part of the city’s bid to be named the World’s Most Intelligent Community of the Year. During the two-day tour, Mr. Bell visited some of the city’s leaders in innovation, information and communications technology, including spending an entire day touring the waterfront area, which is emerging as a new hub of knowledge-based industries.

Toronto is one of seven cities from around the globe in contention to be named 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year by the New York-based ICF, which assesses cities on their broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation and digital inclusion. In June, one of the Top Seven is named ICF's Intelligent Community of the Year, based on a second round of analysis, site visits by ICF's co-founders and the votes of an international jury.  

The tour included stops at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, George Brown College’s Digital Media & Gaming Incubator, Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, and Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre at Pinewood Studios. For a full recap of the venues that the delegation visited, go to Waterfront Toronto’s photo album on Facebook.


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