news from our new blue edge

April 2012


Canada’s Sugar Beach Selected as a Finalist for the AZ Awards


Canada’s Sugar Beach is one of two finalists in the Landscape Architecture category of Azure Magazine’s 2012 AZ and People’s Choice Awards. The whimsical urban park was selected by an accomplished international jury out of more than 620 entries from 30 countries and is one of 60 finalists in 14 categories.

AZ Awards are issued to designers and architects that have demonstrated exceptional creativity in achieving best concept and product designs. Designed by Claude Cormier + Associés, Canada’s Sugar Beach was built on what was a parking lot and opened to the public in the summer of 2010.

For the People’s Choice Award, Canada’s Sugar Beach is competing with Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden in China. Members of the public are encouraged to vote for their favourite. Deadline to cast votes is midnight Friday, May 4. The People’s Choice award winner will be announced at the AZ AWARDS gala presentation, which will take place in Toronto on June 7.



Visit Azure's website to vote for Canada’s Sugar Beach.


Queens Quay Revitalization Update


The revitalization of Queens Quay in the Central Waterfront is starting with Bell and Toronto Hydro infrastructure upgrades and expansion this spring. The long required utility upgrades are being coordinated by Waterfront Toronto as part of the overall reconstruction of Queens Quay. The goal of this coordinated effort is to streamline construction, achieve efficiencies where possible and avoid the need for intrusive construction activities once the new roadway and public realm are complete.

Starting in mid-May, Bell will be building new conduits and chambers between Rees and York Streets. Work will occur mainly on the north sidewalk and at some perpendicular crossings on Queens Quay.  Work on the sidewalk and roadway is expected to be complete in three months.   

Later this spring, Toronto Hydro plans to begin construction aimed at improving reliability and providing capacity for future developments along the waterfront. Toronto Hydro will undertake its work in three phases in coordination with Waterfront Toronto. Scheduling is currently underway to determine where phase one will begin. Waterfront Toronto’s construction on the roadway will begin this summer. The construction schedule, staging plans and timing are under review pending final decisions related to utility upgrades. These decisions will be finalized in May. 

Waterfront Toronto will hold a public meeting and open house to review the detailed construction staging plan and schedule in early June. In the meantime, Waterfront Toronto continues to work closely with business and resident representatives on the Queens Quay Construction Liaison Committee. Their input and feedback have been instrumental in the development of draft schedules.

The transformation of Queens Quay from Yo Yo Ma Lane – just west of Spadina Avenue – to Bay Street is expected to take about two years to complete.  This includes the replacement of TTC infrastructure, all utility upgrades and Waterfront Toronto’s work to revitalize the corridor.

TTC Update
TTC is undertaking track repairs at various locations on Queens Quay until May 7, 2012. These interim repairs east of Spadina Avenue will enable the safe operation of streetcars until the tracks are realigned and rebuilt during the revitalization of Queens Quay. During this period bus service will replace the streetcar. Read TTC’s construction notice for detailed information.


Port Lands Public Consultation


The second round of public consultation for the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative was held from March 31 – April 15. It included an open house information day, two identical feedback workshops and online consultation. A draft summary report and attachments written by the independent facilitation team of Lura Consulting and SWERHUN are available for download.   

The final Port Lands public consultation meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 15 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can also participate online at


Final Port Lands Public Meeting
Date: Tuesday, May 15    
Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building
Room 107, Constitution Hall
255 Front Street West



FCM’s Green Municipal Fund Supports Waterfront Toronto’s Pilot Soil Recycling Facility


Waterfront Toronto received a $350,000 Green Municipal Fund grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in support of its Pilot Soil Recycling Facility. Remediation efforts currently underway across the waterfront are expected to generate significant volumes of impacted soil and rather than simply ‘digging and dumping’, Waterfront Toronto is working to recycle contaminated soil. The goal is to clean and treat soil to an appropriate quality so that it can be used for redevelopment activity.

Waterfront Toronto established a pilot soil recycling facility in the Port Lands in 2010 to assess the economic and technological viability of recycling contaminated soil. The pilot confirmed the effectiveness and economic feasibility of soil recycling and allowed Waterfront Toronto to seek a private sector operator to finance and operate a long-term soil recycling facility.

The Government of Canada endowed FCM with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.


Construction of the Portland Slip Promenade Set to Launch


Waterfront Toronto will begin construction on a new section of water’s edge promenade at the Portland Slip in early May. The work follows repairs to the dockwall which were completed by the City of Toronto late last year. The new 8.4-metre wide granite promenade at the Portland Slip will help connect Queens Quay to Ireland Park, an often overlooked public space tucked behind the Canada Malting Silos.

Like the Water’s Edge Promenade between Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common, the promenade will feature a two-toned red and grey maple leaf mosaic pattern. A double row of native maple trees will line the promenade offering protection from winds and shade during the summer months. Expected to open this fall, the 123-metre stretch of promenade will begin at the lake and connect with the existing sidewalk just east of the Harbourfront Community Centre.


Underpass Park Construction Update


Final stages of work are underway to complete the first phase of Underpass Park, the sections of the park east of St. Lawrence and River streets. In recent weeks, crews installed skateboard obstacles in the eastern end of the park. The skateboard area is the final recreational space to be constructed. Recreational space which includes the already completed basketball courts and playful climbing structures utilizes about half of the park’s covered surface located under the overpasses.

Crews have also completed installation of the park’s extensive lighting system. Underpass Park will be lit by a combination of LED lighting on the columns, shielded in-ground and in-wall lights, and illuminated concrete ribbons at seating areas. One of the key features of the park’s design, the lighting system will create a variety of dynamic, colourful, illuminating effects.

Construction of phase two of the park, located between St. Lawrence Street and Eastern Avenue, is currently underway. Excavation work has started and will be followed by backfilling in the next few weeks.

Underpass Park will open to the public this summer.


Don River Park Construction Update


After a period of inactivity due to the cold winter months, landscaping construction has started again at Don River Park. Fine grading, grass field seeding and the planting of perennials, shrubs, and trees are already underway and will be completed this spring. The park’s irrigation system and the range fence installation are also set to begin this spring. Stair handrails and boardwalk handrails have already been installed and granite paving at River Square will begin to be laid next month.

While work on half of the park will be mostly complete in the next few months, Don River Park will not open until early 2013 when the entire park is complete.
The massive 7.3 hectare (18 acre) park is innovatively integrated into and built on top of the West Don Land’s Flood Protection Landform (FPL). The western half of the park which is built on the dry side of the FPL is almost finished. However, the eastern half of the park cannot be completed until the armoured slope portion or wet side of the FPL is complete late this year.

It is not possible to open portions of the park in 2012 due to access issues. The western mostly complete portion of the park is surrounded by construction activity. Almost all of the key entry points into the park and connections from the City recreational trails are located on the eastern half of the park which is not yet built. The park’s features and pathways are intertwined and require the entire park to be open to allow access and circulation.

River Street has been closed between King and Queen Streets and is expected to re-open in June 2012. This closure is allowing work to continue on the Flood Protection Landform and will also allow for the completion of surface modifications.


Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District Construction Update


Work on the Pan Am Athletes’ Village section of the West Don Lands is well underway and the mild conditions this winter enabled considerable construction progress. Installation of the subdivision’s deep site services including trunk lines for water and sewers is now complete. Fire hydrants have been installed and the new road beds have been built and graded. Next, will be the installation of an underground conduit which will provide power to street lights and light posts. Excavation work on the development site that will ultimately be home to the new YMCA and George Brown College student residence began in early March and is now complete. Currently, crews are pouring the concrete to form the buildings’ foundations. Over the coming months, the concrete structure will begin to rise out of the ground and a crane will be erected.

Cherry Street and old Eastern Avenue have been closed and work to remove the old road bed has begun. Work on underground services and utilities will begin shortly, starting with the deepest services such as sanitary sewers on the north end and storm sewers on the south. This work will be followed by more shallow services and will be completed with the installation of a new road bed, street car tracks and trees.

Cherry Street from Lake Shore Avenue East to Eastern Avenue is expected to be closed to pedestrians and traffic until the end of 2012. Old Eastern Avenue is expected to be closed to pedestrians and traffic until the end of summer 2012.  Public access to All City Storage at the corner of Eastern and Cherry Street is being maintained.



Building a Village
In January, Dundee Kilmer Developments was awarded a fixed-price contract to design, build and finance the section of the West Don Lands that will be used as the Athletes’ Village during the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

The Village project includes the construction of a new YMCA recreational facility, George Brown College`s first ever student residence, two affordable housing residential buildings and two market residential development sites, as well as the surrounding infrastructure and roads. 

These facilities will be built prior to the 2015 Games and used as the Athletes’ Village. After the Games, Dundee Kilmer will build three additional market residential development sites.

Dundee Kilmer has branded the development the Canary District. Registration is now available at


East Bayfront External Sanitary Sewer Construction Update


The external sanitary sewer work along The Esplanade between Scott and Church streets is postponed until the fall to accommodate patio season for the restaurants in the area. A temporary asphalt surface is in place until the fall when construction along the stretch will start up again to complete the full restoration. Official patio season begins May 1st but patios in the area are already open and welcoming patrons.

The first sections of the new storm sewer and the new sanitary sewer along Queens Quay from Lower Jarvis to Richardson Street are now complete. Construction of the new sanitary sewer will continue east along Queens Quay towards Lower Sherbourne until mid-June. Traffic controls on Queens Quay from Lower Jarvis to Richardson streets will be adjusted as the sewer construction advances east.  Part of the north bound lane is closed on Richardson Street at Queens Quay, but two-way traffic along Richardson is maintained.

Work on the new sanitary sewer is wrapping up at The Esplanade and Market Street and installation will now proceed east along The Esplanade to Lower Jarvis. This work is expected to be complete at the end of May.



West Don Lands Public Meeting - Save-the-date


Join Waterfront Toronto on Tuesday, May 29 for an update on current projects in the West Don Lands.
The meeting will feature a variety of short presentations. More details will be available in May’s newsletter.



West Don Lands Community Update Meeting
Date: May 29, 2012
Time: 6pm-8pm
St. Lawrence Hall
The Great Hall
157 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario


Jane’s Walk: West Don Lands and River Walk – New Time


Note: With the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon taking place in the West Don Lands area on May 6, the start time for the Jane’s Walk has been changed to accommodate the increased traffic flow through the area.

Tour Details

West Don Lands
The tour will begin at St. Lawrence and King Street. From there, the group will take a short walk past the Toronto Community Housing and River City development sites to look at River Square, followed by a glimpe of Underpass Park and the dynamic Don River Park, and lastly the site that will be home to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village. Waterfront Toronto’s James Roche, Director of Parks will be the guides for this portion of the walk. This section of the walk is fully accessible.

River Walk
The group will take a short walk back up to the Queen St. bridge and head down the staircase to the path along the Don River.  Mark Wilson, former chair of the Task Force to Bring Back the Don and current chair of Waterfront Toronto, will be leading this portion of the walk and will talk about the past, present and future of the river. The group will also be able to watch canoes in the annual Paddle the Don event. The walk will end at the Paddle of the Don event site at the Keating Channel where refreshments will be available. The long staircase down to the river from Queen St. could present accessibility problems.


Date: Sunday, May 6 at 11:00 am
Duration: 1.5 hours
Meeting Place: St. Lawrence and King Street
TTC Directions: 504 King Streetcar stop at St. Lawrence Street
End Place: Keating Channel and Don Roadway (for those who do the entire walk).
Accessibility: Partially Accessible
Parking Availability: Limited street parking
Please give yourself extra time due to marathon.

You do not need to RSVP for this event. Walk will happen rain or shine. Dogs are welcome but will need to be on leash.

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


History comes alive at Doors Open on Toronto’s waterfront


Torontonians will get to relive memories of events and activities that have shaped the city’s waterfront over two centuries at the 13th Annual Doors Open Toronto. Fifteen distinctive ships, two historic building and 100 never seen before archival images will be on display for the public during the Doors Open on Toronto’s waterfront event. Celebrating the historical, social-cultural and architectural excellence of our waterfront, the event is being held on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. Admission is FREE.

Doors Open on Toronto’s waterfront is organized by Queen Quay Terminal in conjunction with The Waterfront BIA. The event is an extension of the popular annual city-wide weekend celebration of Doors Open Toronto. This year’s theme “200 years of building the urban city” captures our city’s essence: its richness, diversity and complexity.

Please visit the Waterfront BIA’s website for more information on Doors Open on Toronto’s waterfront.


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