news from our new blue edge

January-February 2017


Toronto, This Is Your Waterfront

For more than a decade, Waterfront Toronto has been working diligently to make Toronto’s post-industrial waterfront a place for people. We’ve already completed more than 20 new and improved parks and public spaces, essential infrastructure to protect the city’s downtown – including the Financial District – from catastrophic flooding, and new neighbourhoods like the West Don Lands

This week, we released a new video that showcases Toronto’s waterfront like you’ve never seen it before. Watch it now on YouTube

At the heart of the video are the values we embrace as the stewards of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization. From planning and development, to designing and constructing, the transformation of the city’s former industrial waterfront into new communities and public spaces is more exciting than ever. When we started our work in 2001, our city’s landscape was very different. Now, more than fifteen years later, our mission remains the same:

Building new waterfront neighbourhoods that contribute to making Toronto a happier, healthier and more prosperous place for all of us.

Over the next decade, we will stay true to our values, while also tackling new challenges. We will go even further to redefine Toronto and remind us that we are a waterfront city. For a snapshot of what is to come, flip through our newly released 2017/18 Corporate Plan [1.8MB download]

Read our recent blog post to learn more. 


Waterfront Toronto’s Animating Our Waterfront program returns for its second year

Ecstatic dance performed by Irene Cortes, Mary-Dora Bloch Hansen and Zach Olesinski, as part of The Gata: Water Ceremony at Sherbourne Common. Photo by Connie Tsang.

Building on the success of last summer’s art in waterfront parks, we’re doing even more in 2017 to ensure that Toronto’s waterfront is a place for culture and creativity! Last week, we launched our call for proposals for summer arts programming. The Animating Our Waterfront grant program provides funding to individuals, organizations, collectives or groups that want to create free arts and cultural programming in waterfront parks and public spaces during the summer months. The objective of this program is to facilitate arts and cultural programming that celebrate public spaces and invite Torontonians and visitors to enjoy our waterfront. 

Applications will be accepted for presentations of dance, music, performance, literary and media arts, community-engaged artwork, and any combination of the above. Waterfront Toronto encourages proposals that incorporate themes like placemaking, civic engagement, education, health and wellness, and environmental issues.

Application Deadline: March 24, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.

Learn more about the program in our blog post - Fueling Arts, Culture and Creativity on Toronto’s Waterfront

For complete application instructions, please download the Program Guidelines [PDF - 900KB].


Sugar Beach Is Getting a Sugar Shack This Winter

On the first weekend of March Break (March 11-12, 2017) Sugar Shack TO is returning to Sugar Beach – bigger, better and sweeter than ever. 

There will be two Sugar Shacks serving up real Ontario maple taffy all weekend long. A food market will be selling a variety of maple infused treats and traditional sugar shack foods. The Sugar Shack bar will offer beer, mulled cider and specialty liquor. 

You'll also find a number of interactive ice activities for kids like an ice canvas to paint on, ice sculpture photo ops, battle of the chainsaws, ice carving demos and a giant ice Tic-Tac-Toe.

Bring your friends and family to this free community event and enjoy the beauty of your waterfront in wintertime. For more information, join the Facebook event or visit


Notice of Submission of the Gardiner East Environmental Assessment 

The City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto have completed the environmental assessment for the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design Study (Gardiner EA). As required under section 6.2(1) of the Environmental Assessment Act (Act) and according to the Terms of Reference approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on November 30, 2009, the Gardiner EA has been submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for review and approval.
The proposed Gardiner EA project involves changes to the existing Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to just east of the Don Valley Parkway at Logan Avenue. The City of Toronto Council endorsed the ‘Hybrid Alternative Design Three’ option as the preferred alternative design for the project. It includes the removal of the existing Gardiner-DVP connection and rebuilding of the connection along an alignment closer to the rail corridor. The preferred alternative design also requires the lengthening of the Metrolinx Don River/DVP rail bridge, removal of the Logan Street ramps and the addition of two ramps in Keating Channel Precinct.
As required under the Act, the Gardiner EA is available for public review and comment until March 17, 2017. For information on how to view the Gardiner EA and submit comments, please visit the project website:


Waterfront Transit "Reset" Study Phase 2 Begins

The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission and Waterfront Toronto is undertaking a multi-phase Waterfront Transit "Reset" study. The study is undertaking a comprehensive assessment of needs and options for transit improvements for the waterfront area. A Phase 1 study was completed in 2016 and a Phase 2 study is now underway. The study is anticipated to conclude in 2017 with a recommended waterfront transit network solution. 

In Phase 2, we will complete a travel demand analysis, functional transit design, undertake a comparative evaluation of alignments, and in coordination and consultation with stakeholders, identify a preferred waterfront transit network solution. A phasing plan and Business Case will be prepared that will take into consideration the potential strategic, economic, financial, deliverability and operational impacts of the proposed solution.

The next round of public consultations is planned for spring 2017 and will include online engagement opportunities. To keep informed of project updates, visit

The City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto have created a community liaison office for the Waterfront Transit Reset Phase 2 Study. The community liaison office is managed by Lura Consulting, a third party neutral facilitator. The community liaison office will keep a record of all correspondence and produce a report as part of the Phase 2 consultant report. General
public queries can be directed to:

Niki Angelis, Community Liaison Officer
416-410-3888 ext. 714


Call for New Members 2017 - Waterfront Design Review Panel

From the beginning, our mandate for a revitalized waterfront included raising the bar for excellence in design. In order to set new standards for architecture and design, we established the Waterfront Design Review Panel in 2005. The Waterfront Design Review Panel provides objective, professional advice to Waterfront Toronto and/or City of Toronto Planning staff about proposed public and private developments within the Designated Waterfront Design Review Area. Its role is to advocate for the highest quality outcomes for the citizens of Toronto on their waterfront. 
Waterfront Toronto's Design Review Panel is now seeking seven new members:

  • 1 Architects
  • 1 Landscape Architects
  • 1 Urban Designer
  • 1 Planner
  • 2 Engineers
  • 1 Innovation Strategist

Learn more about the Design Review Panel in our recent blog post, or visit our newsroom to learn more about the call for new members including eligibility and qualifications, and how to apply. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 4 p.m.

For complete application instructions, please download a PDF copy of the Call for Members 2017


In Brief


From the Archives: Sherbourne Common North & South
In this two-part blog series, we explore the transformation of Sherbourne Common from an industrial area into one of Toronto’s most unique public spaces. Learn more about wide open green spaces and innovative infrastructure in the south side of the park before heading to the north side to discover its active and engaging elements. Check out this From the Archives series on our blog…


Winning Team Selected for Public Art Installation at Aitken Place Park
We’re thrilled to award the public art commission for Aitken Place Park to the Calgary-based artist team of Caitlind Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Studio North. The artists have proposed an imaginative large-scale light projection installation that invites slow, contemplative interaction with visitors to the park. Learn more about the artists and the installation in our recent blog post.


Ice Breakers

Looking for a new and exciting way to experience the waterfront this winter? Head to the water’s edge and check out Ice Breakers - a free new series of outdoor art installations that has transformed the central waterfront!

On now until February 26, the exhibition is a collaboration between the Waterfront BIA and the team behind Winter Stations. You can find the Ice Breakers installations at Harbourfront Centre, HTO Park, Music Garden East, the Rees Street Parkette and the Peter Street Basin. 

Discover all 5 installations by downloading the #TOicebreakers app


Winter Diamonds by Platant is located at Music Garden East. Photo credit: Andy Barrow, SnapHappyExpat


Toronto Light Festival

This winter, come out of the dark and into the light at the Toronto Light Festival! This brand new event has transformed the Distillery Historic District into a huge open-air gallery, featuring the creativity of Canadian and international light artists.  

Run by the same folks behind the wildly popular Toronto Christmas Market, the festival will stay lit until March 12. You can embark on this free visual journey every night from sundown until 10pm – don’t miss out!


Image courtesy of BlogTO.


Family Day Activities

On Monday February 20, celebrate Family Day with your loved ones on the waterfront!

Evergreen Brick Works 
Time: 11am to 5pm
Activities: Enjoy lots of family-friendly outdoor activities like skating, fat bike rides and Nordic pole walking.

Cooper Koo Family YMCA 
Time: 8am to 4pm
Activities: A special Family Gym including the bouncy castle, sports stations, and more; Family Swim Time; a Family Yoga Class, and the Family Zone will be open with the climbing structure and arts and crafts stations. Joining fees will also be waived for anyone who signs up on Family Day! 


 Image from


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