news from our new blue edge

June 2012


Queens Quay Revitalization Construction Update


The revitalization of Queens Quay is now underway. Construction along the 1.5 kilometre stretch from just west of Lower Spadina Avenue to Bay Street will completely rebuild and revitalize the area both above and below ground. In early June, Bell began building new conduit between York Street and Lower Simcoe Street to relocate its existing fibre and copper network. The initial utility work is being coordinated by Waterfront Toronto as part of the overall transformation of the street. In July, Hydro crews are expected to begin their work which will replace aging electrical infrastructure and make system enhancements for current and future demand.

The first stage of construction, which includes the utility upgrades, is expected to be complete by summer of 2013. During stage one, crews will also build new storm and sanitary sewers and demolish and rebuild the TTC right-of-way and tracks. Stage two construction, which begins in the summer of 2013, will build the new roadway and granite sidewalks on the north side of the street. By early 2014, stage three construction will move to the south side where the granite pedestrian promenade and new Martin Goodman Trail will be built.

Major works are expected to be complete by the end of 2014. Final tree planting on the south side will occur during the spring of 2015.

Detailed project information is available at Waterfront Toronto’s Constructing Queens Quay webpage. The webpage includes a construction schedule illustrated by descriptive maps for each stage of work and information on how to navigate Queens Quay during construction. The site also includes an up-to-date weekly construction notice.

Subscribe now to receive weekly Queens Quay construction notices by email. If you missed the June 6 Central Waterfront Community Update Meeting, the presentations are available online.


Canada’s Sugar Beach Wins the People’s Choice


Canada’s Sugar Beach won the People’s Choice Award for best landscape architecture in the 2012 AZ Awards. The whimsical urban beach on Toronto’s waterfront earned more votes than Asia’s biggest botanical garden Shanghai Chenshan in China.

Azure Magazine, Canada’s leading contemporary design publication, announced the winners at its  second annual AZ Awards in Toronto on June 7. In April, design and architecture enthusiasts from around the world were invited to vote online for their favourite designs in 14 categories. Sixty finalists, from more than six hundred entries received, were selected by a prestigious international jury of architects and design professionals.

Canada’s Sugar Beach, designed by Claude Cormier + Associés, has already won several design awards including a 2011 Toronto Urban Design Award. Since opening in 2010, the East Bayfront park has become a popular waterfront attraction and hotspot for notable public events such as Toronto’s Wine and Spirit Festival, Luminato, and the Redpath Waterfront Festival.


York Quay Parking Garage Now Open


An innovative new underground parking garage which includes a natural lighting component is now open at York Quay at Harbourfront Centre. The new garage, built by Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre, replaced a surface parking lot on the site and enabled the area to be remade into new public space.

Construction of the new 300 space garage, designed by  Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates (MVVA) in partnership with Beyer Blinder Belle, began in March 2011 and was completed in just over a year. Later this summer, a stunning new art piece by James Carpenter, titled Light Cascade will be installed in the aperture of the garage. The art piece will be both beautiful and functional. It is designed to bounce natural light into the garage making the space more pleasurable and creating a natural way-finding system.

Waterfront Toronto, Harbourfront Centre and our government funding partners will hold an event later this summer to officially open the garage and break ground on new public squares that are being built on the site. 



George Brown College Waterfront Campus Construction Update


Construction of George Brown College’s waterfront campus is in its final stages in preparation for 3,500 full-time students beginning classes in September. Crews completed metal cladding work on the building’s exterior in early June. Work is also underway on interior finishing including painting, tiling and fit-out activities such as the installation of ceilings, internal walls, lighting, and office workstations.  Audio visual crews have begun installing AV equipment, and furniture and academic equipment will be delivered in July.  Interior finishing and substantial completion is planned for the end of July.

Waterfront Toronto is also working to complete a number of important infrastructure projects around the campus for the September opening. Crews are completing the eastern section of Dockside Drive which will connect to Queens Quay. Work is also underway on George Brown College’s laneway on the east side of the campus next to Sherbourne Common.  Crews are expected to begin installing silva cells this month to help promote mature trees along the laneway. On the lake side, crews are nearing completion of the installation of concrete pavers from the campus south to the granite mosaic of the Water’s Edge Promenade.



East Bayfront External Sanitary Sewer Construction Update


In early June, crews completed work on East Bayfront’s new sanitary sewer on Queens Quay. Work is continuing at the northern end of the project area on The Esplanade between Market Street and Jarvis Street. The final section of work on Jarvis Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street is expected to be complete in July. 

This important new sanitary infrastructure is needed to meet the capacity required by the new mixed-use community in East Bayfront.




Underpass Park Construction Update


Construction of the first phase of Underpass Park is nearing completion. Crews have begun installation of Mirage – the park’s public art piece. Designed by award-winning Toronto-based artist and architect Paul Raff, Mirage is composed of 57 octagonal mirrored surfaces attached to the underside of the Richmond/Adelaide overpasses. Each panel is slightly different in size and spacing to create a subtle sense of movement.

Mirage will reflect light and activity in the park and help make the space bright and inviting. The West Don Lands public art strategy set out Underpass Park as a high priority public art opportunity. Paul Raff was selected through an open public art competition to create an art installation to draw people into and through the park.

Work on phase two of the park, located between St. Lawrence Street and Eastern Avenue, is also progressing steadily. Crews are continuing with site excavation and placement of backfill and subgrade material. Site servicing, which includes the installation of stormwater and electrical connections, has begun. The footings for the park’s signature ribbon walls are also being installed.

Phase one of Underpass Park is set to open to the public in July. It will be the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first ever in Toronto.



West Don Lands Infrastructure Construction Update


The West Don Lands is a hive of construction activity.


On Old Eastern Avenue the asphalt roadbed and concrete sidewalks have been removed and site servicing work including the installation of storm sewers and manholes is ongoing.  Removal of old gas mains, ammonia lines, and creosote lines is also underway. The old abandoned pipe lines, installed when the area was used for heavy industry, need to be removed because they interfere with the new underground services.  

Removal of the asphalt roadbed and concrete sidewalks on Cherry Street is almost complete. Underground utility work is ongoing and includes the installation of sanitary sewers at the north end and the storm sewers at the south end.  Work also continues on the watermains and the removal of old ammonia and fuel lines. The below grade work is generally proceeding with the deepest work first and the shallowest work last. The final stage is surface installations such as asphalt, landscaping and the streetcar tracks. Cherry Street is a very complex infrastructure renewal program and has been designed to accommodate the eventual build out of the entire West Don Lands neighbourhood.

Installation of street lighting conduit and concrete bases for the street light poles is ongoing.  Next month will see the installation of the underground hydro duct bank and gas mains in the road network east of Cherry Street.


Toronto Hydro and Bell Canada’s new underground cables have now been switched over to the new duct banks. The entire West Don Lands will feature a network of underground hydro and communications cabling, which reduces maintenance costs in the long term and reduces emergency repair costs from trees knocking down the wire.  
Other ongoing work in the area includes the installation of a backflow preventer in the storm sewer. This mechanical gate prevents stormwater from backing up into the pipes when the Don River floods. Surface work on River Street north of King Street is scheduled to be complete this summer.

Flood Protection

Construction of the eastern side or wet side of the Flood Protection Landform is now underway. Large armour stones are being installed to protect the berm from erosion in the event of a major flood.


Pan Am Village Development Update


YMCA and George Brown College

The first tower crane at the YMCA/George Brown College residence construction site was installed and is now in operation. The second tower crane will be installed in late June.  Work continues on caissons and footings, foundation walls and columns.  Upcoming work will include the concrete pours for the basement and the columns from the basement to the ground floor.  The underground mechanical work such as the drains and sewer work is also set to start in June.

Affordable Rental Housing

Excavation is complete at one of the affordable rental housing development blocks and caissons are currently being drilled and poured.  The tower crane for the site is expected to be erected by the end of June. Excavation work is complete on the other block and caisson work is scheduled to begin this month as well.

Canary District Condominiums

Dundee Kilmer Developments has launched sales of Canary District Condominiums, the market housing that is being built as part of the Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village project. The first building, which is 369 units, offers a diverse selection of living spaces starting from the low $200,000s, and is located just steps from the Distillery District and Don River Park. The sales centre located at 9 Mill Street (at the corner of Parliament & Mill) officially opened its doors to the public on June 16th.



Toronto Community Housing Development Update


Construction continues on Toronto Community Housing's new affordable housing development located on the southeast corner of King Street East and St. Lawrence Street in the West Don Lands.  Foundation work and caisson drilling are now complete. The tower crane is in place and construction crews are now pouring concrete for the underground parking garage. When this phase of construction is completed at the end of June, crews will begin constructing the ground floor slab and other above ground level work.

The first affordable housing in the West Don Lands, the development will have 243 affordable rental units in three buildings.  The complex is designed to acheive LEED Gold Standards, which include: minimum 40 percent energy cost reduction, minimum 20 percent indoor water use reduction and incorporate three individual waste disposal chutes (organic, recycling and regular) in each building.


Union Station Construction Update


Waterfront Toronto is working with the TTC to expand the Union Subway Station and build a new platform on the south side of the subway tracks to improve and separate eastbound and westbound passenger flow.

The bulk of the construction work is happening directly beneath Front Street. As part of this phase, some traffic restrictions may be experienced in all directions of the Front and Bay Street intersection.
Crews are continuing with phased demolition of the station. To accommodate the second platform and concourse improvements, lightweight backfill material is being installed to support the roof and north wall. On street level, crews are moving forward with the relocation of underground utilities. Sewer relocation work is taking place in the moat which is the area between the railway and subway stations.

Work on the Brookfield tunnel has commenced. Selective finish, mechanical and electrical removals are underway.  Hoarding has been installed in the mid-point of the tunnel pathway to Brookfield Place to facilitate the building of a new automatic entrance, which will serve the east end of the newly expanded subway platform. One of the two existing collector booths at Union Station was relocated to the north side, in the vestibule between Royal Bank Plaza and the subway station.



Mimico Waterfront Park Construction Update


It’s been a busy few months of construction on phase two of Mimico Waterfront Park.  Ninety percent of the lakefilling and shoreline protection for the new portion of the park is complete; and rough grading of the 500 metres of the new waterfront trail, which connects to the existing phase one trail, is also complete. Additionally, decking and railing installation on the three cantilevered boardwalks has begun and the detailed landscape plan has been finalized.

Over the summer, the remaining lakefilling and shoreline protection at the eastern edge of the park area, adjacent to Humber Bay Park West, will be complete. Installation of the decking and railings on the three cantilevered boardwalks will also be finished. The gazebo will be lifted and placed onto new pilings at the shoreline edge.  Trail grading will continue in preparation for final trail surfacing in early fall. The landscape plan will be implemented, including the installation of trees and shrubs, trail surfacing and park lighting.

The new portion of the park is expected to open in September.



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