news from our new blue edge

July 2011


Completed Sherbourne Common Now Open


On July 26, Waterfront Toronto celebrated the official opening of the completed Sherbourne Common, a unique waterfront park that seamlessly blends art and innovation. More than 200 members of community gathered on the north side of Sherbourne Common as the Federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Glen Murray, and Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly joined Waterfront Toronto Chair Mark Wilson to officially open the park.

Located in the heart of East Bayfront, Sherbourne Common is far more than the area’s main park. It is the first park in Canada to incorporate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility; and public art is integrated with the water infrastructure to create a public space that is as beautiful as it is functional.   

Sherbourne Common is designed to be both a city-wide destination and neighbourhood amenity for day-long and year-round use.

Along with the “Light Showers” water tower art sculptures designed by Jill Anholt, the newly completed north portion features a children’s playground, a grove of trees, plus seating and benches. The water towers are lit at night and, as people move over the bridge of the water channel, motion sensors trigger shifting light patterns in the water falling from the sculptures. The mesh veils of the art sculptures are designed to capture water in the winter to form unique ice patterns.


(Left to right). Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly, Waterfront Toronto Chair Mark Wilson, Ontario Minister of Research and Infrastructure Glen Murray, and Federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent officially open Sherbourne Common.

Children enjoying the playground at Sherbourne Common.

Media Coverage
A waterfront gem

Toronto Star, July 26, 2011
Sherbourne Common’s uncommon beauty
Now Toronto, July 26, 2011
Sherbourne Common opens in Toronto
Azure, July 27, 2011
See more coverage here.


Mimico Waterfront Park Phase Two Officially Starts


Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) together with the Governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto officially launched construction of the final phase of Mimico Waterfront Park on July 19.

Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Etobicoke, Mimico Waterfront Park connects people to the water across a lakefront area that historically has lacked public access to the waterfront.  When completed in 2012 the park will provide 1.1 kilometres of linear waterfront park space between Norris Crescent Parkette and Humber Bay Park West.

Waterfront Toronto opened the first 600 metre western portion of the park in 2008. The final 500 metres of the waterfront park will enable Torontonians to enjoy the lakefront west of Humber Bay Park West for the first time and will provide the missing link in the city’s waterfront trail system. The second phase of the park begins at Superior Avenue and is being constructed through a lake filling process along a narrow section of the existing shoreline. TRCA is responsible for planning and building the park.


(Left to right). TRCA CAO Brian Denney, Waterfront Toronto Chair Mark Wilson, MP Etobicoke-Lakeshore Bernard Trottier, MPP Etobicoke-Lakeshore Hon. Laurel Brotten, and Toronto Councillor Mark Grimes.

Media Coverage
Construction begins on last stage of Mimico Waterfront Park
City News, July 19, 2011
Second phase of waterfront park breaks ground
Inside Toronto, July 19, 2011
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to build second phase of Mimico Waterfront Park
Daily Commercial News, July 22, 2011


River City Now Under Construction


Construction has begun on the first phase of River City, the first private sector development project in the West Don Lands.  Phase One of the $300 million project by developer Urban Capital includes approximately 350 residential units in two buildings, one along King Street East and one on the east side of River Street.

Urban Capital’s construction team began mobilizing on site in early July.  Work is underway drilling concrete piles, which will extend down to bedrock and form part of the building’s foundation. Above-grade construction is anticipated to start this fall.

River City is to be built out in four phases and will ultimately include five buildings with more than 900 loft-style condominium and townhouse units as well as boutiques, stores and restaurants. Urban Capital will be launching sales of Phase Two later this year.

River City, which is designed by Saucier & Perrott and ZAS Architects, was named the 2010 Best High-rise Building Design by BILD, the Building Industry and Land Development Association. 


Don River Park Construction Update


Don River Park, the massive park being built in the West Don Lands on top of the area’s flood protection landform, continues to take shape.

The pavilion, a signature feature of the park, is nearing completion. Located at the highest elevation in the park, the distinctive pavilion is already gaining attention. The pavilion’s roof and soffit are complete and the canopy is being stained and treated with a clear coat to protect it from the elements. Flashing, thin continuous pieces of sheet metal installed to prevent water from entering a structure from an angle or joint, is being installed and the support columns will be painted shortly. Inside the building, fixtures have been installed in the bathrooms and drywall installation is underway, as is work on the remainder of the interior finishing.

Landscape and infrastructure work to support the park continues to progress. Rough grading and the layout of the central pathway, which runs south of the central lawn up to the pavilion, and the boardwalk that runs through the marsh to River Square are nearly complete. Installation of the pond liner, soil and landscape boulders that frame the marsh’s edge are also almost finished. Planting of marsh materials has begun. 


Construction of the pavilion in Don River Park.

Marsh construction underway in Don River Park.


Underpass Park Construction Update


Construction of Underpass Park in the West Don Lands continues to advance. In the section immediately east of St. Lawrence Street, the concrete seating benches have been installed. Pouring of concrete for pavement and the ribbon wall features continues. Manholes and underground piping for stormwater and sanitary services have been installed and installation of the park’s uplighting is currently underway.

Progress also continues on the portion of the park east of River Street. Subgrades have been established in preparation for final grading. Stormwater and site service connections will begin shortly.


Construction of Underpass Park.


West Don Lands Stormwater Infrastructure Update


Construction is steadily progressing on the West Don Lands stormwater treatment and management system.  

Excavation of soil and rock from the main shaft, located at 480 Lake Shore Boulevard, is complete to the elevation at the top of the tunnels, approximately 20 metres below grade.  The concrete forming and pouring of the walls of the main shaft has begun. Once the walls are finished a tunnel boring machine will begin work on the tunnels.

Auguring of the soil in the West Don Lands shaft north of the rail line is also complete, and concrete work on the walls will begin shortly.  

A marine contractor has been engaged to construct the storm sewer outfall portion of the system at the Keating Channel.  Once the contractor mobilizes, construction of the cofferdam system will begin. A cofferdam is a temporary enclosure constructed in the water to create a dry work environment. The cofferdam system is necessary to facilitate construction of the storm sewer outfall to the Keating Channel and will be dismantled after the work is completed.

The stormwater treatment and management system will service the West Don Lands community and the future North Keating portion of the Lower Don Lands. The 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 then undergo several stages of treatment before the treated water is sent through a tunnel to the Keating Channel where it will be discharged into Lake Ontario.


Reminder: Temporary Don Valley Trail Detour


A section of the Don Valley Trail is temporarily rerouted to facilitate the construction of the new West Don Lands stormwater treatment infrastructure system. The Trail is rerouted east of Cherry Street between the rail corridor and Lake Shore Boulevard and the portion parallel to the rail corridor is closed until completion of construction in early 2013.  Please see the Trail Detour Map below for further details.

There is 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.



Other West Don Lands Construction News


Mill Street

Work on the Mill Street extension on the east side of Cherry Street continues.  Concrete road base construction and the application of the base asphalt layer are nearly complete. The installation of silva cells and sidewalk construction is expected to be completed in August. Installation of streetlight poles and the completion of the concrete road base and base asphalt paving will then occur. 

Cherry Street

Utility relocation work continues on Cherry Street with the construction of utility chambers and duct bank structures to facilitate moving Bell, Rogers and Toronto Hydro services underground.  The work is focused on the south section of Cherry Street from the rail corridor to Front Street, and will move north as sections are completed. 


Construction of the Mill Street extension in the West Don Lands.



East Bayfront Sanitary Sewer Update


Waterfront Toronto has begun construction of the Jarvis Street section of the new sanitary sewer for the East Bayfront community. Crews are removing the pavement and have begun excavation of the sewer trench. As they reach the required depth a trench box support system, a box-shaped structure made of steel plates and braces, will be installed to support the trench walls while the sewer pipes are placed. The work will progress south along Jarvis Street from Wilton Street to Lake Shore Boulevard over the next eight weeks and will be completed by the end of September.

Work will start at The Esplanade and Scott Street and continue east to Jarvis street beginning mid-August until March 2012. The sanitary sewer is needed to support the build out of East Bayfront.

Construction is scheduled Monday to Friday, from 7:00am to 7:00pm. Pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle access will be maintained on all streets during construction. In certain areas, construction hours will be restricted during the morning and afternoon rush hours.


Queens Quay Boulevard Design Update


Waterfront Toronto has completed 60 percent of the engineering drawings for the revitalization of Queens Quay Boulevard from Lower Spadina Avenue to Bay Street. After an extensive series of meetings with stakeholder groups, City of Toronto and TTC staff and a public meeting, the detailed drawings have been submitted to the City for review. The project will transform the dysfunctional street into a grand boulevard on the waterfront.

The City’s funding commitment for the project is expected to be in place in September and then the first stage of construction can begin in the fall.


The public is invited to review the detailed design at our office. Please contact us at to arrange to see the drawings.


York Quay Construction Update


Excavation continues for the York Quay underground parking garage next to Harbourfront Centre and crews have begun to prepare for the construction of the parking garage.

During the last month, approximately 20,000 cubic metres of soil and rock have been excavated and construction crews are now 10 metres below grade in most of the construction site.  The majority of the excavation will be completed in August and the first stages of construction will begin. The construction will involve waterproofing of the excavated area, concrete works and the construction of the footings for the tower crane that will be used to move materials for the construction of the garage.


Excavation of the York Quay underground parking garage.


“Sail-In” Cinema Event at Canada’s Sugar Beach


To celebrate its 100th anniversary, The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) is holding North America’s first ever floating movie event, Sail-In Cinema in the harbour off Canada’s Sugar Beach.

From August 18 to 20, TPA will offer free movies projected onto a twenty-eight foot, two-sided screen so that moviegoers can enjoy water-themed movies from boats or from the mainland. Movies will start after dusk, at approximately 9pm, on each of the three nights.

In its first year Canada’s Sugar Beach has become a prime location for special events and has been the location of concerts, a Harlem Globe Trotter event and now films for the public.


Enjoy an outdoor movie at Canada's Sugar Beach.


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