news from our new blue edge

September 2014


Toronto to host 2015 Intelligent Communities Forum and Awards

As the current Intelligent Community of the Year, we will showcase what makes Toronto a global leader in creating economic opportunity through broadband economy.

In 1995, Toronto hosted the world's first Smart City event, under the name, Smart'95. Twenty years later, the Intelligent Community Forum is bringing the global movement’s annual conference and awards back to the city where it all began.
From June 9-11, 2015 leaders from across the globe will converge on our city to share the best practices in innovation and community development that are improving the quality of life in their cities. This event will offer Toronto a unique opportunity to demonstrate our strengths in areas such as urban revitalization, entrepreneurship, digital inclusion as well as our vibrant cultural scene.

In 2014, Toronto was named the Intelligent Community of the Year. Over 400 communities around the world competed for this prestigious award. This year, Waterfront Toronto, with participation from organizations across the city, will collaborate with the Intelligent Community Forum to build a compelling program for the 2015 Summit that demonstrates how our intelligent community approach is helping Toronto become as prosperous and vibrant as it can be. Watch our newsletter for additional information on this exciting initiative in coming months. 

Additional information on the 2015 Intelligent Community Forum Summit & Awards can be found on their website at

Do you have ideas that you would like to share with the Summit planning committee? Kristina Verner, Director, Intelligent Communities, Waterfront Toronto would love to hear them. Contact her at



Exploring the history of Toronto’s big waterfront dreams

Image courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and architectsAlliance from their 2010 design ideas proposal for the Gardiner Expressway. This design, along with many others, is on display in the exhibition.

Dreaming Big at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Canada Trust Gallery

Looking back at Toronto’s history, from the days of Muddy York to the gleaming glass metropolis of today, there have been plenty of plans – big and small – for Toronto’s waterfront. From parkland to housing to industry and back again, the people of Toronto have proposed and debated many ideas of what our waterfront should be.

One of the earliest to catch our attention – John G. Howard’s plan, sketched in 1852 – proposed a series of parks and public spaces that would run along the shoreline from Bathurst Street to York Street. Another sketch from just a year later plots the route of the proposed Grand Trunk Railway. Taken together, these two maps are symbolic of the very public conversation that Torontonians have been having for more than 150 years.

Torontonians have always considered the water a place for leisure and recreation (though perhaps our notions of what constitutes leisure and recreation have changed). At the same time, the waterfront has also been a place for industry and commerce. The notion that these things are necessarily in a kind of conflict can be a false one. This exhibition, Dreaming Big: Toronto’s Waterfront 1852 to Tomorrow is an exploration of just that. Our waterfront can be both.

Read more about the exhibition in this blog post.

Dreaming Big: Toronto’s Waterfront – 1852 to Tomorrow is on now until October 11 at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Canada Trust Gallery.



Corktown Common summer wrap up

A view of Corktown Common`s marsh area with the central lawn and the pavilion in the distance.

This summer, Waterfront Toronto officially opened Corktown Common. Two tremendously successful events celebrated this vibrant and inviting destination park in the heart of the emerging West Don Lands: a morning ribbon cutting with government partners, media and hundreds of community members, followed by a community picnic hosted with development partners Dundee Kilmer and Urban Capital. A special thank you to our development partners Dundee Kilmer and Urban Capital for generously providing the food and entertainment.

Missed the event? Check out the video for highlights of the day’s festivities and to learn how Corktown Common has transformed the West Don Lands neighbourhood. Love the splash pad? Visit Corktown Common before September 26th, when it closes for the season.

While not part of the Athletes’ Village, Corktown Common will be within the secure zone during the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. The park will be used by the athletes and officials as a place to rest, relax and train while participating in the Games. It is expected that the park will close in June 2015 and reopen to the public in late summer following the Parapan Am Games.



Lake Ontario Park early works

Environmental shelter at Tommy Thompson Park.

Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) have been busy identifying projects to realize the Lake Ontario Park vision. There are currently a number of important early works projects in various stages of completion underway.

A new Outer Harbour Recreational Node will be constructed to create an access point to the water for recreational fishing, birding and nature appreciation; new native trees and shrubs will be planted north and south of the Martin Goodman Trail this fall; and an invasive species control program to protect existing habitat and biodiversity in the Baselands at Tommy Thompson Park is underway.

The calm, cool waters at the east end of the Outer Harbour provide highly productive fish habitat making the area an ideal location for a new Outer Harbour Recreational Node to provide the public with access to the water’s edge. Construction of the new node will begin this fall. It will be located in the eastern basin of the Outer Harbour, adjacent to the Outer Harbour Marina Road, and will serve as a public access point to the waterfront, providing a safe and accessible space for recreational fishing, birding and nature appreciation. It will also provide a resting area for visitors to the Martin Goodman Trail and the Tommy Thompson Park trail systems. The new Recreational Node will officially open in spring 2015.

On the left: Location of new Recreational Node. On the right: An example of a Recreational Node at Eglinton Flats Park.

A couple of locations within the north shore park have been selected for native tree and shrub plantings this fall. The plantings will improve native plant biodiversity in the area and provide over-wintering habitat for owls and other wildlife. The project will focus on enhancing the general aesthetics along the Martin Goodman Trail, while improving native vegetation in the area. Planting will be completed by the end of October.

A program to control Dog Strangling Vine (DSV) in Tommy Thompson Park is also underway. DSV is a very aggressive invasive plant species that is spreading rapidly throughout the city. Over 7 hectares (17 acres) have been identified in Tommy Thompson Park and the Baselands. Dog Strangling Vine forms dense patches that overwhelm and crowd out native plants and young trees, preventing forest regeneration.

To protect existing habitat and biodiversity in the park, patches of DSV were treated with an herbicide to control the infestation. Because of its aggressiveness and ability to overtake native vegetation, multiple treatments will be required. The program will be monitored on an ongoing basis to identify when DSV shoots are no longer found in the controlled area. Once no longer present, the area will be restored with native plants.



Construction update: Queens Quay Revitalization

Over the last month, crews have continued to make progress on Queens Quay's new landscape features including the granite pedestrian promenade and sidewalks, and preparatory work for new trees and the Martin Goodman Trail. Work is also underway on the curbs and concrete bases for the new roadway west of Rees Street.

Other construction highlights include:

  • Finishing touches for the new streetcar corridor along Queens Quay are underway. Nearly all of the overhead wiring required for the resumption of service on October 12, 2014 is now complete. Over the next few weeks, shelters will continue to be installed on the platforms and streetcar testing along the corridor – including at the Harbourfront portal – will begin. A major milestone was reached last month when the 510 Spadina streetcar resumed service to the Spadina Loop.
  • In early September, crews working on behalf of Toronto Hydro returned to the site to complete the remaining underground construction. This work could not proceed until the TTC corridor was built in that area. Hydro crews are working on two underground chambers in the Rees/Queens Quay area. Once complete, they will move to the south side of Queens Quay at York Street to finish the final section of Hydro work.
  • Final connections for the new storm sewer at York Street and Queens Quay will also be completed this month. A three-week closure of York Street between Harbour Street and Queens Quay is underway to connect the newly installed sewer to the existing infrastructure to the north. For more details, please see our Special Notice for this work.

Keep an eye on Queens Quay construction looking east and west from Waterfront Toronto’s webcams.


A major milestone was reached when the 510 Spadina streetcar resumed service to Queens Quay.

Granite installation along Queens Quay, west of Spadina.

Need more information?
Thank you for your patience during construction. If you have questions send an email to or call 416-214-9990.

For urgent construction issues
Please contact Queens Quay Construction Liaison Officer, Robert Pasut at or call 416-505-3073.


Construction update: East Bayfront

Queens Quay East: Interim Improvements

Construction is now underway on a series of interim improvements designed to improve connections for cyclists and pedestrians in East Bayfront. The work, which is occurring between Lower Jarvis and Parliament Streets, will extend the Martin Goodman Trail through the area and will replace the current asphalt sidewalk with a wider concrete sidewalk. Crews began in early September with concrete and asphalt removals in two areas: at the head of the Jarvis Slip and between Bonnycastle and Small Streets. Over the next several weeks, crews will install granite pavers at the Jarvis Slip and begin preparations for the new concrete sidewalks and Martin Goodman Trail.

Bayside Toronto Development
Crews are continuing to work on the infrastructure required to support the new Bayside Toronto community.  Now that underground services are complete along the north-south leg of Merchants’ Wharf (the main street in Bayside), crews have begun landscaping work. At this early stage of work, landscaping includes excavations for soils cell and the associated irrigation system which will ensure the street trees in Bayside have the adequate volume of soil needed to mature and thrive. Crews also installed street light foundations in the area. The installation of most of the utilities and municipal services on the east-west waterfront leg of Merchants’ Wharf is also now complete allowing landscaping to move forward in that area.  

Structural concrete forming for the walls of Bayside’s 12-metre diameter stormwater management structure is nearing completion.  Work on the shaft structure, including the roof, is expected to be complete in early November. Crews have also been working in the roadway along Queens Quay to connect Bayside’s new watermain to the existing watermain which runs along Queens Quay.  The first connection is complete at Queens Quay and Bonnycastle Street and the second connection – which is located just east of Bonnycastle on Queens Quay – will be complete by the end of the month.

Municipal Infrastructure for East Bayfront Development
Major infrastructure work is underway to prepare for new development in East Bayfront including Monde which is located next to Sherbourne Common on the north side of Queens Quay. Hydro crews have nearly completed their infrastructure upgrades along Bonnycastle Street (between Queens Quay and Lake Shore Boulevard) allowing new storm and sanitary sewers to be installed in this area. Once the new sewers are in place, a new watermain will be installed. Work is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.


Rendering of the interim improvements for East Bayfront.

Soil cell installation, which promote tree growth are being installed along the main street in Bayside.

Pouring concrete for the walls of the stormwater management shaft in Bayside.



Construction update: Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District

Looking at Canary District/Athletes Village from the splash pad at Corktown Common.

Roadwork/Infrastructure work is nearing completion across the site. On local streets, concrete base and the installation of unit pavers and light poles is nearing completion. Installation of the remaining Silva Cells and tree planting continues along Front Street.
Reconstruction work on the east side of Sumach Street is also nearing completion. The median, sidewalks and other public realm improvements continue to progress. Installation of the TTC tracks within the loop south of Mill Street is planned for September.

YMCA/George Brown College
At the YMCA, painting and pool tile work is complete. Pool commissioning work to make the pool operational is ongoing.  At George Brown College’s student residence, interior suite flooring is complete and the carpet and base installation are underway in the corridors and common areas.  The exterior façade aluminum cladding is now complete and the commissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment continues at both the YMCA and George Brown buildings.
Affordable Housing Buildings
The fire alarm and commissioning process are in progress at both the Fred Victor and Wigwamen buildings. Interior suite flooring is complete and the carpet and base installation are underway in the corridors and common areas. Perimeter landscaping is ongoing and planting has recommenced.
Canary District Condominiums
On the first market housing condominium - Canary District Condominiums - mechanical and electrical installation continues to progress. The installation of the elevators is ongoing and painting, bathroom vanity installation and tile work also continues to progress. Balcony railing installation is complete and the installation of the balcony glass panels in underway.
On the second market housing building - Canary Park Condominiums - mechanical and electrical installations and the fire stopping and smoke seal installation are progressing. Window installation, elevator installation and roofing are nearing completion. Exterior finishes are underway. Terrace pavers, the granite base and exterior metal panels at the ground level are underway. Inside the building, suites are being framed and the gypsum board installation on corridor walls has begun. Interior prime-coat painting, the installation of interior suite doors, washroom tiling and bathroom vanities continues.  
For more information on the award winning Canary District or to view the live construction feed visit their website at or their brand new presentation centre located at 398 Front Street (parking available off Trinity Street). 



Construction update: Toronto Community Housing

The courtyard looking at the family building on Lower River, with the seniors building and River City in the background.

Progress continues at Toronto Community Housing’s three-building, 243-unit development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands. Landscaping, with the exception of the King Street streetscaping, is complete. Landscaping on King Street will be completed once the permit has been received.

Toronto Community Housing is currently scheduling move-ins with new residents of the seniors building. At the family buildings, the River St. building is 99% complete. A few minor deficiencies in the common areas were identified during pre-delivery inspections, which are being addressed. The St. Lawrence building is approximately 90% complete and pre-delivery repairs to address minor deficiencies are also underway. Toronto Community Housing has applied for the Occupancy Permits for both family buildings.



In brief

Public review period on Lower Don Lands Environmental Assessment Master Plan Addendum and Environmental Study Report
Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have completed the 2014 Lower Don Lands Environmental Assessment Master Plan Addendum and Environmental Study Report. This updates and amends the May 2010 Lower Don Lands Environmental Assessment Master Plan to align with the outcomes of the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative and the amended Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project Environmental Assessment. See materials...

Lots of excitement this past summer along the water’s edge
Enjoy this photo recap highlighting the best moments that happened on the waterfront during the sunny season. From Jane’s Walk to the Waterfront BIA’s “Gangways Open”, to the Redpath Waterfront Festival and our official opening of Corktown Common, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Take a look at our recap of some great events from the summer season...

Splash pads closed for the season
The first day of fall is quickly approaching and splash pads across Toronto will be closing for the season on Sunday, September 21, including Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common. The splash pad at Corktown Common, Waterfront Toronto’s signature park, will close on Friday, September 26. These closures allow for seasonal maintenance and preparation of the feature’s equipment for winter. Toronto splash pads will reopen summer 2015. See more information on these closures...


The public space debate: why it matters

Shawn Micallef, co-owner of Spacing Magazine hosts a conversation with artist Sean Martindale, Helena Grdadolnik of Workshop Architecture and March Ryan of PUBLIC WORK to discuss the building, planning and creation of engaging  spaces within the context of large-scale development. Each panelist will offer insights into questions like what brings streets to life - How do we create places that have life beyond buildings and cars? How can city-dwellers participate more in public spaces in diverse ways, and why does it matter? The panel will use waterfront projects like Queens Quay, as well as other local and international examples as case studies.


Co-presented by Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Public Library, as part of Dreaming Big: Toronto’s Waterfront – 1852 to Tomorrow.

Wednesday September 24th, 7 pm: Fort York branch, Toronto Public Library.


Fort York On Common Ground Festival and Visitor Centre Opening

On Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21, join Fork York as it celebrates the grand opening of the Visitor Centre with On Common Ground festival. The brand new 24,000 square foot facility - designed by Patkau Architects Inc. and Kearns Mancini Architects Inc., will help tell the Fort’s 200-year story and orient visitors to the entire 43-acre National Historic Site.

On Common Ground, a multifaceted festival of culture and community will animate the grounds of Fort York and the Visitor Centre with culturally diverse music, dance, theatre, multimedia installations, storytelling, crafts, community village, and local food. The grand opening celebrations and On Common Ground festival will give visitors the first opportunity to see inside this dramatic new landmark.




4th annual My Waterfront Photo Exhibit launches September 26

Explore Toronto's striking Waterfront through the original and inspiring images from some of Toronto's best amateur photographers. The Waterfront BIA’s 4th annual My Waterfront Photo Exhibit, launches September 26 with an Artist Preview Gala, honouring the finalists of the contest. Guests are invited to mingle with the artists and judges and vote for their favourite photo. The exhibit runs until November 2nd and is a diverse collection of images, showcasing people’s favourite waterfront experiences.


Check out all 50 winning finalists of the My Waterfront Photo Contest in Queen’s Quay Terminal (207 Queens Quay West).



Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Canada’s premier international running event returns to Toronto on Sunday, October 19, where thousands of runners will participate in the annual Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Come enjoy prime viewing and help cheer on the runners at one of 12 Neighbourhood Cheering and Entertainment sites along the course, where spectators can enjoy live music, entertainment and help raise funds for local charities. An accessible seating platform will be available for finish line viewing.


And be sure not to miss the free Running, Health and Fitness Expo taking place October 17-19 at the Direct Energy Centre.


Fall into autumn at Harbourfront Centre

On October 13, let your creative juices flow with Harbourfront Centre’s HarbourKIDS Fall 4 U; a one-day festival full of crafts, performances and fun. After each performance have your kids join a workshop culminating in a mini-showcase, led by the artists. In addition to this fall family festival, don’t miss NextSteps 2014/15, an exploration of community and dance through the best in Canadian performance. The season kicked off in September and three diverse, dynamic productions will be hosted this month at Harbourfront Centre.


From flamenco to Bharatanatyam, contemporary to large-scale group work, thought-provoking performance statements to family holiday favourites, NextSteps is the place to experience dance.


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