news from our new blue edge

August 2012


Toronto’s first Underpass Park officially opened in the West Don Lands


Several hundred community members, stakeholders and local children joined Waterfront Toronto and its government partners on August 2 for the official opening of phase one of Underpass Park in the West Don Lands.

Festivities included live music, skateboard demonstrations, full use of the park’s playground and official remarks by a distinguished group of government representatives including Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Peter Van Loan,  Provincial Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt Soo Wong, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Chair of Toronto’s Parks and Environment Committee Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly.

Underpass Park has transformed the derelict space beneath and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses into an unexpected and inviting community asset. It is the most extensive park ever built under an overpass in Canada and Toronto’s first.

The unusual spaces formed by the large concrete beams and columns have been fully utilized and transformed with interesting features and amenities such as striking public art, inviting climbing structures, two half-basketball courts and a skateboard park. Constructed in two phases, the first completed sections of the park are located between St. Lawrence Street and Bayview Avenue. Phase two of Underpass Park, located west of St. Lawrence Street to Eastern Avenue, is currently under construction and is expected to open in spring 2013. Visitors can access the completed portions of the park from River Street, south of King Street.

Underpass Park is already gaining wide popularity. It was featured in the September issue of Toronto Life magazine as the month’s “reason to love Toronto”.

Canadian Family magazine also used the park as the setting for its children’s fall fashion photo shoot. Watch the video from the Canadian Family photo shoot.



Enhanced Bus Service to East Bayfront  


The TTC’s 6 Bay bus route has been extended to better serve the new developments in East Bayfront including George Brown College’s Health Sciences Campus which opens in September.

From Bay Street, the 6 Bay bus will turn east on Queens Quay and travel to Dockside Drive. The bus will stop on the east end of Dockside Drive next to Sherbourne Common and on the west end near Canada’s Sugar Beach to drop off and pick up passengers.  The bus will then turn west on Queens Quay and travel back to Bay Street.

Starting September 2, there will be frequent service south of Union Station to the waterfront with 6 Bay buses running every few minutes during the morning and afternoon rush hour period. During non-peak times, buses will run approximately every six minutes.

The 6 Bay bus travels north and south along Bay Street between Dupont Street and the waterfront with stops at all major intersections and Union Station. The south bound bus stop at Union Station is on the west side of Bay Street just south of Front Street.

Until the eastern end of Dockside Drive is fully open and operational in September, the 6 Bay will temporarily turn south on Knapp Lane – a north/south laneway between George Brown College and Corus Quay. Between now and September 2, service south of Union Station to the waterfront will run approximately every 6 minutes during rush hour and approximately every 10-15 minutes during off-peak hours.



George Brown Waterfront Campus: Student Orientation


On August 28, student orientation begins at the new George Brown College waterfront campus in East Bayfront. Classes officially begin on September 4. Located on Dockside Drive, with stunning views of Lake Ontario and Sherbourne Common, the college’s Centre for Health Sciences features open and inviting learning areas and state-of-the-art learning labs.

Toronto residents will also benefit from the campus. Later this fall, the college will offer public access to a broad range of health care services including lower cost health, dental and wellness clinics. The campus bookstore and outlets featuring healthy food options will also be open to the public.

The campus brings 3,500 full-time and 450 continuous learning students to the waterfront, plus 600 permanent jobs. Construction on the eight-storey campus, which began in late 2009, resulted in 1,750 construction and post-construction development jobs.


York Quay Revitalization: Save the Date


Join Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre on Tuesday, August 28, as we celebrate both a groundbreaking and official opening for the York Quay Revitalization project. Together with our government partners, we will officially break ground on a series of dynamic new public spaces made possible by the construction of a new underground parking facility in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront.  

The revitalization of York Quay at Harbourfront Centre is a multi-phased project that is transforming the area into an even more dynamic waterfront destination. In phase one, Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre dramatically improved the water’s edge by widening the promenade, adding a wooden boardwalk and constructing two new finger piers. Phase two saw the construction of a new underground garage that replaced a surface parking lot. The next phase, which is currently underway, includes the creation of two new public squares on a 1.4 hectare site between Queens Quay and Lake Ontario.



Join us

Date: Tuesday, August 28
Time: 9:30am – 10:30am
Location: Harbourfront Centre (at the water’s edge next to Queens Quay Terminal – south west corner of the construction site).

For information: Please contact or 416-214-1344 ext.276.


West Don Lands Construction Update


Activity on the section of the West Don Lands that will be home to the Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village has significantly increased over the summer months and work continues to progress very well.


Work continues to be focused on the installation of municipal roads and services. On Old Eastern Avenue, the granular subgrade has been installed and the abandoned gas lines on the south side have been removed. On Cherry Street, work is ongoing to construct manholes.  Construction on the combined sewer output will begin shortly, with work starting at the intersection of Cherry and Eastern streets and then moving south.

YMCA/George Brown College Site

On the YMCA/George Brown College site, the majority of the waterproofing has been completed and the vapour barrier is currently being installed. Installation of the underground weeping tile system for vapours and water is currently being installed. Construction has begun on the YMCA’s larger pool with the pouring of forms and walls.

Affordable Housing Site

On the affordable housing site, waterproofing has been completed and concrete work continues with the pouring of vertical columns. 

Once complete, the installation of vapour barriers and the pouring of the slab on grade from the basement to the ground floor will commence.


Canary District Condominiums


Dundee Kilmer Developments has opened its sales centre for Canary District Condominiums, the market housing component of the Athletes’ Village project. The sales centre is located at 9 Mill Street (the corner of Parliament and Mill streets).  Sales for the development’s first building, which features 369 units starting from the low $200,000s, have been strong.


Visit the


Toronto Community Housing Construction Update


Toronto Community Housing’s 243-unit affordable housing complex in the West Don Lands continues to take shape. Located at King Street East and St. Lawrence Street, the development includes an eight-storey building for seniors and two low-rise buildings that will provide affordable rental housing for families.

The ramp to the development’s basement structure and structural work on the ground floor of the seniors building are complete. The second floor slab in the seniors building has been poured and structural work on the third floor has begun. In the family building, construction of the grade beams, which are part of the building’s foundation structure, is underway.


Union Station Second Subway Platform Construction


Construction of the second subway platform at Union Station is progressing steadily. Waterfront Toronto is working with the TTC to expand the Union Subway Station by building a new platform on the south side of the subway tracks to improve and separate eastbound and westbound passenger flow.

Construction activity is well underway at the platform level. The western portion of the second platform has been fully excavated, shored and enforced. Utilities have also been isolated and protected.

The new stair area, located in the east end of the existing subway platform, has been enclosed with hoarding and crews have started demolition work inside the hoarded area. New footings and columns have been installed adjacent to the stair area to support the subway roof.

Siphon sewer relocation is ongoing in the moat, the area located between the railway and subway stations, with completion of the west manhole and the lower portion of the east manhole.  The temporary by-pass piping and pumping to allow for the installation of a new sewer is underway with excavation within the moat following in September.
The Union Station second subway platform project will be complete in 2014.



Tommy Thompson Park Construction Update


Improvements at Tommy Thompson Park are almost complete. Built by Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation, the improvements include new infrastructure designed to maintain the park’s urban wilderness character while furthering the enjoyment, management and interpretation of the park. The project also includes significant natural restoration and habitat improvements, such as the creation and enhancement of wetlands, embayments and aquatic and terrestrial habitat.

The infrastructure improvements include the construction of three small buildings designed to improve park services, enhance visitor experience and support the research conducted at the park. The Staff Booth features display space for park information and functions as an interpretation center allowing staff to interact with visitors and provide park information. The environmental shelter is an outdoor amphitheatre nestled within a hill on the shore of a series of wetland habitats that functions as an outdoor classroom. The Ecological Research Station replaces the old bird banding structure. The new research station is portable, allowing it to be moved to be in close proximity to the mist nets used to capture birds and will allow research staff to engage in a wider range of research activities.

The only remaining work to be done is the installation of permanent power and plumbing in the staff booth, and installation of the sliding steel mesh screen for the booth’s windows, which are scheduled to be completed in September.


Image of the staff booth at Tommy Thompson Park.


Butterfly Festival

View the park improvements and celebrate monarch migration at the 4th annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival.
Date: Saturday August 25, 2012
Time: 10am-3pm

Visit to learn more.

Tommy Thompson Park is Toronto’s largest green space that provides critical habitat for butterflies. More than 55 species have been recorded to date at the park.

Tommy Thompson Park is located on the Leslie Street Spit. The 250 hectares (618 acres) park receives close to 250,000 visitors per year.


Mimico Waterfront Park Construction Update


Construction of phase two of Mimico Waterfront Park, which connects people to the lakefront in a part of Etobicoke that historically lacked public access to the waterfront, is nearing completion.

A project of Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation, the second phase of the park includes a 500 metre long section of the waterfront trail, a 250 metre cantilevered boardwalk, a separate multi-use trail, small pockets of wetland habitat, landscaping and park lighting. It is expected to open to the public this fall.    
The placement and grading of topsoil and the installation of the single row of armour stone at the north end of the trail area is complete. Landscape edge stone has been installed in the planting bed east of the gazebo.

Electrical conduit in the west area of the site has been roughed in and back filled, and electrical contractors have started digging a trench for the conduit at the east end of the site.

Cobble placement and work on the armour stone wall on the east backwater bank area have been started. Landscape work along the Superior Avenue entrance to the park has also begun.



Queens Quay Revitalization Construction Update


Advance work by Bell and TTC crews is continuing along Queens Quay in preparation for major construction later this fall.

With the installation of new ducts and conduit now complete, Bell line crews are beginning to pull new copper and fibre optic cable to residences and businesses on Queens Quay.  Crews will continue to pull cable through the fall.

The 509 Replacement Bus Service, which began on July 29, allowed TTC crews to remove the overhead streetcar power lines from the TTC track right-of-way. Crews also removed the support span wires that extended from the right-of-way to the curbside poles.  The poles are part of the current street lighting on Queens Quay and they will be removed during a later stage of construction. TTC crews are now undertaking work in the underground portal at Bay Street.

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Born Again: The Repurposed City


A number of Waterfront Toronto projects are being featured in the 2012 summer architecture exhibition series Born Again: The Repurposed City, which is currently underway at Harbourfront Centre. Captivating photos and artist renderings of the Queens Quay Revitalization project, and the completed WaveDecks and Water’s Edge Promenade are all parts of landscape architecture firm DTAH’s presentations “Building, Streets, Neighbourhoods (Everything old is new again).” Also on display are pieces of utility pipes (water, gas and communications), some as old as 50 years, retrieved from the ongoing redevelopment in the West Don Lands.

The summer exhibition series features work from three Toronto-based architectural firms and a Kitchener-based artist. The exhibition explores sustainable practices by architects and landscape designers that promote adaptive reuse of existing buildings and structures, and how such practices shape people’s interaction with the built environment.

The Water’s Edge Promenade and the WaveDecks (Rees, Simcoe and Spadina) are examples of projects that embraced sustainable reuse of public spaces and have helped transform parts of Toronto’s waterfront into user-friendly public realms.

The exhibition is open to the public free of charge, from Tuesday to Sunday, until September 16. For more information on the exhibitions, including opening hours for specific days of the week, please visit



Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Eireann Quay: Strategic Transportation Plan


The City of Toronto, Toronto Port Authority, and Toronto District School Board are undertaking a Strategic Transportation Study for the area around the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Eireann Quay to resolve traffic congestion issues and address community concerns.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide an overview of the process to undertake the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Eireann Quay Strategic Transportation Study, and receive comments and input from the community in order to finalize the work plan. Staff and consultants from the City of Toronto, Toronto Port Authority, and Toronto District School Board will be present to answer questions.



Meeting details

Date: Monday, August 27, 2012
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Fort York (Blue Barracks), 250 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, ON M5V 3K9

For more information, please contact:
Tim Laspa
Program Manager
Transportation Planning
City of Toronto
Telephone: 416-392-0070




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