news from our new blue edge

October 2014


Major Queens Quay construction milestone

Passengers using the new 510 streetcar along Queens Quay. 

Streetcar service resumed over the Thanksgiving weekend marking a major construction milestone for the Queens Quay revitalization project. The newly rebuilt streetcar corridor and tracks include new underground chambers for the streetcar’s electrical needs as well as new cantilevered poles for overhead wiring. The platforms have been widened to meet new accessibility requirements and include passenger amenities such as ticket vending machines.

The construction of TTC infrastructure is only one part of the massive Queens Quay revitalization project, which is on schedule for summer 2015. With less than a year of construction remaining, Queens Quay’s new landscape features are emerging across the 1.7km site.

  • Crews are installing more than two million pieces of granite by hand for the pedestrian promenade, which is about three times the width of a normal city sidewalk.
  • Construction of the Martin Goodman Trail is underway and will give cyclists a much-needed, separated bike route through the central waterfront.
  • As crews build the promenade and Martin Goodman Trail, they are excavating approximately two metres below ground to install soil cells that will help Queens Quay’s double row of trees grow quickly and stay healthy in order to create a green canopy.
  • In total, more than 240 new trees are being planted on Queens Quay. Some tree planting occurred last spring but the majority will occur in spring 2015.
  • The new asphalt roadway for the street’s realigned traffic lanes is underway and granite laybys have been built to accommodate on-street parking. Traffic will continue to be one-way on Queens Quay until the project is complete and the road and signals are commissioned next spring.

Most of the waterfront’s aging underground infrastructure has also been expanded or rebuilt as part of this project. Click here for a detailed Queens Quay Construction Progress Report.

New waterfront neighbourhoods will have Toronto’s fastest broadband Internet

Beanfield crews installing fibre optic cables in Toronto. 

Waterfront Toronto and Beanfield Metroconnect announced on October 20, that residents and businesses in new waterfront communities will now enjoy the fastest and most economical high-speed Internet in the city.

Beanfield, who partnered with Waterfront Toronto in 2011 to create one of Canada’s first open-access ultra-high speed broadband community networks, will now be providing subscribers in new waterfront communities with 500 megabit per second symmetrical Internet connections (both uploading and downloading speeds). 

Unlimited 500 megabit per second Internet service will change how typical residential customers use the Internet, with speeds fast enough to download a music album in as little as one second, an hour-long TV show in about three seconds, and a high definition full-length movie in less than a minute.

Broadband has become essential public infrastructure for 21st century communities and the need for faster connections delivered over more robust networks has been intensifying as the Internet has evolved and bandwidth intensive applications, such as gaming, IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), and safety and security systems are becoming more common.

Homes and businesses in new waterfront communities will be wired with fibre optic cable and provided with affordable and unlimited Internet access with speeds exponentially faster than typical North American residential networks.

The open-access ultra-broadband infrastructure is helping to develop these new neighbourhoods as intelligent communities and has transformed how residents and businesses receive telecommunications services, promoting economic growth and development, and enabling innovation.
In 2014, the City of Toronto was recognized as Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum. A key element of the City’s success was Waterfront Toronto’s catalytic approaches to employing best practices and strategies that support high-speed broadband Internet access, policies that encourage digital inclusion and that foster innovation in the business, technology and education sectors.
Ultra-broadband high-speed service delivers a range of benefits to both residential and commercial customers, supporting Waterfront Toronto’s vision for Toronto’s waterfront: future-ready, innovative and world-class.




Coming soon! Martin Goodman Trail to Stadium Road

Rendering of the new Martin Goodman Trail west of Lower Spadina.

We’re working with the City of Toronto to extend construction of the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay further west – past Yo Yo Ma Lane to Stadium Road and to the existing trail leading to Coronation Park. This is good news for cyclists because it means that by mid-2015, there will be a separated cycling route on the south side of Queens Quay all along the waterfront. Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have designed an interim solution which will allow the Martin Goodman Trail to continue uninterrupted on the southside of Queens Quay to Stadium Road. Construction will get underway by the end of the year and will be timed for completion by mid-2015. When complete, a separated off-street Martin Goodman Trail will stretch from Lower Spadina through the Bathurst intersection. Queens Quay will be reconfigured west of the Bathurst intersection, with new line painting, in order to move the bicycle lanes to the south side of the street. While the bicycle lanes in this stretch will still be on-street, they will be separated from vehicular traffic by flexi-post barriers.

Learn more about the design for the Martin Goodman Trail west in this blog post.




Construction update: Queens Quay Revitalization

Progress continues across the 1.7km Queens Quay revitalization site. With the streetcar back in service, extensive work is underway on the new road, the Martin Goodman Trail and the granite sidewalks and promenade. Construction highlights include:

  • Road work across Queens Quay: The installation of the second and final course of asphalt for the new roadway (between the York Ramp and the Peter Slip Bridge) is planned for November. The remaining sections of asphalt outside of these areas, including from Lower Spadina to Yo Yo Ma Lane, will be installed as remaining construction activities are completed. Traffic will remain one-way until the new road and signals are commissioned next spring. At that point, two-way traffic will resume on Queens Quay.
  • Martin Goodman Trail: Construction of the new Martin Goodman Trail, which is located just south of the new TTC streetcar corridor, is underway across approximately 50% of the site. As they build the new trail, crews are excavating approximately two metres below ground to install a network of silva cells that will help Queens Quay’s double row of trees grow quickly and stay healthy in order to create a green canopy. Once the silva cells are installed and planting soil delivered, crews rebuild the area and pour the concrete base for the trail which will open when the project is complete in 2015.

Work is also continuing on the new granite promenade and sidewalks along the site. Crews continue to open sections for public use once the work is complete. Keep an eye on Queens Quay construction looking east and west from Waterfront Toronto’s webcams.



Silva cell installation underway at Harbourfront Centre.

Improving TTC Signal Timing
When construction is complete, a state-of-the-art signal system will give streetcars priority at intersections while allowing cars to move better than they did before on Queens Quay. But until that system is up and running, the signalization in place today is temporary. After the streetcars resumed service, we made modifications to the signal timing to improve the flow to traffic. Learn more...

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 continues on a series of interim improvements designed to improve connections for cyclists and pedestrians in East Bayfront. Approximately 50% of the granite sidewalk installation at the head of the Jarvis Slip is now complete. Crews have also begun the removal of curbs and the installation of the granular sub-base required for the new sidewalk and Martin Goodman Trail in several areas across the site. 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. The new sidewalk and trail will be complete early next spring.


Granite paving at head of Jarvis Slip.

Construction Notices: If you are interested in receiving regular construction updates for this project please email and request to be added to the East Bayfront construction notice list.


Construction update: Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District

Looking east over Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village/Canary District site with Corktown Common in the background.

Progress continues across the site. The TTC tracks within the loop south of Mill Street have been completed. The installation of concrete road base, unit pavers and light poles on local streets is nearing completion. Tree planting continues along Front Street and the reconstruction work on the east side of Sumach Street is also nearing completion. The median, sidewalks and other public realm improvements continue to progress.

YMCA/George Brown College
The YMCA pool commissioning is complete and the commissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment is also now complete in both buildings. The micro topping and sealant on the concrete floors in the George Brown College are complete. The City of Toronto’s occupancy inspections are complete and completion of minor deficiencies at both buildings is in progress in preparation for turnover to the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee.
Affordable Housing Buildings
The fire alarm verification and commissioning are complete in both the Fred Victor and Wigwamen buildings. The interior suite flooring, and the carpet and base installation are complete in the corridors and common areas at both buildings. The perimeter landscaping and plantings are also complete. The City of Toronto’s occupancy inspections are complete and completion of minor deficiencies on both buildings is in progress in preparation for turnover to the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee.
Canary District Condominiums
On the first market housing condominium - Canary District Condominiums - the mechanical and electrical installation and the firestopping and smoke seal installation continue to progress. The installation of the elevators is ongoing and the painting, suite floor microtopping, bathroom vanity installation, rollershade installation and tile work continue to progress. The balcony railing installation is complete and the balcony glass panel installation is in progress. The folding window wall installation is complete at the amenity pavilion, and landscaping at the outdoor amenity area is in progress.
At Canary Park Condominiums - the second market housing building - mechanical and electrical installations and the firestopping and smoke seal installation are in progress. The window installation is complete and the elevator installation and roofing are nearing completion. The metal panel and terrace paver installation, as well as the granite base are in progress. Interior finishings are also underway. The framing of suites, gypsum board installation on corridor walls, prime painting, installation of interior suite doors, rollershade installation, washroom tiling and bathroom vanity installation are all progressing. The balcony railing installation is complete and the balcony glass panel installation is in progress.
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: River City

Artist's rendering of RC2.

River City, the four-phase LEED Gold community by Urban Capital located at the corner of King Street East and Lower River Street continues to take shape.

RC2, the second phase of the four-phase development, is steadily progressing. The first section of exterior metal cladding has been installed and the project has progressed to the point where the hoist will soon be removed. The project’s custom windows continue to be installed and work on suite interiors is proceeding up the building. Occupancy of this phase is scheduled to begin in early 2015.

Sales at RC3, the third phase of this award-winning development, continue to be strong.



Construction update: Toronto Community Housing

Preparation underway at the new Tim Hortons at 597 King Street East.

Toronto Community Housing’s three-building, 243-unit development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands continues to progress. Their first retail tenant, Tim Hortons is putting the finishing touches on their new location at 597 King Street on the ground floor of the seniors building.

Residents have begun to move into both the seniors and family buildings and most of the landscaping throughout the development is complete, with the exception of the King Street frontage, which is still awaiting a permit.
Minor deficiencies remain at both family buildings. The River Street family building is 99% complete, with only a few minor deficiencies remaining in the common areas, and the St. Lawrence Street family building is 95% complete, also with only a few minor deficiencies remaining in the suites and common areas.



King-Queen bridge construction update from Infrastructure Ontario

Bracing the King-Queen bridge.

Before redevelopment of the West Don Lands - including the Athletes’ Village/Canary District - could occur it was first necessary to implement a series of flood mitigation measures. In spring 2012, the construction of the flood protection landform (FPL) by Infrastructure Ontario was nearing completion.

The FPL is an engineering feat that is essentially a 4-metre high berm that creates a flood barrier along the west side of the Don River. It protects 201 hectares (519 acres) and an estimated $162 million in potential flood damage from catastrophic storm events. The FPL has also provided the base for Corktown Common, the area’s signature park.

One of the final pieces of work to complete the FPL was the installation of a backflow preventer on an existing storm sewer beneath the King-Queen bridge. The backflow preventer is a pipe the size of a bus that will allow stormwater to flow out to the Don River but will prevent flooding from flowing back on to adjacent lands. Without it, the FPL would be ineffective.

When excavation for the installation of the backflow preventer began, it quickly became clear to Infrastructure Ontario that the century-old bridge footings would need to be fortified before any further work could continue. The work currently underway below the bridge is required to reinforce the structure and extend the life of this important piece of infrastructure. The work is complex and takes time.

Work to-date has included the installation of a series of micro piles. Micro piles are small diameter rods drilled into bedrock adjacent to the bridge columns to reinforce the columns and support the bridge span. The micro piles are encased in a steel pipe and then filled with concrete grout for stability.

Work has also included reinforcing the existing columns and column bases. The column bases have been reinforced with large steel I-Beams where the column bases meet the back flow preventer and diagonal bracing has been installed on the columns for further reinforcement.

Future work includes pouring new concrete pile caps and incorporating them into the existing bridge footings, as well as performing work to ensure the bridge columns are level and plumb. New column bearing plates will be installed at the same time.
Infrastructure Ontario expects to complete the work in early 2015 and is grateful for the community’s patience. Infrastructure Ontario have updated the signs on the bridge and will make every effort to keep the community up-to-date on the status of work going forward.

For more information or questions about the work being undertaken at the King-Queen bridge please contact



In brief

Sherbourne Common: seasonal water shut-off
Last month, a new cleaning regime was put in place at Sherbourne Common to help alleviate algae which had built up in the park’s water feature over time. The algae was discoloring the art sculptures stainless steel scrims, which bring water down into the channel. While the water is now turned off for the winter season, we will continue this new cleaning regime when the channel begins operating again next spring. For more information on Sherbourne Common…

The benefits of linear parks and greenways
Linear parks like the High Line in New York City are attracting a lot of attention around the world – and for good reason too. Cities are reimagining underused spaces and transforming neglected infrastructure as linear parks and greenways that are delivering huge social, economic and environmental benefits. Learn more…

Tommy Thompson Park Sunday morning bird walks
As fall begins to wind down, birds are beginning their annual migration down south for the winter. Join experienced birders at Tommy Thompson Park each Sunday morning at 8 a.m. for a guided bird walk where you can discover and identify migratory birds along the nature trails. End the tour at the Bird Research Station to learn more about migratory bird conservation. But hurry - tours end on November 9! Get the full details…


My Waterfront Photo Exhibit ends November 2

Don’t miss your opportunity to 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 launched on September 26, with an Artist Preview Gala, honouring the contest finalists and their 50 outstanding photographs. Guests were invited to mingle with the artists and judges and vote for their favourite photo. The exhibit will run until November 2 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).



35th edition of the International Festival of Authors

Each fall, the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront Centre brings together the world’s best writers of contemporary literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions, and public book signings. Special events include celebrations of the Governor General’s Literary Award and Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize finalists, as well as the awarding of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. Get the full event programme.



Colum McCann, Jared Bland, Philipp Meyer and George Pelecanos at last year`s festival (Photo courtesy of Harbourfront Centre).


Day of the Dead: a celebration of life

Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican celebration, is coming to Harbourfront Centre, November 8-9. Throughout the weekend, this joyous festival explores the celebrations and traditions that go into honouring the dead (and their lives) from Mexico and the world. The authentic experience includes ofrendas, music, dance and more. Uncover the ancient and contemporary stories, rituals and practices of Mexico and other Latin American countries with Day of the Dead.



Mariachi Ghost, one of the performers at this year`s celebration (Photo courtesy of Harbourfront Centre).


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