news from our new blue edge

July 2010


Canada's Sugar Beach and Water's Edge Promenade
Open to the Public


While the official opening of Canada’s Sugar Beach and the Water’s Edge Promenade is not until August 9, Torontonians are already enjoying the stunning new waterfront destinations.

Waterfront Toronto opened the park and promenade at the end of June in time for the Canada Day holiday and the beginning of the summer season. The corporation wanted the public to have access to the new lakefront attractions throughout the summer, even though crews are still installing benches, chairs and umbrellas and completing other finishing touches.

Located south of Queens Quay  Boulevard and just east of Jarvis Street , Canada’s Sugar Beach and the Water’s Edge Promenade (phase one) are the first public spaces to open in the new East Bayfront waterfront neighbourhood.

The two have been widely featured subjects in the media and are big hits with blogs and social media networking sites such as Flickr and Twitter.

Canada’s Sugar Beach is Toronto’s second urban beach on the waterfront and it leads visitors to the Water’s Edge Promenade along the lakefront.  The first phase of Water’s Edge Promenade, approximately 270 metres, links Canada’s Sugar Beach to Sherbourne Common which opens later this summer. In the future, the promenade will extend all the way to the Parliament Slip.

      Canada's Sugar Beach soon to be launched

Official Opening Celebration
Please join Waterfront Toronto and our government partners as we officially open Canada’s Sugar Beach and the first phase of the Water’s Edge Promenade.

Date: Monday, August 9, 2010
Time: 10:30 am - 11:30 am

What people are saying ...

Sugar Beach a sweet victory for city
Toronto Star, July 14, 2010

Sugar Beach is sweet and timely
National Post, July 9, 2010

Waterfront renaissance: Granatstein
Toronto Sun, July 18, 2010


Lower Don Lands Plans Endorsed


Toronto City Council has endorsed the award-winning plans to transform the Lower Don Lands and re-naturalize the mouth of the Don River.   

Waterfront Toronto, in conjunction with the City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation, sought Toronto City Council’s authorization to submit all the necessary planning documents to support an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) for the Lower Don Lands plans. The OPA paves the way for future revitalization of the area including rerouting the Don River, building flood protection and ultimately building new communities.

Council’s endorsement means the draft Don Mouth Environmental Assessment can be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment for approval under the Environmental Assessment Act. It also means that the Official Plan Amendment and new Zoning By-law can be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Natural Resources for consistency with provincial flood management policies.

Following approval by the ministries, the OPA and the Keating Channel Precinct West Zoning By-law will go back to City Council in August for final approval.  If passed, Toronto’s Official Plan will be amended to enshrine the Lower Don Lands plans, which ensures future development in the area is in harmony with the principles and standards of the plan. 

      Keating Channel Precinct aerial view looking east

Award Winning

Waterfront Toronto’s plans for the Lower Don Lands have received several prestigious international awards.  Most recently, the plans were awarded the 2010 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), Transportation Achievement Award; the first time a Canadian project has been recognized.  The ITE Awards recognize outstanding achievement in transportation engineering and distinguished service, and increase the public’s awareness of the role and responsibilities of transportation professionals.



Waterfront Toronto Awarded Ontario Power Authority Grant


Waterfront Toronto’s commitment to sustainability and building communities that protect and enhance our environment has been recognized by The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) with a new research grant.  

The grant through the OPA’s Conservation Fund will enable Waterfront Toronto, in collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Climate Positive Development Program, to develop a carbon modeling tool that will inform a new set of advanced green building requirements.

Waterfront Toronto already requires that all buildings built on the waterfront to be 40 percent more energy efficient than what is required under the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.  For the next generation of development, Waterfront Toronto is targeting even more stringent standards.  This will enable Waterfront Toronto to contribute to Ontario’s electricity conservation targets, as well as aim for Climate Positive status under the Climate Positive Development Program.  Additionally, this project could contribute positively to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with new land developments in Ontario over the coming decades.

The corporation will develop a modeling tool to assess performance scenarios to track energy and greenhouse gas impacts across indicators such as buildings, energy, transportation, and waste and water infrastructure.


Climate Positive Development
Waterfront Toronto is one of 18 global founding projects of the Climate Positive Development Program, a Clinton Climate Initiative program. The program supports the development of large-scale urban projects that will demonstrate that cities can grow in ways that are "climate positive," striving to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.

OPA’s Conservation Fund
Established in 2005 to provide funding for action-oriented, sector-specific electricity conservation pilot projects, thereby helping to build a culture of conservation in Ontario.


West Don Lands Construction Update


Construction continues steadily in the West Don Lands.  On the flood protection landform, crews continue to remove the uppermost layer of soil which had been used as surcharging to help compact the base.  

Site prep for Waterfront Toronto's Pilot Soil Recycling FacilityThousands of truckloads of stockpiled soil have also been removed from the West Don Lands in advance of major construction activity throughout the site. Much of the soil has been transported to Waterfront Toronto’s Pilot Soil Recycling Facility in the Port Lands where it will be used in the pilot soil washing project.

The first phase of preparatory work for Bayview Avenue is complete. On Mill Street, the construction of underground services is complete and the installation of utilities and road work is now underway.

Preparatory work has started on Don River Park and Underpass Park. At Don River Park crews have been surveying and setting up site access. At the Underpass Park site, crews have decommissioned and removed the old industrial buildings on the northside of Eastern Avenue, and removed pavement and footings.

Construction of Toronto Community Housing’s (TCH) affordable housing development is well underway, with excavation and shoring now complete. TCHC has also received its record of site condition and the zoning for the development is now in place. Occupancy of the 243-unit development is scheduled for spring 2012.


Sherbourne Common Construction Update


Work is nearing completion on the south side of Sherbourne Common, another  beautiful new park on the waterfront.  

Almost 80 percent of the park’s maple, oak and beech trees have been planted and sod will be laid over the next couple of weeks.  Construction on the park’s water channel (south side) is complete and crews are working on finishes such as installing stainless steel cladding in the channel’s raised pools that will reflect light and colour.  Crews have also begun finishing the exterior of the pavilion which will be clad with zinc, while UV lamps for the stormwater management system are being installed in the basement.

      Building the north side water channel with the park’s pavilion in the distance.

Construction continues on the water channel on the north side of the park where the third set of nine-metre-high art pieces is now in place.

The south side of the park is expected to open in late August and the north side in the fall.


Queens Quay Public Engagement Update


With schematic design underway from Spadina Avenue to Parliament Street and detailed design expected to start this fall, public engagement will continue to be an important part of the revitalization of Queens Quay. Waterfront Toronto has established several different ways for the public to get involved during the design and the planning for construction phases of this project. This month, the Queens Quay Working Group, which includes local residents, user groups, representatives from neighbourhood associations and large and small businesses, met for the first time to discuss specific design details for the street. The Working Group will continue to meet monthly throughout the duration of the project to give advice and provide input from the community they represent.


Community Updates
In addition, Waterfront Toronto will continue to hold quarterly Community Update Public Meetings where we encourage questions and comments from the broader public.

Learn more about our public engagement process.


York Quay Revitalization Update


Construction crews are beginning site preparation work for the new underground parking facility at Harbourfront Centre.  In early July, the surface parking lot between Lower Simcoe Street and York Street on the south side of Queens Quay was officially closed and fencing was installed to allow crews to mobilize and prepare for excavation early this fall.

Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre are replacing the surface parking lot, a 1.4 hectare area in the heart of the Harbourfront Centre site, with a unique underground parking garage that integrates daylight and public art into its design. Designed by renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the project also includes the development of a landmark lakefront square and the creation of an outdoor urban plaza along Queens Quay that will provide ample public space for those visiting Harbourfront Centre.

Temporary finishes for the remainder of the site, which may include the installation of fast-growing trees, are also part of the project. In addition, a re-zoning plan will be undertaken to allow for a future cultural village featuring neighbourhood-scale shops and restaurants, and extra programming space for Harbourfront Centre.

      Map of York Quay Revitalization site area

Learn more about York Quay Revitalization


East Bayfront Transit EA Now Complete


Waterfront Toronto and The Toronto Transit Commission TTC have received a letter from Ontario’s Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen allowing the recommendations from the East Bayfront Transit Environmental Assessment(EA) to proceed.  Launched in 2007, the East Bayfront Transit EA was designed to analyze the long-term residential, employment, tourism and waterfront access needs for the area.

Two of its main recommendations were that the transit corridor for East Bayfront would run along Queens Quay to Union Station via Bay Street and that Light Rail Transit, in its own right of way, would be the preferred mode of transit. Read all of the recommendations in the Environmental Study Report submitted to the Ministry of the Environment

      Queen's Quay rendering with streetcar

Artist rendering of the future Queens Quay Blvd. in East Bayfront.


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