news from our new blue edge

June 2016


What was the deal with the blue flags on Cherry Street? 

Looking East at the installation along Cherry Street with the iconic Hearn smokestack in the distance. 

Luminato has just wrapped up its annual festival. This year, Luminato chose to celebrate its tenth anniversary by asking Toronto to look at a familiar sight, the Hearn Generating Station, in a new way. With #TurnOnTheHearn, Luminato asked us to see the former generating station as a cultural destination. By doing so, it shone a light on the possibilities for this heritage building and also for the Port Lands, where it’s located.

Art challenges us to look at familiar things in new and different ways. We took this opportunity – tens of thousands of patrons travelling to the Hearn – to create an artistic interpretation of where Cherry Street (south of Commissioners) will cross the new Don River in the future. Missed, the flags? We’ve got you covered. Check out this brief drone video for a birds-eye view. You may have also noticed that the tip of the Hearn’s monumental 770 foot smokestack was illuminated at night – a beacon for festival goers and, for those who thought the Port Lands is some place distant from the city centre, a reminder of how close it really is. Read more here

The New Mouth of the Don River
Toronto’s Port Lands, just east of downtown, is nearly a thousand acres of underutilized land, much of which sits within a designated floodplain. A massive planning effort is underway to plot the future for revitalizing the Port Lands, which can only start once the area is flood protected. The solution to this challenge is to make more room for the Don River to flow – a green approach to vital infrastructure that will improve Toronto’s resiliency. When complete, the naturalized mouth of the Don River will become the dynamic centrepiece of a revitalized Port Lands. Check out this video to see the future mouth of the Don River. And, visit to explore the before and after gallery – a dynamic and compelling gallery that showcases eight amazing points of transformation.  


We want your feedback on the street grid for Lower Yonge

The overall transportation network improvements being studied in the Lower Yonge Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA).

On June 23, 2016, we held a Public Information Centre (PIC) to get feedback on the road alignments, lane configurations, and the public realm concept for the Lower Yonge neighbourhood. This is part of a broader consultation on the Lower Yonge Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) that began in January 2016. Since January, we have met with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, as well as landowners and users. This study will generate the preferred designs for new streets and intersections in this neighbourhood – including sidewalks and other public space and bike lanes. 

Along with the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan, which was approved by City Council this June, this study is meant to ensure Lower Yonge evolves into a complete community. Your feedback is essential if we’re going to build the type of community you want.

You can view the material presented at the June 23 PIC here. The boards that were displayed outline the MCEA’s Problem / Opportunity Statement, existing conditions in Lower Yonge and next steps. There’s additional information about the Lower Yonge project here. Once you have reviewed this material, you can complete this online survey to provide feedback – these questions are identical to the questions on the comment sheets that were distributed June 23. We’re looking for public feedback on: the generation and evaluation of street alignment alternatives, the evaluation criteria and the preliminary preferred transportation plan. 

Please submit your feedback by July 14, 2016.  If you have any questions, please contact


New public space under the Gardiner to be named “The Bentway”

Looking west along Fort York Boulevard from just east of Fort York. Image courtesy of PUBLIC WORK. 

Beginning in March, Torontonians engaged in a city-wide brainstorming session to come up with possible names for this new public space. A jury representing some of Toronto’s most creative, engaged and diverse citizens reviewed 884 suggestions and shortlisted four names for public voting. The first round of voting narrowed the field from four names to just two names. Those two names then went head to head in a four-day run-off vote. 1,333 votes were cast; the Bentway had 845 votes, while the Artery had 488 votes. The winning name celebrates "the bents", the column-and-beam structures that frame the space under the Gardiner Expressway. On June 6th, Project: Under Gardiner officially announced the winner of the #ReclaimTheName campaign: The Bentway. Read more about the announcement.

Design Update
Meanwhile, the design team has continued to advance toward detailed design. A number of new drawings and renderings of the landscape and architectural features were presented at a public meeting on May 31st. You can view the full presentation here.



New Cherry 514 Streetcar Route

Toronto Mayor John Tory celebrates the launch of the 514 Cherry Streetcar with dignitaries. From left to right: Josh Colle, TTC Chair and MPP Eglinton-Lawrence; Andy Byford, TTC CEO and President; Peter Milczyn, MPP Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure; Han Dong, MPP Trinity-Spadina; John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto; Meg Davis, Chief Development Officer, Waterfront Toronto; Julie Dabrusin, MP Toronto-Danforth. 

The TTC and the City of Toronto officially opened the Cherry Street LRT line on Saturday, June 18 for public use. Meg Davis represented Waterfront Toronto at the opening. She spoke about the long history of Waterfront Toronto’s planning for the streetcar extension and how the West Don Lands represent the first “Transit First” community in Toronto.

Service on the new 514 Cherry streetcar route officially launched on Sunday, June 19th. The route operates between the Distillery Loop (on Cherry Street) to the Dufferin Gates Loop via King Street. New low-floor accessible streetcars will be operated on this route as they become available through the summer and fall. 


Gardiner East Environmental Assessment Draft Report soon to be available for public comment

Aerial Image of the Gardiner Expressway East in its current condition. 

Following City Council’s approval of the Hybrid Three design in spring of 2015, the Gardiner East Environmental Assessment (EA) project team – composed of Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and Dillon Consulting – has been further developing the Environmental Assessment Report. That work is now complete, and the Draft EA Report for the reconfiguration of the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East (from just west of Jarvis Street to approximately Leslie Street) will soon be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for approval. The Draft EA Report summarizes the Gardiner East EA study process since inception in 2009 to date, in which Hybrid 3 has been recommended as the preferred EA alternative.

Before that submission, the Draft EA Report will be made available for public review and comment as part of a 45-day review period. The public is encouraged to review the Draft EA Report, which will be made available on the Gardiner East EA project web site and on Waterfront Toronto’s web site. It is expected that the Draft EA Report will be available as of mid-July. Interested citizens are encouraged to check the web site around that time. Waterfront Toronto will also be updating the status of the Draft EA Report through our Twitter account. 

Alternatively, a hard copy of the Draft EA Report will also be available for review at Toronto City Hall Library and the office of Waterfront Toronto. Comments can be provided in writing to the following address: 

Gardiner East EA Facilitators Office
505 Consumers Road, Suite 1005 
Toronto, ON  
M2J 4V8

Following this public review period, the Draft EA Report will be revised as needed to address comments received. The final Draft EA Report will then be submitted to MOECC for approval. A second, mandatory public and government review of the Final EA document will then be coordinated through the MOECC. The public will have seven (7) weeks to provide comment to the MOECC on the Final EA Report. The Final EA Report is anticipated to be submitted to the MOECC in the fall 2016 and will be made available through a link on the Gardiner East EA project web site.


Tall Ships Sailing to Toronto for Canada Day!

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One of the Redpath Waterfront Festival's star ships, El Galeón, is a reconstruction of a 16th century Spanish galleon that was part of Spain’s West Indies fleet.

Escape to the waterfront this Canada Day weekend with the Redpath Waterfront Festival presented by PortsToronto, as the Tall Ships Challenge is launched with a fleet of ships on Toronto’s lakefront.

The highly anticipated tall ships from around the world will be docked along Toronto’s waterfront for public deck tours all weekend long. New to the fleet, the Royal Canadian Navy will be joining the festival with two 55-metre, coastal defence naval ships, an obstacle course, the Urban Fresh Navy Cook Off and a host of interactive on-land activities.

Back this year by popular demand, the Waterfront Artisan Market will feature locally crafted products and delicious food from 50 top artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers! The grand finale Parade of Sail on Sunday, July 3rd, will feature all festival ships and unique local vessels as they sail through the Toronto harbour to bid farewell. 

For full program details visit


In brief

New murals beautify the Mouth of the Don
As part of A Love Letter To The Great Lakes, nine artists came together earlier this month to begin painting the pillars below the Don Valley Parkway / Gardiner Ramps at the mouth of the Don River and the CN Rail Bridge at Don Landing. The river-side murals are inspired by the resilience of the Don River and explore the ecological challenges and opportunities faced in renewing our relationship to this urban watershed. Check out the project website to learn more. 


Several new Bike Share Stations coming to the West Don Lands

Toronto Bike Share recently announced a network expansion that will include 120 new Bike Share stations and 1,000 new bikes to be installed across the city, with completion expected by July 11. The expansion will give people more options to get around the city and support active transportation. Toronto’s newest neighbourhood, the West Don lands, will receive new stations at several notable landmark locations, including Corktown Common, River Street across from the King/Queen triangle and the new TTC Distillery loop. Learn more about the expansion or better yet, get out and explore using Bike Share Toronto!


West Don Lands Public Art Capped Off With a 19th Century Garden

Earlier this month, Phase One of the West Don Lands public art strategy was completed with the installation of Garden of Future Follies. This operatic sculpture garden by Canadian artist duo Hadley+Maxwell comprises 190 details, collected form over 80 different pre-existing monuments and architectural features from around the city, cast in bronze and composed within seven distinct sculptures. Learn more about this stunning installation in our recent blog post.


Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre will celebrate the nation’s birthday this year with exciting musical performances and activities for the whole family, culminating in a fabulous display of fireworks over Lake Ontario.

The celebrations are so big this year that Harbourfront Centre will keep the fun going all weekend long, July 2–3!

For more information visit:


Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 10:40 p.m. on Friday, July 1st. 


The Singing Ambassadors are back!

The award-winning Singing Ambassadors presented by The Waterfront BIA return for their fifth year on Toronto’s Waterfront. Eight lively ambassadors will be performing impromptu a cappella renditions of classic summer hits and offering assistance, directions and recommendations to visitors. 

You'll find the Singing Ambassadors roaming the waterfront on Thursday-Monday, from 11am to 6pm, until September 5. 


Visit for more information.


The magic of the circus comes to the waterfront!

This summer, children ages 9-14 are invited to join Harbourfront Centre's Circus Camp in the heart of the West Don Lands. Located beside the old Canary Restaurant, kids will have a chance to learn juggling, stilt walking, acrobatics, high wire and clowning with the help of experienced circus professionals.

There are five sessions to choose from running July 4 through September 2. Each session wraps up with a complete circus performance including music and costumes.


Head to for more details and to sign up.


Project update: East Bayfront

Looking east towards ongoing construction at Bayside.

Queens Quay East
Construction crews working at Hines-Tridel’s Bayside development must access this site intermittently via a driveway just east of Bonnycastle Street. When this access point is in use, a flagman is stationed at the entrance to direct construction vehicles. Signs have been installed alerting cyclists and pedestrians to watch for turning vehicles. 

Work was recently completed to adjust the curbs on the south side of Queens Quay East on either side of Dockside Drive. The section of the sidewalk and Martin Goodman Trail that was closed at Dockside Drive and Queens Quay East has now been reopened. 

East Bayfront Essential External Servicing Infrastructure
Work on the new Sanitary Pumping Station, located at the foot of Cherry Street at Lake Shore Boulevard East, continues. The concrete structure is complete, and mechanical and electrical work is ongoing.

Construction on the two residential buildings included in Phase I of the Bayside development is progressing. The concrete pour on the second floor of Aqualina is now 85 per cent complete. Concrete is also being poured on the third, fourth and fifth floors, and plumbing and electrical work is in progress in the underground level. 

We will begin work to rebuild a section of the dock wall infrastructure at Bayside this summer. We expect to begin construction of the remainder of the infrastructure, roads and public realm in Bayside in early 2017. More details will be provided as information is available.


Project update: West Don Lands

Doors Open participants stopped on Front Street to congregate around Water Guardians by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins with James Khamsi.

Doors Open
As part of Doors Open 2016, Waterfront Toronto offered a series of tours through the West Don Lands. The seven art installations comprising Phase One of the West Don Lands public art strategy and the extensive public realm were the focus of the tours. Approximately 300 people – area residents and visitors alike – attended over the course of the weekend of May 28 and 29. We were thrilled to have such a strong turnout despite the extreme heat! For us, this confirmed the interest of Torontonians in public art and in the ambitious revitalization of the West Don Lands. 

Northern Entrance to Corktown Common 
The fences around the northern entrance to Corktown Common will be removed during the first week of July. This includes the triangle on the east side of River Street between King Street and Queen Street, and the stretch of meadow between River City and Bayview Avenue. The purpose of the fences was to protect the area and allow the seeding and other vegetation to take root and grow. While much of the area has done well, you’ve likely noticed that certain sections have not thrived. These spaces were recently overseeded and some additional overseeding may be required again in the fall. So, while the fences are being removed for this part of the park to be enjoyed, we ask for ongoing patience and respect for those areas that still need to germinate over the coming months.

Corktown Common Dog Run
The community has recently raised some questions about improvements to the dog run in Corktown Common. Two adjustments had already been identified by Waterfront Toronto and are currently underway: the surface treatment will be amended by mid-July to a more paw-friendly pea stone, and we are in the process of obtaining quotes to modify the entrance with a double-gated entry/exit system. The gate system will take longer to complete but rest assured it’s on the way!

Waterfront Toronto and Deputy Mayor McConnell’s office are reviewing the other requests to determine the best course of action. The placement of the dog run in the meadow on the eastern side of the park was an outcome from the public consultation held during the design of Corktown Common. The size and shape of the dog run was further informed by the natural boundaries offered by the service road to the east, the hydro tower to the south, the flood protection landform to the west and Bayview Avenue running along the north-west side. Trees cannot be planted in this area because of the proximity of the dog run to the flood protection landform and the risk that they could be uprooted during a major storm and damage the landform. These facts may limit the options when considering potential enhancements to the dog run, however, we will be working to identify improvements wherever possible. We will keep you posted.

Canary District Developments
Great news! Gears Bike Shop, OpusGlow Concept Spa and Running Room are now open! July will also be an exciting month with Dark Horse Espresso Bar, Tabule Souk, Think Fitness and Fuel+ scheduled to open. For up to date information on openings and new announcements please visit

Earlier this spring, Dream, Kilmer and EllisDon Ledcor completed and turned over the George Brown College student residence, the YMCA, and Fred Victor and Wigwamen affordable rental housing buildings to their owners. Resident move-ins to Canary District Condominiums and Canary Park Condominiums are well underway and Pre-Delivery Inspections and minor deficiency finishing work continues on the upper floors. For more information on the award winning Canary District or to view the live construction feed visit their website at or the presentation centre and four model suites located at 398 Front Street.


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