news from our new blue edge

May 2013


Waterfront Renewal Generates $3.2 billion in Economic Output for the Canadian Economy


Initial investments by the Governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto have generated $3.2 billion in economic output for the Canadian economy and more than 16,000 full-time years of employment, according to a third-party study by economic research firm urbanMetrics.  This represents more than double the return on the initial investment of $1.26 billion spent so far. The study also found that the investment has generated government revenues of approximately $622 million, largely from the creation of new rate bases.

Return on waterfront investment to date: $3.2 billion in economic output for the Canadian economy.When the three levels of government came together to kick start the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront in 2001 much of the area around the City’s water lay dormant, undeveloped and in need of environmental remediation.  Recognizing a need to unlock development and create a state-of-the-art community along the lake, these government partners committed a total of $1.5 billion to the effort and established Waterfront Toronto to oversee the initiative. 

Waterfront Toronto has attracted development projects valued at nearly $2.6 billion to the first new waterfront neighbourhoods of East Bayfront and West Don Lands – effectively doubling the value of government investments in the waterfront.  These projects include the Bayside Toronto mixed-use development by Hines valued at $910 million, the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village by Dundee Kilmer valued at $814 million, Urban Capital’s River City Condominiums valued at $383 million, and Great Gulf’s Monde Condominiums valued at $276 million. Construction of these projects will contribute $2.22 billion to the Canadian economy, nearly 23,600 full-time years of employment and $1.17 billion in labour income.

Toronto’s waterfront revitalization project is known for bringing new commercial, academic and residential developments, parks and playgrounds to the lakefront, but this third-party study makes clear that it’s also delivering a significant economic impact for the people of Canada. 



Celebrating Improvements to Tommy Thompson Park


Community members and stakeholders joined Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and their government partners on May 11 for the official opening of the improvements to Tommy Thompson Park. The celebration was held at the same time as bird watchers and nature lovers gathered for the park’s annual Spring Bird Festival.

Ribbon cutting with (L to R) Mark Wilson, Chair of the Board of Directors, Waterfront Toronto; John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West; the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation and MPP for Toronto Centre; Paul Fletcher, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth; and Brian Denney, CEO, Toronto and Region Conservation.Activities that morning included a ribbon cutting, nature walk, a live bird banding demonstration and official remarks by a distinguished group of government representatives. The crowd heard from John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West; the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation and MPP for Toronto Centre; Councillor Paula Fletcher, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth; Brian Denney, CEO, Toronto and Region Conservation; and Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto.

The improvements to Tommy Thompson Park include significant natural area enhancements, the construction of a Staff Booth, an Environmental Shelter and an Ecological Research Station. The three small buildings emphasize an unobtrusive design and comply with the city’s bird-friendly development guidelines. The natural restoration and habitat improvements include seven kilometres of new primary and secondary trails and 3.3 kilometres of new nature viewing trails, as well as aquatic habitat improvements with over 1.2 kilometres of shoreline restoration and 18.9 hectares of wetland habitat enhancements.

Tommy Thompson Park is over 500 hectares in size. It is located at the foot of Leslie Street on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, which extends five kilometres into Lake Ontario.

Recognized globally as an Important Bird Area, more than 250,000 people visit the park each year to catch a glimpse of some of the more than 300-plus bird species documented at the park or to experience the spectacular sight provided by the annual monarch migration.




Announcing the Winning Name in the Name That Park Contest


Votes have been tallied and Corktown Common is the winning name chosen by the public for the signature new park in the West Don Lands.  Name That Park, an online naming contest sponsored by Waterfront Toronto and The Grid, invited the public to submit their ideas for a new park name, and then vote for their favourite.

The name Corktown Common references “Corktown” the larger neighbourhood the park will be a part of – a neighbourhood named to honour the Irish workers who settled there after their country’s famine – and “Common” reflecting that the park will belong to everyone. The new name must now be approved by Toronto and East York Community Council on June 18.

During the six week contest to name the park almost 450 suggestions were submitted and nearly 1,500 people voted for their favourite name during the voting round. Corktown Common, submitted by Tedd Konya, received the most votes. Mr. Konya explained in his submission that the name was to “…honour the neighborhood that was broken up with the highway ramps and is now coming back to life thanks to redevelopment projects like the park.”

Once approved by Community Council, the official renaming of the park will take place when it opens later this summer. 

Corktown Common (formerly known as Don River Park)
Stay tuned for your invitation to the Official Opening of Corktown Common!
In the last week of June, just prior to the Canada Day weekend, Waterfront Toronto and our government partners will celebrate the official opening of Corktown Common, the signature park in the West Don Lands formerly known as Don River Park. Watch out for your invitation in the coming weeks!


Doors Open on Queens Quay


Join Waterfront Toronto and our construction partners on Saturday, May 25 for a unique Doors Open experience. Take a “behind the construction fencing” look at Queens Quay – one of the City’s most significant revitalization projects.
Perfect for families, construction and urban design enthusiasts, Queens Quay is the only Doors Open location on a construction site this year. From huge sanitary sewer pipes, to new tree planting techniques, Doors Open participants will be able to see, touch and learn more about what it takes to rebuild a major city street. It’s also the perfect place for kids to play in the sand and have a picture taken with construction equipment on the site.  Don’t forget to stop at the construction trailer for a behind the scenes tour and a look at the massive construction drawings for the street. 

Check out more Doors Open on Toronto’s Waterfront!
The Waterfront BIA has an exciting program for Doors Open that includes “gangways” open for 15 ships at the water’s edge. Back on land, at Queens Quay Terminal, a unique photo exhibit featuring over 100 archival images will showcase the fascinating history of Toronto’s waterfront. Doors Open on Toronto’s Waterfront is presented by the Waterfront BIA.


    Digging a test pit on Queens Quay.
Event Details and Schedule
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Eastern Construction Trailer – Lower Simcoe Avenue at Lake Shore Boulevard
Queens Quay Construction Site – South side of Queens Quay at Lower Simcoe Avenue
Accessibility: Construction trailer has stairs only; construction site has uneven terrain.

TTC: 509 Harbourfront (to Exhibition) bus from Union Station (Lower Simcoe stop)
Parking: Paid underground parking is available at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, enter at Lower Simcoe Street) and The Radisson Admiral Hotel (249 Queens Quay West)

In Brief


Competition Underway for Major Art Commissions in West Don Lands
Waterfront Toronto has convened a distinguished jury of art and design experts to evaluate public art proposals for three public art sites along Front Street.
Learn more.

Lower Yonge Public Meeting Update
On May 22, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto held the first public consultation meeting for the Lower Yonge Precinct. Presentation materials – including the consultation worksheet – are now available on the Waterfront Toronto’s webpage. If you would like to provide feedback to the project team, please send your comments to before Wednesday, May 29, 2013.



Construction Update: Queens Quay


The last phase of the TTC corridor demolition is underway.  Crews are working in two locations: from Yo Yo Ma Lane east to Lower Spadina and from Queens Quay north along Lower Spadina. Demolition is expected to be complete by mid-June.  In June, crews will begin rebuilding the TTC corridor working east to west. The entire TTC corridor from Bay Street to Yo Yo Ma Lane, including the Spadina Loop, will be rebuilt and ready for service in December 2013.
Detailed weekly construction updates are available on the Constructing Queens Quay page.
Community Update Meeting Presentation Available Online 
If you missed the Central Waterfront public meeting on May 8th, you’ll find presentation materials, including a Queens Quay construction progress report, on our website


Video Recap: Jane's Walk - Building the New Queens Quay

Jane's Walk: Video Recap
On May 4, Waterfront Toronto led a Jane’s Walk along Queens Quay. If you missed the tour, watch this video to see how we’re bringing the vision to life. 


Construction Update: Martin Goodman Trail and Sidewalk


The new sidewalk on the south side of Queens Quay between Lower Yonge and Lower Jarvis Streets will open to the public before the end of the month. The new Martin Goodman Trail, which runs parallel to the sidewalk, is nearly complete. Waterfront Toronto is coordinating our final construction activities around Hydro work at the Yonge Slip and servicing for the new Pier 27 condo development. Once these activities are complete, the trail will officially open.  The new Martin Goodman Trail and sidewalk in this area will help create a safe, interim connection for cyclists and pedestrians traveling from the Central Waterfront into East Bayfront.


New granite installed at Jarvis Slip

Jarvis Slip Construction
Crews have completed the reinforcement of the Jarvis Slip north dockwall and are now installing a 7.4 metre wide stretch of granite pavers along the north side of the slip. The granite, a key design feature of the future Queens Quay promenade in East Bayfront, will provide a seamless connection to the entrance of Canada’s Sugar Beach located on the east side of the Jarvis Slip. 


New Traffic Signal in East Bayfront


A picture of the new traffic light being installed at Lower Sherbourne/Dockside Drive and Queens Quay East.Work continues on the new traffic signal at Lower Sherbourne Street/Dockside Drive and Queens Quay East next to Sherbourne Common and George Brown College. Crews have completed the installation of underground conduits and traffic pole foundations. New traffic light poles have also been installed. Over the next few weeks, crews will wire the lights and finish adjacent sidewalk and curb construction. The new signalized intersection will provide a safe pedestrian crossing for those moving between the north and south side of Queens Quay. It is expected to be complete and activated in late June.


Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District Construction Update


Crews are installing Silva Cells, concrete curbs, road base and the base for interlocking walkways throughout the development. The installation of the subdivision underground hydro chambers, the hydro duct bank, underground conduit and the foundation work for the street lighting continues to progress.

Reconstruction on the west side of Sumach Street between King Street and Eastern Avenue is underway.  Crews are currently excavating the impacted material and have begun to backfill the area with granular material. The drilling of caissons for the retaining wall at the southwest corner of Sumach Street and Eastern Avenue will begin in the coming month. During the reconstruction north/south access will be maintained along the east side of Sumach Street. There will be no street parking available during this time.

Road work on Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue continues to progress. On Old Eastern Avenue, the installation of Silva Cells continues and work on the concrete curbs will begin later this month.

On Cherry Street, crews are installing interlocking stones along the west sidewalks and have completed the installation of the base coat of asphalt at the intersections of Mill Street and Cherry Street, and at Front Street and Cherry Street. The installation of Silva Cells has begun at the south end and is progressing north. 

Please note that Cherry Street will remain closed to through traffic between Eastern Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East until summer 2013. Old Eastern Avenue will also remain closed to through traffic until summer 2013. Access will be maintained to All City Storage.

YMCA/George Brown College
Crews have started the installation of the curtain wall on the east tower of the George Brown College student residence and are pouring the fourth floor of the north tower. Work continues on the installation of the structural steel roof and metal deck at the YMCA, which is expected to be complete at the end of the month. 

Affordable Housing Buildings
At the Fred Victor building, installation of the window wall has reached the seventh floor. Masonry work has started in the basement, and the corridor and demising wall framing have been installed up to the fifth floor. A demising wall is a wall that separates spaces belonging to different tenants, as well as private tenant areas from common areas.

At the Wigwamen building, crews are pouring the main roof slab and window wall installation has progressed up to the sixth floor. Masonry has been completed in the basement, and the corridor and demising wall framing has commenced on the second floor.

Canary District Condominiums
Crews are forming and pouring the vertical columns to the fourth floor on the north tower of the first market housing condominium. On the south tower, they are now forming and pouring the second floor slab.

On the second market housing building, crews are pouring the third floor slab and vertical columns to the fourth floor in the north tower.  On the south tower, the underground mechanical services are complete and crews are forming and pouring the ground floor slab.

For more information on the award winning Canary District Condominiums, visit their website at or their sales centre located at 9 Mill Street.


Picture of workers constructing stormwater facilities.

West Don Lands Stormwater Conveyance System receives Award of Excellence 
In late April, R. V. Anderson Associates was recognized with an Award of Excellence by the Consulting Engineers of Ontario for their work on Waterfront Toronto’s West Don Lands Stormwater Conveyance System.

R.V. Anderson Associates designed the innovative system on behalf of Waterfront Toronto to service the West Don Lands community and future development in the North Keating portion of the Lower Don Lands. The system is designed to meet the City of Toronto’s stringent Wet Weather Flow Management Guidelines and will feature advanced treatment processes normally used to treat water and wastewater. The West Don Lands Stormwater Conveyance System project is another example of Waterfront Toronto’s innovative approach to building smart infrastructure that will fulfill the evolving needs of a 21st century city. 

Aerial view of Canary District
An aerial view of the Canary District site, which will initially serve as part of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes' Village.



Construction Update: Toronto Community Housing


Toronto Community Housing building for seniors at 589 King Street East.Toronto Community Housing’s three-building development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands remains on track for occupancy in fall 2013. The 243-unit development will provide affordable rental units for families and seniors.

At the seniors building on King Street, the roof has been completed and window installation is 95 percent complete. Inside the building, interior masonry work, mechanical and electrical distribution and the installation of the elevators and drywall partitions continue. The installation of kitchen and bathroom fixtures and closet shelving has begun. 

At the family buildings located between Lower River and St. Lawrence Streets, roof work is complete on River Street and 80 percent complete on St. Lawrence Street. Exterior masonry work on the River Street building is 40 percent complete and window installation has reached the fourth floor on both buildings. Inside the buildings, framing work has been completed and mechanical and electrical distribution is ongoing.


Official Opening Celebration: Mimico Waterfront Park Phase Two


Join Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and our government partners as we celebrate the official opening of the second and final phase of Mimico Waterfront Park in Etobicoke.  

The second phase of the park provides an additional 500 metres of waterfront trail that builds on the existing phase one, which opened to acclaim in 2008.

Mimico Waterfront Park connects people to the lake in an area that historically lacked public access to the waterfront. The new park provides an east/west connection along the Etobicoke waterfront, establishing a strong link between existing and emerging waterfront communities and public spaces.

      Mimico Waterfront Park

Event Details
Date: Friday, June 7, 2013
Time: 10am to 11am
Location:  Mimico Waterfront Park at the base of Superior Avenue, south of Lake Shore Boulevard West
Accessibility: Accessible


Gardiner East Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Study Public Consultation Meeting


Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are now resuming the Gardiner Expressway East / Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment (EA) and Integrated Urban Design Study.

We invite you to the first public forum where you can learn more about the project, the options being considered, as well as what other jurisdictions have done. You will also be able to ask questions and speak directly with members of the project team, offer input and submit comments.

      The Gardiner East Environmental Assessment and Design Study is resuming.

Public Consultation Meeting Details
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Time: 6pm to 8:30pm (presentation will begin at 6:30pm)
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Room 701, South Building
222 Bremner Boulevard

Accessibility: Accessible

Please click here to register your attendance. 


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