news from our new blue edge

July 2012


First Phase of Underpass Park Now Open


Torontonians can now enjoy phase one of Underpass Park, an innovative public park located under the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses in the West Don Lands. Underpass Park is the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first of its kind in Toronto. The park is being built in two phases. The first completed sections of the park are between St. Lawrence Street and Bayview Avenue. The second phase, located west of St. Lawrence Street, is under construction and will open in spring 2013. Visitors can access the completed portions of the park from River Street, south of King Street.

Designed by landscape architectural firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg with the Planning Partnership, Underpass Park transformed a derelict space into an inviting neighbourhood amenity.  The park features a variety of play equipment and offers a wide range of recreational facilities including two half-court basketball courts and skateboarding amenities.

Underpass Park also features an innovative public art installation that is suspended from the overpass beams and reflects light. A combination of LED spotlights and interesting lighting effects around the park ensure the area is safe and inviting at all times of day. An official celebration to mark the opening of phase one of the park is being planned for early August.



Toronto’s Waterfront Selected as Top 100 Global Infrastructure Projects


Toronto’s waterfront revitalization was named by KPMG as one of the world’s 100 most innovative and inspiring urban infrastructure projects. Selected in the urban regeneration project category, Toronto’s waterfront was one of six Canadian infrastructure projects to make the second edition of KPMG’s high-profile report Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.

Projects were selected based on their scale, feasibility, technical or financial complexity, innovation and impact on society. In the urban regeneration category, an independent panel of judges chose projects that focused on creating more tranquil living conditions and revitalizing derelict and underutilized spaces to create places where people want to live and do business.

The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is the largest urban renewal project in North America. Waterfront Toronto is transforming 800 hectares (2000 acres) of formerly industrial, under-utilized land into new vibrant, sustainable mixed-use communities.



Two Waterfront Parks Win National Urban Design Awards


Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common, have been awarded 2012 National Urban Design Awards. Canada’s Sugar Beach was honoured in the Civic Design Projects category and Sherbourne Common received the ‘Sustainable Award’ in the same category.

The National Urban Design Awards promote the awareness of urban design and recognize individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to quality of life in Canadian cities.

Canada’s Sugar Beach, located at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street in East Bayfront, was designed by Claude Cormier + Associès. The awards jury described it as an “integral part” to the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront and praised the park’s design, accessibility and functionality.

Sherbourne Common, designed by Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, is the first park in Canada to incorporate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility into its design. The awards jury noted that the Sherbourne Common project “makes smart use of civic infrastructure funding for public enjoyment, providing a very astute solution in time of fiscal scarcity”.



New Interim Martin Goodman Trail and Pedestrian Sidewalk


This fall, Waterfront Toronto will begin construction on a new stretch of ‘off-road’ Martin Goodman Trail and pedestrian sidewalk on the south side of Queens Quay between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis Street. The project is intended to create a safe, interim connection for cyclists and pedestrians traveling from the Central Waterfront to East Bayfront until the final vision for Queens Quay is built out in the area.  

The interim design, by West 8 + DTAH, will create a 3.2 metre wide Martin Goodman Trail next to a 2 metre wide sidewalk on the south side of Queens Quay. A 2.4 metre buffer zone will be installed between traffic and the Martin Goodman Trail to protect cyclists who are traveling against traffic. Construction is expected to begin later this summer and will be complete by spring 2013.

At the same time, Waterfront Toronto is also working with the City of Toronto to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure from Lower Jarvis Street east to Parliament Street while East Bayfront construction continues.   Currently under consideration is a plan that would reconfigure the roadway to add a .7 metre buffer zone between traffic and the bike lanes on both the north and south sides of Queens Quay.  Improvements will also be made at the Parliament Street intersection to enable cyclists to more easily navigate the area. When East Bayfront development allows, Waterfront Toronto will build the off-road Martin Goodman Trail and pedestrian promenade on the south side of Queens Quay.



Current state of Martin Goodman Trail.

Artist rendering of the new interim Martin Goodman Trail and pedestrian sidewalk.

Jarvis Slip Dockwall
While working in this area, crews will also undertake a project to reinforce the aging north dockwall at the Jarvis Slip. In addition to updating this piece of marine infrastructure, crews will remove any conflicts from the dockwall’s structure that will impact future utility, transit and landscaping systems planned for East Bayfront development.


Queens Quay Construction Update


The first construction activity for the Queens Quay revitalization project is now complete. Bell’s construction contractor, Aecon, completed the installation of new conduit for its cabling operations using directional boring machines, which allow drilling to occur beneath the existing road and sidewalk surfaces without disturbing the surface. Bell is now in the process of planning and scheduling its cabling operations for the newly installed infrastructure. Crews will also be on Queens Quay opening manholes to ensure that the newly installed conduit and duct system is ready to receive new runs of copper and fibre cables.

The next utility to begin work will be Toronto Hydro which is undertaking a year-long project to upgrade its underground electrical system along the waterfront. The project includes the construction of new cable chambers and the replacement of aging underground primary cables primarily located within the public right-of-way on the south side of Queens Quay. Expected to begin in July, the upgrade project will enable Hydro to meet future growth and capacity requirements in the downtown core. Once Toronto Hydro’s permits are in place, crews will begin by marking “locates” on Queens Quay using spray paint that fades over time. Provincial law requires that gas, electrical and other services be accurately located and marked prior to excavation.

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Pan Am Village Construction Update


Favourable weather conditions this summer have allowed EllisDon Ledcor PAAV Inc. to continue their steady pace of work on the Pan Am Village site in the West Don Lands.


Work on Old Eastern Avenue continues to progress well. Crews are scheduled to complete site services in mid-July, which will allow them to proceed with the removal of an old gas line. Once complete, installation of a new gas line is scheduled to take place in September. Site services continue on Cherry Street and include the installation of a new sanitary sewer at the north end of the street and a new storm sewer at the south end. Crews are forming and pouring several man holes.

The subdivision roadwork continues with the installation of street lighting conduit and concrete pole bases. Hydro work is scheduled to commence in August and gas work is scheduled to follow in September.

YMCA/George Brown College Site

Much progress continues on the YMCA/George Brown College student residence construction site. A second tower crane has been installed, and the forming and pouring of columns from the basement to the ground floor continues. Work has started on the underground mechanical work as well as on the perimeter foundation and waterproofing. Next, crews will start forming and creating the swimming pool.  

Affordable Housing

Last month, a third crane was installed at one of the affordable housing sites north of Front Street. Work continues on the forming and pouring of walls and columns from the basement to ground floor. With the crane base poured, the site’s fourth crane is scheduled for erection mid-July to begin the column work required on another of the affordable rental buildings. Caisson work continues.


River City Development Update


Phase one of River City, the first private sector development in the West Don Lands, continues to take shape with great progress being made on both the King Street and River Street buildings.

The thirteenth floor of the King Street building is currently being formed.  The topping off of the structure is expected to take place in late August.  At the River Street building, approximately 95 percent of the building enclosure has been completed, including the installation of windows and waterproofing.  Work on the interior suite walls is currently underway and over the next few weeks the installation of drywall will commence.  Installation of the black metal panels being used for exterior cladding will begin shortly.

The steel structure of the three storey pedestrian bridge that connects the two buildings is nearly complete.  

Sales for phase two of the project launched in late 2011 and it is currently more than 75 percent sold.  For information on phase two of River City or to purchase a unit, visit



Toronto Community Housing Development Update


Construction continues on Toronto Community Housing’s affordable housing development in the West Don Lands. The three building development includes an eight-storey, 128 unit seniors building fronting on King Street, and two four-storey buildings that will provide 115 rental housing units for families.

Structural work is complete on the first level of the shared parking garage and the ground floor suspended slab above the garage is in progress and will be finished by the end of July. Structural grade beams in the family buildings will commence in August.  Work is currently underway on the second floor structure of the seniors building.  
Occupancy is expected in 2013.



East Bayfront External Sanitary Sewer Construction Update


The new East Bayfront sanitary sewer construction between Market and Jarvis Streets on The Esplanade has been redesigned and rerouted due to conflicts with unforeseen utilities in that area. Rather than moving east toward Jarvis Street on The Esplanade, construction will now proceed south on Market Street to Wilton Street and east along Wilton Street to Lower Jarvis Street. This last section of sewer installation is pending approvals and expected to start in the next two weeks. The work is expected to be complete by the end of August.



Final Port Lands Public Meeting


Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are nearing completion of a business and implementation plan for the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative.  Public input has played a key role in shaping the plan to date.  

A final public meeting is being held to present updated findings and draft recommendations including the business case.  The public meeting will include an overview presentation and facilitated roundtable discussions for participants to provide feedback on the findings, recommendations and business case.

A report on the emerging directions for the future of the Port Lands will go to the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee in September, and Toronto City Council in October 2012.  

Participate Online

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can participate online at  The meeting will be webcast live and an online version of the roundtable discussion will be open until Friday, August 17.  Visit the website now to view project information, past meeting material and earlier public discussions on the project.   



Final Public Meeting

Final Public Meeting
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon,
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor (1 street north of Bloor)

View map for directions

If you have questions, please visit or, email, call 647-723-6648 or contact 311.


Shining a Light on Stormwater


Two videos about Waterfront Toronto’s innovative stormwater treatment projects are now on YouTube.  A new animated video, titled Shining a Light on Stormwater offers an entertaining description of Sherbourne Common’s innovative stormwater treatment facility. Produced by Trojan Technologies, the video uses animation and still life photography to explain how architecture, landscape design and civil engineering work together to treat stormwater. A second video, by RV Anderson Associates, provides an overview of the West Don Lands Stormwater Treatment and Conveyance System which is now under construction. This unique and innovative facility will be vital to stormwater management and flood protection in the West Don Lands.



Waterfront Toronto Kiosk Moves to Queens Quay Terminal


Waterfront Toronto has moved its interactive kiosk to the Queens Quay Terminal building from July 13 until the end of September. Located on the waterfront at Queens Quay and York Street, the terminal building provides Waterfront Toronto with an opportunity to promote waterfront revitalization to the millions of visitors that come to the waterfront each summer.

The kiosk’s touch-screen gives users a unique experience to explore waterfront projects through an interactive map and they can also view dozens of photos and videos. Users can also fill-out a short survey on waterfront revitalization or sign-up for Waterfront Toronto’s newsletter.

We thank Brookfield Properties for their ongoing support.   


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