news from our new blue edge

August 2014


Transparency and accountability on the waterfront

Waterfront Toronto facilitating public consultation on a waterfront project.

Waterfront Toronto’s way of working has always included lots of public consultation on our projects. From precinct plans, to park designs, to the impact of construction, we have always worked to be both transparent and accountable and to earn the trust of the people who care about and are affected by the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.

This trust is very important to us; the waterfront belongs to the people of Toronto and it is critical that they feel that their voice is reflected in what we do and how we do it. One way in which we act in a transparent and accountable way is by providing details on our activities to our government partners and responding to all questions in as timely a manner as possible.

In the last month, you’ve seen many stories in the media and much public discussion of the details and costs of our projects. Many of these stories are driven by information requests that Waterfront Toronto has received from elected representatives of the City.

Because we are always looking for more ways to be transparent, we decided that the responses to these information requests will be shared with the public through our website. We call this new feature “Get the Facts” and it allows us to share our responses with the public (assuming the response does not contain commercially sensitive information). It also allows us to put the facts in context and to explain the bigger picture and issues that are raised through information requests.

We hope you visit our Get the Facts page. And, as always, we encourage you to join the conversation about our work and to let us know of any questions you have.




Lower Yonge Precinct update

Lower Yonge Precinct - Harbour Street

Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto provided an update on the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan to Toronto and East York Community Council on August 12.  The Lower Yonge Precinct are lands with significant development potential in the Central Waterfront. Located between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis Street south of Lake Shore Boulevard and north of Queens Quay, the site is currently home to the Toronto Star building, several parking lots, the LCBO warehouse/store and a Loblaws. 

Over the past year, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have completed two studies which are the foundation for the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan: an Urban Design Report and a Transportation Master Plan Environmental Assessment. These studies – which were guided by comments from stakeholders and members of the public – set out a structure for the revitalization of the Lower Yonge precinct. They create a plan for streets and blocks, public space and the height, placement and size of new buildings in the area.
Creating a new waterfront neighbourhood requires careful attention to the right mix of uses within the development (both residential and commercial), a range of unit types and sizes, affordability and community services needed to support the neighbourhood. Over the next several months, City planning staff will work to finalize the precinct plan including the funding and implementation tools required to make the vision for the precinct a reality. Next steps include further assessments to the transportation and servicing infrastructure, community services and facilities. Staff will also complete heritage impact work and the phasing requirements for parkland, the road network and land uses.

A public meeting will be held in early 2015 to collect additional feedback on the precinct plan and provide the community with another opportunity to shape this new waterfront neighbourhood. The final precinct plan – and Official Plan Amendment – is expected to go to Toronto East York Community Council for approval next spring. 



East Bayfront pedestrian and cycling improvements

Rendering of the interim improvements for East Bayfront.

In early September, construction will begin on a series of interim improvements in East Bayfront which set the groundwork for the full vision for Queens Quay. First, for cyclists, the Martin Goodman Trail will be extended east along the south side of Queens Quay from Lower Jarvis to Parliament Street. Once this separated stretch of Martin Goodman Trail is in place, the road will be re-painted and the on-street bike lanes removed. By Spring 2015, when both this project and the revitalization of Queens Quay are complete, there will be a safe, off-street Martin Goodman Trail from Bathurst Street all the way to Parliament Street.
Several improvements are also planned for pedestrians. At the Jarvis Slip, crews will finish installing granite pavers next to the 7.4 metre long stretch of promenade Waterfront Toronto opened along the head of the slip last summer. This work could not be completed until Hydro completed its infrastructure upgrade in the area. In addition, the current asphalt sidewalk between Jarvis Street and Parliament Street will be replaced with a wider, concrete sidewalk. The sidewalk will be separated from the Martin Goodman Trail by landscaping including fast-growing trees, shrubs and flowers. New benches and bike rings will be installed along the way for those who want to stop and explore the waterfront. Pedestrians will also benefit from a new north-south crosswalk planned along the east side of the Parliament/Lake Shore intersection. This new crosswalk will make it easier and safer to walk to communities north of East Bayfront such as the Distillery District.
The majority of construction will take place south of the roadway. However, during some phases of construction, the eastbound bicycle lane will be obstructed requiring motorists and cyclists to share the travel lane. The pedestrian sidewalk on the south side will also be closed from Dockside Drive (west) to Parliament Street during construction. The north side sidewalk will be open and available throughout this construction.
While these improvements are interim in nature, they set the stage for our long-term revitalization plans for Queens Quay, which call for a south side promenade and Martin Goodman Trail. When complete next spring, the interim sidewalk and trail will greatly improve connectivity in East Bayfront and the landscaping will help beautify the area while the new neighborhood continues to be built out.

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



Construction update: Queens Quay Revitalization

By mid-August, another milestone will be reached along Queens Quay. The first stretch of asphalt for the new road will be poured from just east of York Street to the Rees Parkette (approximately 500 metres) on August 16. Over the next couple of months, crews will continue to excavate, pour the concrete roadbed and install granite curbs before pouring asphalt for the remaining sections of the new roadway. The road is expected to be complete by late fall but will remain one-way westbound until the end of the project to facilitate remaining construction activities.

Crews are also making steady progress on the construction of the new Martin Goodman Trail which began in July. Before pouring asphalt for the trail, crews must remove the existing road and excavate approximately two metres below ground to install silva cells – a tiered network of rigid boxes designed to give trees the soil volume they need to thrive. All of the silva cells for the Queens Quay revitalization project are strategically located beneath the Martin Goodman Trail allowing the street’s double row of trees to grow and create a green canopy over the promenade and trail.  The construction of the Martin Goodman Trail and granite promenade will continue through the fall and winter to the end of the project in Spring 2015.

For more detailed construction updates, please sign up for the Queens Quay construction notice on the Queens Quay construction webpage, which is posted each Friday afternoon.


Installing tiers of silva cells on Queens Quay which will help give trees the soil their roots need to thrive.

Queens Quay webcams
Keep an eye on construction from your computer or mobile device using our Queens Quay Webcams.

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: Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District

A view of Canary Park from Corktown Common.

Concrete base and the installation of unit pavers and light poles on local streets continues to progress. The installation of the remaining silva cells and tree planting continues along Front Street.
Reconstruction work on the east side of Sumach Street continues to progress. TTC track installation and concrete fill-in has been completed and work on the median, sidewalks and other public realm improvements is scheduled to continue throughout the summer.

YMCA/George Brown College
The pool tile work at the YMCA is complete. The painting and the commissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment is ongoing in both buildings and the exterior aluminum cladding façade is progressing.

Affordable Housing Buildings
The fire alarm and commissioning process are underway for both the Fred Victor and Wigwamen buildings. The installation of the green roof, ballast (part of the building’s electrical system) and pavers are complete on both buildings. The perimeter landscaping is ongoing and planting has been deferred until September, dependent on the weather.
Canary District Condominiums
Progress is steady at both the Canary District and Canary Park condominium projects. At Canary District Condominiums – the first market housing condominium - mechanical and electrical installation continues to progress and the installation of the elevators in the south tower is nearing completion. The installation of the remaining elevators is ongoing. Progress continues on painting, bathroom vanity installation and tile work, and the installation of balcony railings is in progress.
On the second market housing building - Canary Park Condominiums - mechanical and electrical installations and the materials necessary for fire stopping and smoke seal installation are in progress. Window, elevator and roofing installation is ongoing for both towers, and framing of suites and gypsum board installation on corridor walls is in progress. Prime-coat painting continues while interior suite door, washroom tiling and bathroom vanities are installed.  
For more information on the award winning Canary District or to view the live construction feed, visit or their brand new presentation centre located at 398 Front Street (parking available off Trinity Street).



Construction update: River City

Artist rendering of River City with RC1 in the foreground and RC3 in the background looking south on Lower River Street.

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

Construction progress continues at RC2 – phase 2 of the four-phase development. Window installation continues to advance up the building and installation of interior finishes continues. Occupancy of this phase is scheduled to begin in early 2015.

RC3, the third phase of this award-winning development, was recently released for sale.  Sales have been strong, with approximately 50% of the units now sold. With striking asymmetrical lines and colours that reference RC1 and RC2, RC3 will complement the earlier phases, as well as Canary Park, its neighbour to the south.



Construction update: Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing’s development, looking east from St. Lawrence Street with River City in the background. On the left is the seniors building on King Street; on the right is the family building on St. Lawrence Street.

Toronto Community Housing’s three-building, 243-unit development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands is nearing completion.  Landscaping around the buildings and in the courtyard area is approximately 70% complete and streetscaping features on King Street will get underway later this year.
Seniors will begin to move into the eight-storey building on King Street shortly. Toronto Community Housing has obtained their occupancy permit and are working with tenants to schedule move-ins. The building offers 128 affordable rental units for seniors.     
Progress at the family buildings continues. The River Street family building is approximately 95% complete and the St. Lawrence Street building is approximately 85% complete. Pre-Delivery Inspections (PDIs) are underway at both buildings.



In brief

Public comments being accepted on the Waterfront Sanitary Sewer Servicing Master Plan
Since completion of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, development planning for the East Bayfront and North Keating Area precincts has advanced and projected sewage flows have increased. Based on the increased projected sewage flows, a new servicing solution was needed. Additional alternative solutions were identified and evaluated resulting in modifications to the recommended solution in the Study. See materials...

Revitalizing Ontario Place
On July 31, the Province announced its long-term vision to revitalize Ontario Place into a vibrant waterfront destination. Plans include public access to a spectacular part of Toronto, with a mix of indoor and outdoor features that will draw people year-round. The long-term vision builds on phase one’s plans for a stunning new urban park and waterfront trail. Learn more...

Waterfront Toronto Director of Intelligent Communities recognized by The Economist
Waterfront Toronto’s Director of Intelligent Communities, Kristina Verner was recently named as one of The Economist’s Top 25 Social Business Leaders. See how Kristina and Waterfront Toronto are creating community and commerce on the waterfront...



Telling the story of our waterfront at the Toronto Reference Library

We’ve worked with the Toronto Public Library to create a new exhibition, Dreaming Big: Toronto’s Waterfront – 1852 to Tomorrow that tells the story of Toronto’s waterfront through art, architecture, design and media. The exhibition charts the history of nearly two centuries of passionate discussions and debates – and provides an inspiring glimpse into the future of our love affair with the water’s edge.

As a complement to the archival material, we have selected some of the more visually impactful renderings from three Waterfront Toronto projects: Queens Quay, The Gardiner Expressway, and The Port Lands. What emerges is a sense of the magnitude and the importance of the public conversation that Torontonians have been having for nearly two centuries on waterfront revitalization.



 Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith, Yonge St. Wharf, 1887? Toronto Public Library, JRR 4010.

Join the exhibit’s curators for a guided tour of the show:
Monday, August 25, 5 pm;
Wednesday, September 17, 2 pm; and Wednesday, October 8, 2 pm

The TD Gallery is open during the regular hours of the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.


Summer Cinema at Fort York

Every Tuesday throughout August, enjoy a different family friendly film at Fort York starting after sunset. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets while relaxing under the stars. There are still two more opportunities in August to check out this free outdoor movie series presented by Scotiabank. On August 19, watch out for translucent characters with a screening of Ghostbusters at 8:15 p.m. and on August 26, catch your friendly neighbourhood superhero with a screening of The Amazing Spiderman 2 at 8:05 p.m.



Be sure to arrive early to secure a great spot and the first 300 people will receive free popcorn.



Hot and spicy culinary delights at the waterfront

Tempt your taste buds with Harbourfront Centre’s legendary Hot & Spicy Food Festival, August 15–17 with cuisine from around the world. Enjoy a range of culinary delicacies, as an International Iron Chef Competition, Spice Route scavenger hunt, performances by Joe Driscoll & Seko Kouyate. The festival kicks off with the Red Hot Market opening on Friday evening with spicy packaged goods, including sauces, rubs, jellies, pickles, marinades and more.


This four-day experience offers culinary delights, music, dance, and more!



Sail-in Cinema™ returns to Sugar Beach

With two days left to enjoy everyone’s favourite two-sided floating movie screen, tickets to this annual free event have already sold out. Presented by Toronto Port Authority, this year's film festival (from August 14-16) featured a terrifying T-Rex, a savage shark and an amiable alien. Families and film fans alike enjoy watching movies in this unique setting that transforms Sugar Beach into an open movie theatre. This free event allows both boaters and land-lovers to enjoy their favourite films under the open skies each night at dusk. While the landlubber tickets have sold out, boaters can still drop their anchor and enjoy tonight and tomorrow’s films (on a first-come, first-served basis).



Learn more about Sail-in Cinema™.



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