news from our new blue edge

August-September 2015


Community Update Meeting: Queens Quay

Save the date: On October 14, we’re holding a public meeting to update you on the adjustments we’ve made since the official opening of Queens Quay.

It’s been almost three months since the new Queens Quay officially opened. If you live or work in the area, you’ve no doubt noticed the increase in cycling and pedestrian traffic along the redesigned street. This is a totally new kind of street for Toronto, so it’s taking some time and education to help people understand the rules of this slightly unfamiliar road.

In addition to the educational material we’ve been circulating about the new street design, we’ve also been observing the street, paying particular attention to how cyclists, drivers and pedestrians are navigating intersections and mixing zones. This formal audit of the new intersections has helped us identify a handful of trends that tell us where adjustments are needed. We’ve also been logging the feedback we’ve gotten via email, social media and our online form.

On October 14, we’re holding a public meeting to present a summary of the feedback we’ve received, our own observations of the street, and the adjustments we’ve made to reinforce some of the existing regulatory signs and signals on the new Queens Quay. In addition to this presentation, we’ll take questions about the project. Stay tuned for more details closer to the date.



Port Lands Consultation

A view of the proposed Don River on the south side of Villiers Island looking west towards downtown Toronto.

Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are hosting final public consultation meetings this fall on the emerging plans for the Port Lands. The consultation will provide an update and seek feedback on three current initiatives: the Port Lands Planning Framework, Villiers Island Precinct Plan, and the Port Lands and South of Eastern EA. The format will be similar to some of the meetings held in the first phase of the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative and is intended to provide time to digest information and to provide feedback. Presentations will also be recorded and posted online for those who are unable to attend in person or who wish to view the presentations a second time. Watch for a formal notice later this fall.



Lower Yonge Update: The Details of a New Neighbourhood

We’ve held a third public meeting as we continue forming our plan to redevelop prime waterfront land between Yonge and Jarvis.

If Queens Quay is the spine of the waterfront, then the Lower Yonge Precinct is its heart. The area between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis connects the revitalized Queens Quay West with East Bayfront, currently under development. It’s a central point between the Toronto Harbour to the south and the Financial District to the north. Getting this neighbourhood right is critical to waterfront revitalization.
A lot of work has already gone into the plans for how these 12 hectares should be redeveloped. The Lower Yonge Urban Design Guidelines and Lower Yonge Transportation Master Plan Environmental Assessment were presented to City Council in August 2014. These two plans now form the basis of a precinct plan that will guide this area’s redevelopment, ensuring this area gets all the infrastructure, public spaces, amenities and building types it needs to become a complete, sustainable neighborhood. To get an idea of what a precinct plan entails, take a look at three plans that have previously been approved by City Council for the waterfront: the East Bayfront, West Don Lands and Keating Channel Precinct Plans. 
About 150 people participated in the third public meeting for Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto's Lower Yonge Precinct planning project this past June. The purpose of the meeting was to seek feedback on the developing precinct plan as well as Pinnacle’s development application for the Toronto Star lands at 1-7 Yonge Street. The full summary of this recent public consultation is available hereFind out more about precinct planning for Lower Yonge...



Ontario Place Urban Park and Trail

Romantic Garden – The open space designed for rest or play, features windswept pine trees and smooth rocks inspired by Ontario alvars.

Last summer, the Province of Ontario announced its plans to revitalize Ontario Place. Working collaboratively, Infrastructure Ontario and Waterfront Toronto have developed plans for the first phase of the revitalization – an urban park and waterfront trail – have been developed. The design will turn a parking lot on the East Island into a 7.5-acre naturalized green space celebrating Ontario landscapes. At a special unveiling in June, the trail was dedicated in the name of William G. Davis who was Premier when Ontario Place first opened in 1971. The William G. Davis Trail will connect the new urban park with Ontario Place's history as a public space for all Ontarians and will link to the existing trail system that includes the Martin Goodman Trail, the Pan Am Path and the Waterfront Trail, as well as the Trans Canada Trail in Ontario. Site demolition is already underway and the park will be completed by fall 2016. Read more about the park and the dedication of William G. Davis Trail




In brief

From the Archives: Marilyn Bell Park
Fifteen years ago, the water’s edge at Marilyn Bell Park was made of broken pavement and cracked asphalt. Today, the boardwalk and trails through Marilyn Bell Park are a favourite for runners, joggers, rollerbladers and cyclists. We pulled a series of photos from the archives to illustrate this early, transformative waterfront revitalization project. View a series of before and after photos from the archives…

A New Temporary Art Installation at York Ramp Park
Local art collective VSVSVS has developed Something Something Blue, a temporary site-specific installation at York Ramp Park, using a section of the giant blue ribbon that was part of our Queens Quay Opening Celebration.  Read more about the project on our blog…

Understanding Your New Queens Quay
This new street only works if drivers, cyclists and pedestrians obey the rules. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should be cautious when using an unfamiliar street. Everyone on the street should be observing signs and pavement markings and driving, walking or cycling with caution and courtesy. This sharable animated video outlines the rules for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists on Queens Quay West…

Urban Dog Runs: New Playgrounds for City Dogs
With a surge of dog owners in Toronto condominiums in recent years there is a growing need for public spaces that meet the needs of these residents. Urban dog runs fill a practical need as well as a social one – giving a place for city dogs to exercise, do their ‘business’ and socialize. Learn more about how these spaces can vary in size and scale and the difference between dog parks and dog runs...

Sail-in Cinema
Ports Toronto turned Sugar Beach into an outdoor theatre for three nights this past August. Now in its fifth year, Sail-in Cinema drew a record 11,000 moviegoers to the waterfront on land or in boats. The two-sided floating screen was perfect for watching classics like Goonies and Ghostbusters. Get the full recap...

Something Something Blue – Ping Pong Picnic

This Sunday, September 13 Toronto artist collective VSVSVS will host a BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) with DIY ping pong tables at York Ramp Park, located at the foot of York Street just north of Queens Quay. Join them to celebrate this unusual green space and the temporary art installation they’ve created for it, which includes a series of blue windsocks fashioned from the giant ribbon used to celebrate the grand opening of Queens Quay. Get the full details here.


Something Something Blue, 2015 - VSVSVS – Toronto.

Toronto's Vegetarian Food Festival

Experience the best the vegetarian world has to offer at this year's Veg Food Fest, from September 11-13, hosted at Harbourfront Centre. As North America's biggest vegetarian food fair the weekend long activities include cooking demonstrations, free samples, new products, cookbook launches and lots of delicious food. Talk to local and international chefs, explore the marketplace of vendors who will change what you think is possible for vegan and vegetarian food. Learn more at


Veg Food Fest is produced by the Toronto Vegetarian Association.


Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on the Waterfront

Every October for one special night, Toronto is transformed by contemporary art projects created by hundreds of artists. From sunset to sunrise more than a million people come out to experience the exhibitions, explore the neighbourhoods and take in the art party. 

On October 3, as part of the City of Toronto’s free all-night contemporary art event, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, curator Christine Shaw presents The Work of the Wind – 13 projects that chart forces of the wind along the waterfront, between York Street and Parliament Street. Read the curator’s statement and learn more about The Work of the Wind.

po     Image

Torus, 2015 - Mary Mattingly - New York, USA


Project update: East Bayfront

Looking east at the water’s edge. Crews are making steady progress at Bayside.

Bayside Toronto
Paving on local streets is complete, including the area surrounding the stormwater holding tank.  Sequence programming for the operation of the storm system is in progress and final commissioning is targeted for completion in late September.  

Queens Quay East
Interim Improvements
Work at the Merchants' Wharf and Queens Quay intersection is complete, leaving the sidewalk and Martin Goodman Trail open to pedestrians and cyclists. Line painting for the Martin Goodman Trail between Lower Jarvis and Parliament is also complete.

Access to Bonnycastle between Queens Quay and Lake Shore Boulevard remains limited. This is because of construction at the Monde development and ongoing work on underground infrastructure at Bonnycastle and Queens Quay. We are working with our partners to ensure access northbound and southbound on Bonnycastle.

East Bayfront Essential External Servicing Infrastructure
Work on the new Sanitary Pumping Station, located at the foot of Cherry Street at Lake Shore Boulevard, continues. The concrete structure is complete, the installation of hatches and ladders is underway, and mechanical and electrical work is expected to start in the next four to six weeks.

Now that the Pan/Parapan American Games have drawn to a close, work will resume on the sanitary trunk sewer from Bonnycastle Street and Queens Quay, east to the sewage pumping station. This work involves rebuilding the existing storm sewer from Bonnycastle to Small Street and installing twin storm forcemains from Bonnycastle to Parliament Street. While this work is being completed, westbound lanes on the north side of Queens Quay will be closed. East-west traffic will flow along the south side of Queens Quay. Access to all businesses along Queens Quay East will be maintained. We will circulate construction updates with information about lane closures and progress.

The storm forcemains will extend further east to Cherry Street, but for the most part are located outside of the roadway along the east side of Parliament to Lake Shore Boulevard, and within the south boulevard of Lake Shore Boulevard from Parliament Street to Cherry Street.

Work will also begin this October on the sanitary forcemain from the sanitary pumping station, north on Cherry Street to just north of the Lakeshore East rail corridor. This work will require the closure of a short section of the northbound lane of Cherry Street, from Lake Shore Boulevard to just north of the rail corridor, for approximately two months. Southbound traffic will not be impacted by this closure. The exact start date is not yet confirmed as we are still awaiting final approvals from various agencies.


Project update: West Don Lands

Looking east across the West Don Lands. Temporary facilities installed by TO2015, such as the dining hall and welcome pavilion, can be seen in the foreground.

The transformation of the West Don Lands has been tremendous and it continues to unfold as we head towards the end of the year. Next steps for this area include converting the buildings and facilities from their initial use for the Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village into what it was always planned to be – a sustainable, vibrant, walkable mixed-use community.

Saying Goodbye to the Athletes’ Village
We are so proud of all of the athletes and, in particular, how well Team Canada represented us at the Pan/Parapan American Games. Now that the excitement of the games is behind us and the athletes have returned home, the question raised is: why is the fencing still around the neighbourhood? 

While the Games officially ended August 15, the Toronto Organizing Committee (TO2015) is removing approximately 220,000 pieces of furniture, fixtures and other items as well as dismantling temporary structures – such as the dining hall, medical clinic and welcome pavilion. The decommissioning of the area will be completed by September 30, at which time it will be handed back to Infrastructure Ontario and the developer, Dundee Kilmer, for the final transition to its planned use.

Say Hello to West Don Lands and the Canary District
Construction of the residential and other buildings was complete last February, however, the interior spaces must now be retrofitted from their interim use to their planned use. Once TO2015 finishes their decommissioning at the end of September, the area will be turned back over to the developer, Dundee Kilmer and over the next six months they will complete the interiors for the affordable housing developments provided by Wigwamen and Fred Victor, the George Brown student residence, the Canary District condominiums and the amenity retail spaces. This means reconfiguring walls, installing permanent finishes, kitchens and bathroom facilities, and much more. 

Conversion work will also be completed on a new 82,000 square foot YMCA, developed in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Located at the corner of Front Street and Cherry Street and built to LEED Gold building standards, the facility will include spaces for youth and community activities, a gymnasium, swimming pool, an accessible green roof, and fitness studios and exercise areas. The facility will host a public open house in late-May 2016 and will open in June 2016.

Front Street and Mill Street
When will Front Street and Mill Street east of Cherry Street open? Sections of these streets are still controlled by the Province. Infrastructure Ontario has issued an update advising that, “During the conversion phase, access to the Village, including Mill Street and Front Street east of Cherry Street, will remain closed to ensure the safety of the general public and the workers on site. The continued closure of Mill Street and Front Street will allow remaining roadwork to take place. It will also allow the unrestricted movement of materials and construction vehicles around the site in order to meet the completion schedule.” For additional information, including a map showing the boundaries of the construction site, please see this Information Sheet provided by Infrastructure Ontario and Dundee Kilmer.

We are working closely with our government partners and hope to have more detailed information about accessibility and timing shortly. A complete community with impressive amenities and public art has been built and we’re anxious for everyone to enjoy it!

Corktown Common
The first goal for TO2015 once the games ended was to return Corktown Common to the community as quickly as possible...and they delivered! The park – and the splash pad – re-opened to the public on August 21, much earlier than anticipated, and is once again being operated and maintained by the City of Toronto. 

Infrastructure Ontario recently completed its work beneath the King-Queen bridge and Waterfront Toronto is now mobilizing in the area. Over the next four to six weeks, we will be landscaping the parcel on the east side of River Street, defined by the intersection of King Street and Queen Street, as well as a pathway under the bridge providing another connection to the park for Corktown residents. Landscaping will include a mix of lawn, meadow and trees, and will also include some informal seating.

Cherry Street
Cherry Street from Lake Shore Boulevard to Mill Street re-opened in late-August and the remaining section from Mill Street to Front Street, will open September 30. However, once TO2015 completes their decomissioning of the athletes’ village, Waterfront Toronto will begin work on the sanitary forcemain on Cherry Street. This will require the closure of a short section of the northbound lane of Cherry Street, from Lake Shore Boulevard to just north of the rail corridor, for approximately two months. Southbound traffic will not be impacted by this closure. The exact start date is not yet confirmed as we are still awaiting final approvals from various agencies.

Toronto Community Housing
Waterfront Toronto has established a comprehensive series of Minimum Green Building Requirements to ensure advanced, high performance buildings and sustainable lifestyle choices. These requirements include that all buildings must be at minimum LEED Gold certified and have green roofs, amongst a host of other requirements targeting energy and water efficiency, smart building design, and sustainable transportation options. In August, Toronto Community Housing’s affordable rental buildings at King and River (one seniors building and two family buildings) were officially certified as LEED® Gold. To achieve the LEED® Gold certification, Toronto Community Housing incorporated sustainable design features such as high-efficiency building systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, ENERGY STAR® appliances and green roofs. 

Toronto Community Housing supports the development of sustainable buildings across its portfolio. Being more energy-efficient reduces emissions, makes the buildings less costly to operate, and has many benefits for residents. And energy cost savings can be used to support the organization’s capital repair and revitalization work, which will lead to a nine per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.

Visit Toronto Community Housing’s website for more information about the West Don Lands development.

River City
As Phase II of River City continues to progress with more residents taking occupancy. Phase III is expected to break ground this autumn.

The exterior construction work on RC2 is nearly complete, which will allow us to begin the remaining work on the eastern portion of the Woonerfs around River City in early October and finish by the end of November.

Underpass Park
The second phase (the western portion) of Underpass Park opened to the public in early July. Underpass Park is located under and around the Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses. It is the most extensive park ever built under an overpass in Canada, and the first ever in Toronto. 



Follow Waterfront Toronto on:

Facebook Twitter Youtube Flickr RSS Feed