news from our new blue edge

February 2012


Toronto’s Waterfront Profiled on The Nature of Things


The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront was featured in The Suzuki Diaries: Future City, a special episode of The Nature of Things, the highly-acclaimed Canadian documentary series hosted by David Suzuki.

The episode followed David Suzuki and his daughter Sarika Cullis-Suzuki as they travelled across Canada to discover how Canadian cities are preparing for the challenges of the future.

In Toronto, David and Sarika toured the East Bayfront and West Don Lands with Waterfront Toronto President and CEO John Campbell and Parks Director James Roche. They visited Sherbourne Common and learned about its neighbourhood-wide storm and lake water treatment facility. In the West Don Lands, David and Sarika toured Don River Park, currently being constructed on top of the area’s flood protection landform, and visited Underpass Park to see how Waterfront Toronto is transforming derelict and unused space beneath a series of overpasses into a community public space.

The episode aired on February 16 on the main CBC network and will air again on Sunday, February 26 at 6PM on CBC-News Network. To watch the episode online, follow the link –


Queens Quay Revitalization Update


Construction to revitalize Queens Quay in the Central Waterfront from Yo Yo Ma Lane - just west of Spadina Avenue - to Bay Street will commence this spring. The project will transform Queens Quay from an unattractive and dysfunctional street to a beautiful and efficient main street for the waterfront. The revitalized street will feature a generous, tree-lined promenade and a bike lane on the south side, a dedicated transit way in the centre and traffic lanes on the north side.

Waterfront Toronto is currently working to finalize the construction schedule. Once the details of the phasing of construction have been confirmed, a public meeting will be held to communicate the schedule and ensure everyone is well aware of how construction will unfold over the two-year project.  Construction is expected to be complete in 2014.

A Construction Liaison Committee (CLC) made up of local resident associations, businesses and other groups has been established. The CLC will liaise with the project team, monitor and report on the impacts of construction during the project, and bring forward any issues that may arise.  


Current image of Queens Quay.

Artist rendering of Queens Quay post construction.


Art Sculpture Installation for Don River Park


Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto, will be installing the unique art sculpture No Shoes in West Don Lands’ Don River Park later this year.

No Shoes was designed by the internationally-acclaimed American artist Mark di Suvero as part of the International Sculpture Symposium in Toronto’s High Park. In 1967, di Suvero, then in the early stages of his career, was invited as one of many artists to participate in the symposium. Only given access to a crane and an operator, di Suvero created two monumental pieces, Flower Power and No Shoes, which were the first works in what became his signature style.

The name No Shoes reflects the spirit of the 1960s. The new attitudes of freedom and defiance of the times are portrayed in the artwork’s form where large and heavy components create an effect of weightlessness and delicate balance.

After a lengthy restoration overseen by di Suvero himself, No Shoes will be installed in Don River Park at the end of Mill Street. The sculpture is part of the City of Toronto Outdoor Art and Monuments Collection and will be installed in the park as part of Waterfront Toronto’s West Don Lands Public Art Strategy. West Don Lands is one of the first communities in Canada in which public art is integrated as part of the early planning for the neighbourhood and, as a result, art work is incorporated into the public realm.


CanPar Demolition Update


Demolition of the CanPar building (Marine Terminal 29) at 261 Queens Quay East is underway and targeted for completion in mid-March. Crews completed safe removal of hazardous materials in January and began tearing down the distribution company’s former building earlier this month to help make way for the future development of Bayside. Waterfront Toronto is following the Ministry of Environment’s requirements and is diverting at least 80 percent of the building materials offsite to a sorting and recycling facility. When demolition is complete all that will remain is the concrete slab foundation.
The Bayside development site, located in the heart of the East Bayfront community – south of Queens Quay between Sherbourne Common and the Parliament Slip, is the largest parcel of land to be developed to date by Waterfront Toronto. Led by Hines, one of the world’s premier real estate firms, Bayside will transform an underutilized, industrial area into an active and diverse mixed-use community and thriving waterfront destination.



George Brown College Waterfront Campus Construction Update


Progress continues on the construction of George Brown College’s state-of-the-art waterfront campus in East Bayfront. The building’s steel frame has been topped off and the exterior walls and roofing are now complete. Interior finishing is underway with drywall being installed and painting and tiling have started.  The remaining interior work is due to be finished in August.

The 330,000 square foot, eight-storey waterfront health sciences campus is located next to Sherbourne Common on a 0.83 hectare (two-acre) parcel of land south of Queens Quay. More than 3,500 full-time students will start their first semester at the new campus in September 2012.


Underpass Park Construction Update


Construction of the first phase of Underpass Park is wrapping up and work on the second phase is set to begin. Work on blocks 19 and 20, the portion of the park east of St. Lawrence Street and River Street, is nearing completion. Construction of Block 18, the western portion close to Eastern Avenue, will begin in early March. The first stage of work will include soil removal and backfill.

The most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada and the first ever in Toronto, Underpass Park will open later this year. 



Toronto Community Housing Development Update


Foundation construction work for Toronto Community Housing’s affordable rental development in the West Don Lands continues.

Caissons have been put in place to prepare the ground for building the foundation. Work on the  foundation is expected to be complete in early summer so that construction on the first floors above ground can begin.

The affordable housing complex, located on the southeast corner of King Street and St. Lawrence Street, includes three buildings that will feature 243 rental units geared to families and seniors. The development will be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2013.


West Don Lands Stormwater Treatment System Construction Update


Construction of the West Don Lands’ innovative stormwater treatment and conveyance system is progressing at a steady pace with the forming and pouring of the Cherry Street shaft nearing completion. This work is expected to be completed by the end of February and it will enable the reopening of Cherry Street south of Mill Street.

The Caisson wall and excavation for the oil grit separator structure is complete and the sub-contractor responsible for this structure has mobilized to the site. Over the next few weeks, forming and pouring of the Keating shaft and construction of the box culvert from the shaft to the dock wall at the Keating Channel will commence. Forming and pouring of the base and interior of the main shaft, as well as forming and pouring of the oil grit separator structure will also begin.


Toronto Board of Trade Infrastructure Series


On March 7, Waterfront Toronto’s President and CEO, John Campbell will be giving the keynote address at the Toronto Board of Trade’s Infrastructure Series luncheon.

John will provide a status report on the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront and also discuss how this initiative has attracted over $2 billion in private and public sector development and enabled real estate development in surrounding areas.

Toronto Board of Trade hosts more than 100 speaker events every year. Speakers include prominent business community leaders, political thinkers, innovators and influencers that address current and relevant topics.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 416-862-4500.


Waterfront Toronto Interactive Kiosk at Metro Centre


In a continuous effort to engage Torontonians on waterfront revitalization, our interactive kiosk has once again changed locations. From February 1 until March 30, the kiosk will be stationed in the Metro-Wellington Centre, at 200 Wellington Street West.

The kiosk features information about Waterfront Toronto projects and allows passer-byers to learn about various waterfront revitalization projects by exploring an interactive map, watching videos or viewing project images. Users are also encouraged to fill out a survey and sign up for monthly newsletter updates.



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