news from our new blue edge

October 2012


Toronto’s Waterfront Chosen as a Smart21 Community


Toronto’s waterfront has been named as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of the Year and selected as semi-finalist for the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year award.

Presented by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), the Intelligent Community of the Year award process honours communities or regions with a documented strategy for creating local prosperity and inclusion using broadband and information technology to attract leading-edge businesses, build skills, generate economic growth, and improve the delivery of government services.

Toronto’s designated waterfront was selected largely because of Waterfront Toronto’s intelligent community initiative, which is creating new waterfront neighbourhoods that are intelligent communities that revolutionize how residents receive services, promote economic growth and development, and enable innovation through an advanced telecommunications network. Waterfront Toronto has partnered with Beanfield Metroconnect to create Canada’s first open-access ultra-high speed broadband community network. East Bayfront and West Don Lands, Toronto’s new waterfront communities currently under construction, will feature one of the most advanced fibre-optic networks in the world, delivering internet connection speeds up to 500 times faster than typical North American networks.  

The Intelligent Community of the Year will be announced in New York City in June 2013.



Waterfront Projects Win “Brownie” Awards


Three waterfront projects have been awarded 2012 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie awards. Underpass Park in the West Don Lands won for the Best Small Scale Project and the area’s Flood Protection Landform was recognized with a special award for its contribution to the Public Realm. The newly opened George Brown College Health Sciences Campus in East Bayfront received the Excellence in Project Development Award: Neighbourhood Scale.

The Canadian Urban Institute’s annual Brownie Awards program recognizes leadership, innovation and environmental sustainability in brownfields redevelopment across Canada. The prestigious awards, which were announced on October 4, are considered the Canadian industry standard for recognizing excellence in brownfield development and commitment to the remediation of brownfield sites. The awards celebrate excellence in brownfield redevelopment by transforming contaminated sites into “great places.” The jury included representatives from 10 professional and industry associations. Toronto’s waterfront projects were among 27 finalists in seven categories across Canada.



Pan Am Athletes’ Village Affordable Housing Announcement


The Fred Victor Centre and Wigwamen Incorporated have been announced as the owners and operators of the two affordable rental housing buildings being constructed as part of the Pan/Parapan American Games  Athletes’ Village project in the West Don Lands. The affordable rental housing will be a great legacy of the Games and will help ensure that the West Don Lands is a liveable mixed-use neighbourhood for people of all ages and income levels.

During the 2015 Pan/Parapan Games, the units will serve as temporary homes to athletes, coaches and sporting officials. Following the Games, Wigwamen Inc. and Fred Victor will own and operate the 253 rental units. The project will include one, two, three and four-bedroom units, and 10 per cent of the units will be fully accessible, housing para-athletes during the games and persons with disabilities after the Games.

Fred Victor is a Toronto-based housing and community service organization that works with people who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. Fred Victor has partnered with several agencies for its new building in the West Don Lands to ensure that lower income, working households, individuals with physical disabilities, veterans, and seniors have access to high quality, well-maintained affordable housing.

Wigwamen Inc. has provided affordable housing to the Aboriginal community in Toronto for 40 years. With its West Don Lands building, Wigwamen will provide housing to the Aboriginal community and through a partnership with the Ontario March of Dimes will provide access to people with disabilities. It is also working with the organization Accommodation Information and Support Inc. to provide supportive housing to individuals and families so they can live independently.


Queens Quay: Construction Update


Stage one construction continues on Queens Quay with crews working on several different types of activities up and down the corridor. Recent construction highlights include:

•    Crews began mobilizing for the demolition of the TTC corridor. The demolition is beginning just west of Rees Street and is expected to take approximately six to eight weeks.
•    Toronto Hydro crews are installing dewatering equipment outside of the Westin Hotel and between Bay Street and York Street as part of a year-long effort to completely upgrade its infrastructure along the Queens Quay corridor. Dewatering allows crews to maintain a dry and stable condition during excavation and construction.
•    Enbridge crews began the relocation and upgrade of its gas main from the western end of HTO Park East to Queens Quay Terminal. Work started at York Street and will take about 6 weeks to complete.
The project is completely rebuilding and revitalizing Queens Quay both above and below ground from just west of Lower Spadina Avenue to just east of Bay Street. During Stage One construction, utilities and municipal services are being upgraded and the TTC corridor is being rebuilt. To receive detailed information on Queens Quay construction activities, subscribe to Waterfront Toronto’s weekly email updates.


Queens Quay Changing to One Way Traffic Operations


On November 5, traffic on Queens Quay will change to one-way westbound-only between Bay Street and Lower Spadina Avenue to enable revitalization of the street. Two travel lanes will be maintained as much as possible, and all north-south streets will remain open with eastbound traffic rerouted to Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street. The one-way traffic operation will be in place throughout the first stage of construction until Spring 2013.  


The 509 Harbourfront replacement bus will continue to operate westbound on Queens Quay through the construction area. Eastbound buses will be diverted via Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street.

Westbound Service: Buses from Union (Bay/Front) to Exhibition loop will operate regular routing serving all westbound stops on Queens Quay (although stops may be moved slightly around the construction area.)

Eastbound Service: From Exhibition loop, buses will run east on Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street serving stops at: Stadium Road, Bathurst Street, Dan Leckie Way, Lower Spadina Avenue, Simcoe Street, and Bay Street where buses will continue north to Union Station. Due to traffic operations on Lake Shore Boulevard, it is not possible to have a transit stop at Rees Street. Passengers in that area will be required to board the bus (one block away) at either Lower Spadina Avenue or at Simcoe Street.


The detour bike route – an asphalt trail located in the boulevard area on the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard between Lower Spadina Avenue and York Street – will enable cyclists to bypass most of the construction area. Cyclists may use this route for either eastbound or westbound travel. Signage will be posted to help cyclists access the detour route. While westbound cyclists may ride alongside vehicular traffic through the construction zone on Queens Quay, all cyclists are encouraged to use the detour route when possible.

View our Accessing Queens Quay infographic to see how to navigate Queens Quay by foot, car, bike or transit during stage one construction.



Portland Slip Water’s Edge Construction


Construction is now underway on a new stretch of the Water's Edge Promenade on the western side of the Portland Slip next to the Canada Malting Silos. Waterfront Toronto is installing an 8.4 metre wide, 120 metre long granite mosaic promenade in the same area where the City of Toronto completed a dockwall restoration project late last year.

Waterfront Toronto awarded the contract for the project to Somerville Construction in late September and crews are now mobilizing on site. Over the next month, crews will begin drilling holes for the promenade’s concrete foundations. Site services work will also be undertaken to run water lines for irrigation.

Expected to open next summer, the promenade will begin at the lake and connect with the existing sidewalk just east of the Harbourfront Community Centre. The promenade will provide safe access to Ireland Park, a public space tucked behind the Canada Malting Silos at the water’s edge.


Construction Update: Jarvis Slip Dockwall


Work is underway to reinforce the aging north dockwall at the Jarvis Slip. In October, crews mobilized on site and began trenching to expose and examine the condition of the existing tie-backs used to reinforce the dockwall.

In addition to updating the dockwall reinforcements, the work will also provide underground space for new utilities needed to service East Bayfront. Construction is expected to be complete by Spring 2013.



Accessing Canada's Sugar Beach

Due to construction at the head of the Jarvis Slip, the Queens Quay entrance to Canada’s Sugar Beach is closed until Spring 2013. Visitors may enter the park using the east entrance off Dockside Drive next to Corus Quay or from the Water’s Edge Promenade on the south side of Corus Quay.


Mimico Waterfront Park Phase Two Official Opening


The public is invited to 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 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.  

The opening of Mimico Waterfront Park phase two is scheduled for Monday, October 29, at 1:00pm. 




Mimico Waterfront Park Opening

Date: Monday, October 29
Time: 1pm
Location: Mimico Waterfront Park is located at the foot of Superior Ave., south of Lake Shore Blvd.W.

For more information, contact Waterfront Toronto at 416-214-1344 ext. 276 or email


Pan Am Athletes’ Village /Canary District Construction Update


Work on the Pan Am Athletes’ Village section of the West Don Lands continues to progress on schedule. Construction is underway on all six development blocks that are being built for the Games, and crews on four of the blocks are now working at ground level. 


The subdivision roadwork continues. Mobilization for the installation of an underground hydro duct bank and gas mains is underway. Completed work on Cherry Street includes the installation of a combined sewer output which started at the intersection of Cherry and Eastern Avenue and then moved south. On Old Eastern Avenue a new gas line is currently being installed.

YMCA/George Brown College Site

Construction of the complex that will house the YMCA and George Brown College’s student residence is progressing well.  Work continues on the forming and pouring of the ground floor slab and the second floor slab. 

Affordable Housing Buildings

On the Fred Victor Centre affordable rental housing building, underground mechanical work is nearing completion, and the pouring of slab on grade has begun. On Wigwamen Incorporated affordable rental housing building, crews are currently forming and pouring the ground floor slab. 

Canary District Condominiums

The Canary District Condominiums continue to progress.  Excavation and the drilling of structural caissons continues on the first market housing building; and the installation of shoring, mass excavation and drilling of structural caissons on the second building also continues to progress. For more information on the Canary District Condominiums, visit their website at or their sales centre located at 9 Mill Street.



Union Station Second Subway Platform Construction


Construction of the second subway platform at Union Station is steadily progressing. Excavation and shoring of both eastern and western portions of the second platform are now complete. Waterfront Toronto is working with the TTC to expand the Union Subway Station by building a new platform on the south side of the subway tracks to improve and separate eastbound and westbound passenger flow.
Crews have commenced with demolition work, base slab pouring, waterproofing and wall reinforcing in the western portion. Selective demolition is ongoing on both the concourse and platform levels. Column and foundation work is also underway on the platform level.

Construction of a new automatic entrance that will be at the east end of the expanded subway platform is underway. Hoarding has been installed in the tunnel pathway connecting Union Station to Brookfield Place to facilitate this phase of construction.


Bay Street Closure at Front Street due to work associated with the Union Station project. Weekend Dates of October 26-28 and November 2-4.

View TTC’s notice for more information.


Repair Work in Sherbourne Common North


In mid-October, Enbridge crews excavated a small trench (approximately 2 metres long by 1 metre wide) in the southwest corner of Sherbourne Common North to investigate and repair a gas main leak. The trench is located in a section of the park that features granular stonework, and the repair work has had no impact on the park’s plants, benches or playground structures.  City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, who own and operate the park, are working with Enbridge to ensure the work zone is restored back to its original condition.



The trench is located in the southwest corner of Sherbourne Common North.


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