news from our new blue edge

September 2016


Future Cities Talks: Radical New Ideas for City Building

Our summer program of free arts and cultural events in Toronto’s waterfront neighbourhoods continues in August and September. Venture out to the parks and public spaces in the West Don Lands and East Bayfront, and enjoy our reimagined and revitalized waterfront. Here’s what’s happening in the coming weeks: Our summer program of free arts and cultural events in Toronto’s waterfront neighbourhoods continues in August and September. Venture out to the parks and public spaces in the West Don Lands and East Bayfront, and enjoy our reimagined and revitalized waterfront. Here’s what’s happening in the coming weeks: Our summer program of free arts and cultural events in Toronto’s waterfront neighbourhoods continues in August and September. Venture out to the parks and public spaces in the West Don Lands and East Bayfront, and enjoy our reimagined and revitalized waterfront. Here’s what’s happening in the coming weeks:

Join us on Sunday, September 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Hosted by Waterfront Toronto’s CEO William Fleissig, this series of talks will challenge culture-makers and urbanists to reimagine what it means to be a city builder. On the closing afternoon of in/future: a transformative art experience, we’ll gather leading voices who will present radical new ideas for building future communities.  

Eb Zeidler (Zeidler Partnership Architects) and Margie Zeidler (Urbanspace Property Group) discuss the utopian design of leisure spaces like Ontario Place and shared work spaces like 401 Richmond, and how both projects have changed the face of our City in the past 40 years.

Vass Bednar (Martin Prosperity Institute) discusses the problem with the term "community" and its implications for governance and policy-making.

Lisa Tziona Switkin (James Corner Field Operations) discusses creating a new ecological aesthetic that envisions new forms of urban nature that are transformative, performative and showcase both natural and engineered beauty.

Karen Carter (Myseum of Toronto) discusses embracing the unknown as a revolutionary stance for knitting together a collective identity for an increasingly diverse city.

Susan Blight (Ogimaa Mikana) discusses the City of Toronto as a utopian experiment to restore Indigeneity, build solidarities, and decolonize our cities.

Katerina Cizek (MIT Open Documentary Lab) on the city as open web and on becoming urban citizens rather than consumers.

Tickets for this FREE event are sold out. You can register for the waitlist on Eventbrite


Waterfront Toronto to receive government funding for Essroc Quay Lakefilling project - a step towards Port Lands flood protection 

Conceptual future vision looking east across the Port Lands. Villiers Island will emerge as a connected and complete community with parks and opens spaces along the Don River, The Keating Channel and Lake Ontario.

Last week, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced more than $1.1 billion in Clean Water and Wastewater infrastructure funding, including funding for a project that takes the first steps toward flood protecting the Port Lands. 

Essroc Quay Lakefilling is a stand-alone project that is also part of the proposed scope of work for the larger Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure project that Waterfront Toronto has spent over a decade developing. Our CEO Will Fleissig joined Federal Infrastructure Minister Sohi, Ontario Infrastructure Minister Chiarelli and Mayor Tory for the announcement on Essroc Quay in the Port Lands.

The project will create a new landmass around the current Essroc Quay and stabilize the area shoreline under flood conditions, improve water quality, optimize water and storm infrastructure, and create new naturalized open spaces and aquatic habitat. It will also further accommodate the construction of roads and transit into the Port Lands. Construction is set to begin mid-2017.

A full description of the announcement and the project can be found in our newsroom.  


Singing River comes to Corktown Common

Debuted as part of last summer’s Pan Am Arts Relay, Singing River rekindles our relationship with the Wonscotonach River (Don River). Waterfront Toronto is delighted to present a special presentation of this project that highlights the richly layered history of the Don Valley through dance, music, storytelling and installation. To mark its significance to indigenous communities — as a place of abundant fish, hunting and fields of maize — we refer to the river by its Anishinaabemowin name Wonscotonach, meaning “bright, burning point”. 

This presentation includes two complementary strands: Stream of Stories focuses on tales of river creatures while A River’s Journey presents live music, audio installation and dance inspired by water.

Stream of Stories
Storytellers Cathy Elliott, Sharada Eswar and Diana Tso share tales from Indigenous Canada and around the world, inviting us to renew our relationship with the river. Each presentation includes interactive activities with an ecological focus.

A River's Journey
Choreography by Julia Aplin & Nova Bhattacharya
Music by Germaine Liu and Juliet Palmer
Lyrics by Nicholas Power & Anna Chatterton
Featuring Christine Duncan & The Burble Choir with soloist Laura Swankey; and dancers Lucy Rupert, Jordana Deveau, Georgia Simms and Julia Aplin
Design by Sonja Rainey

Come explore Corktown Common for the afternoon and encounter these dramatic moments of dance, music and storytelling on Saturday, September 24 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

RSVP for this event on Facebook.


Underpass Park wins ASLA Award of Excellence 

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Underpass park has something for everyone - from public art and painted murals, to play structures and basketball courts (Photo credit: Nicola Betts). 

We’re thrilled to announce that Underpass Park has received a 2016 Award of Excellence in the General Design Category from the American Society of Landscape Architects!

This imaginative park, designed by PFS Studio, is being recognized for its complete transformation of a forgotten and derelict space into an active park that provides diverse recreational and social opportunities while connecting new and existing local neighbourhoods and nearby parks. You can learn more about why Underpass Park was selected for this prestigious award here.

And we’re just as excited that Corktown Common was recognized with an Honour Award in the same category. Find out why this unique urban park, designed by MVVA, was honoured here.


In Brief


Parking It: Ashbridges Bay edition

In the most recent installment of our summer Parking It blog series, we’re exploring one of Toronto’s most well-loved destinations – Ashbridges Bay Park. Fulfill what's left of your summer fun and relaxation goals by visiting this recreational hot-spot before the cold weather arrives. 
Learn more about what this park has to offer here.


Underpass Park gets another graffiti uplift

Earlier this month, internationally renowned artist Troy Lovegates and his friend Labrona began painting portraits of local east-end residents on 16 pillars beneath Underpass Park. Each pillar depicts a single resident from the neighbourhood, each holding up the road above them. For this mural project, both artists were asked by StART to return to the park and continue a mural project they worked on last year.  The pair are set to complete the mural by October 1st. To learn more about the project, read this article. 


Share your waterfront photos

Take a peek at some of our favourite photos and waterfront related stories on Instagram.  We explore Toronto’s waterfront and let you step inside many of the extraordinary public spaces we’ve helped create and show you all that a revitalized waterfront has to offer.  We hope to inspire you to share your creative photos when out enjoying the waterfront.  Each month, we will highlight a round-up of some of our staff picks to include in our e-newsletter.

Tag and use #TOtheWaterfront to be featured.  We look forward to seeing what you’ve captured!


Nuit Blanche set to take over the waterfront again

On October 1st, Toronto will once again be transformed into an artistic playground for one sleepless night during the 11th annual Nuit Blanche – a free, city-wide celebration of contemporary art. 
From sunrise to sunset, nearly 90 contemporary art projects by more than 300 local, national and international artists will take over unexpected public spaces around the city.

This year, curator Louise Déry presents Facing the Sky – a 10 project exhibition along the waterfront that will contemplate the intangible power of the sky and a consideration of its fragility. 


Electrosmog Toronto, curated by Jean-Pierre Aubé, will be one of the 10 exhibitions along the waterfront for Nuit Blanche. 


Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village

On now until September 25th, the Scotiabank Fan Village is the place to be for World Cup of Hockey fans. This free fan festival features a new and exciting line-up of live musical performances, prizes and giveaways, and food offerings from each of the participating tournament countries every day. 

Every game of the tournament will also be broadcast live on giant greens for the ultimate viewing experience. The family-friendly festival is occupying the historic Distillery District plus more than 200,000 square feet of an untouched lot in the West Don Lands east of Cherry Street, known as the 'East Fan Village.'


For full list of event details, please visit 


Tree For Me

Do your part to help support the growth of Toronto’s urban forest! Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has launched a new program – Tree for Me – aimed at increasing tree plantings on private property. Tree For Me offers residents anywhere in Toronto a free native tree that is grown from local seed stock to plant on their property.  

You can sign up for your tree here. And with help from TreeMobile, a free delivery and planting service is available to anyone with limited mobility.


Participants can also join a Tree For Me event nearest them where they are invited to join a tree planting and care workshop, and pick up their free tree. 


Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On October 16, Canada’s #1 big-city, world marathon will return to Toronto’s waterfront. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is the grand finale and signature event of the Canada Running Series and attracts more than 25,000 runners each year. 

Registration is still available for the marathon, half-marathon, and 5km races. If you’d rather cheer from the sidelines, there will be 12 neighbourhood cheering and entertainment centres every 2KM along the route for you to enjoy.  


You can view the interactive race map for the event here. 


Project Update: East Bayfront

Aqualina has reached its final height. Shown here, the installation of framing and cladding is now making steady progress on the ground floor of the building alongside Sherbourne Common.

Aqualina Reaches Major Milestone
The first residential building in the Bayside development, Aqualina, has reached structural completion. The milestone was marked with a topping off ceremony this month.

The Lower Don Trail has now been permanently rerouted. As indicated on the map above, the trail bends to the south at Cherry Street. To view this map in more detail, click here.

East Bayfront Essential External Servicing Infrastructure
The first phase of this project is complete. Construction of the new Sanitary Pumping Station (SPS), located at the foot of Cherry Street at Lake Shore Boulevard East, is complete, except for the installation of the permanent pumps and controls. The final commissioning of the SPS is expected to be completed in 2018, in conjunction with the construction of the Cherry Street Stormwater Facility.


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