news from our new blue edge

October 2016


Waterfront Toronto Releases Due Diligence Report on Port Lands Flood Protection

A cross section of the new Don River Valley with labels. Click here for a larger view of the cross section and information on how we plan to build the new Don River Valley. 

Last week, we released the results of an extensive 15-month study – or due diligence investigation – into the proposal to naturalize the mouth of the Don River and provide critical flood protection to the Port Lands and other areas nearby. Based on our experience working on waterfront projects and the poor underground conditions, we knew that any work in this area would be challenging. We initiated this program because we wanted to provide as much assurance as possible to governments on what this project would cost, the nature of the risks and how long it would take to build, as well as other important considerations for decision-making. 

Key findings include the project’s estimated cost of $1.25 billion and the seven (7) years needed to complete the work. You can find the news release, the Due Diligence Report and other helpful information in our newsroom.

What will the project deliver once completed? Important elements include:

  • A 1,000 metre river valley and greenway that will safely convey flood waters into Lake Ontario;
  • Infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and municipal services, needed to support and encourage development; and 
  • 29 hectares of naturalized area in the river valley, 11 hectares of new parks and 14 hectares of aquatic habitat.

An independent third-party analyzed the potential economic benefits to be generated by the construction of flood protection and the related infrastructure; it projected $1.1 billion in value to the Canadian economy, 10,829 person years of employment and $373 million in tax revenues to all orders of government. Once the area is unlocked, the analysis further projected that future development activity is expected to generate $4.0 billion in value to the Canadian economy, 41,100 person years of employment and $1.5 billion in revenues to the three orders of government.


Updates on The Bentway (formerly Project: Under Gardiner)

In June, Waterfront Toronto announced that The Bentway was the clear winner of the run-off vote in our city-wide Project: Under Gardiner naming campaign. It’s a name that celebrates "the bents" – the column-and-beam structures that frame the spaces of what will soon become a vibrant urban trail. Earlier this week, The Bentway launched its new website at

What's next
Over the summer months and into the fall, the project advanced along many parallel tracks. A new not-for-profit organization, The Bentway Conservancy, has been established to guide the project forward. The conservancy is being incubated by Artscape. A board of directors has been formed and a hiring process is underway for the organization’s senior leadership team.

The project team is now finalizing the design and working toward a construction start later this fall. In the coming weeks, more important updates will be coming through The Bentway’s website at:

To start, this new blog post from urban design lead Ken Greenberg looks toward the work ahead.

What we heard during public consultations
The input and feedback that we have received from stakeholders and members of the public is an important part of how The Bentway is coming together. What have we heard over the course of 119 days of city-wide community engagement? You can now download a copy of the Consultation Summary & Public Feedback Report (PDF) from our website.

Request for expressions of interest (REOI)
As part of the process of building out The Bentway’s programming plans, Artscape has put out a call to arts and culture organizations, event producers, music promoters, curators, neighbours, community organizers, recreational and wellness initiatives and more. They would like to hear how groups would like to use this new public space. Submissions can be made online at:

Keep in touch with The Bentway team
You can tailor the kinds of news you receive about The Bentway. Adjust your settings and receive only the things you want, like volunteer opportunities, job postings, and calls for arts and cultural programming. Subscribe for updates.


Interview: Documentary Pioneer Katerina Cizek on the Future of Cities and the Web


Last month – as part of Waterfront Toronto’s FUTURE CITIES talks – Kat Cizek, an acclaimed filmmaker and pioneer in interactive and participatory documentary production, spoke about the lessons we can learn from the ways that cities and the World Wide Web intersect. Our public art and programming manager, Ilana Shamoon, spoke with her to expand on the themes of the talk.

Read the full interview on our blog. 


In Brief

Exploring the Flood Protection Landform

Have you ever wondered what exactly a flood protection landform is and why it’s important? In our recent blog post, we answer your questions by exploring the importance of the flood protection landform in the West Don Lands – a vital piece of urban infrastructure that sits beneath the surface of Corktown Common and protects more than 500 acres (210 hectares) of downtown lands from flooding. Learn more here.

Summer along the Waterfront: 2016 Edition

This summer, the Toronto waterfront was abuzz with activity thanks to great weather and a number of exciting (and new) events. With fall now in full swing, we're taking a look back at some of the season highlights along the water’s edge that kept residents and visitors alike entertained all summer long. Read our latest blog post here

Waterfront Transit “Reset” Phase 1 Final Study Now Available

A Final Phase 1: Network Vision Report, produced by a consultant in collaboration with the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, and TTC project team, is complete and available online here. Phase 2 of the study is anticipated to begin in late fall 2016. 


Day of the Dead at Harbourfront Centre

Explore Mexico’s most popular cultural celebration, Day of the Dead (Dìa de Los Muertos), with an annual two-day festival at Harbourfront Centre on November 5 & 6.

This free weekend festival explores the celebrations and traditions of honouring the dead, as well as their lives, through offerings, music, dance and more. The festival will feature live music, art installations, family activities and roaming performances for visitors of all ages to enjoy. 

The full schedule of events is available online


Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre


Have a Howling Halloween at Purina Pawsway

On Saturday, October 29th, prepare for a spooky celebration at the Purina Pawsway howling Halloween party where there will be games, prizes and fun activities for your whole family. Bring your camera and take photos of you and your furry friend at the Haloween-themed photo booth, or get creative with your kids at the arts and crafts table.

Don’t forget to bring your cat or dog in costume for a chance to win a prize at the costume parade, taking place from 2pm-4pm! Registration for the costume parade and drop-in activities will begin at 1pm. 


Image courtesy of Purina Pawsway.


Remembrance Day Commemoration at Fort York

Fort York National Historic Site and the Toronto Municipal Chapter IODE (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire) are proud to present one of Toronto’s most evocative Remembrance Day Services on Friday, November 11th at Garrison Common. Commencing at 10:45 am from the west gate of Fort York, a processional, led by period uniformed military staff and standard bearers of the IODE, will make their way to the Strachan Ave Military Cemetery, where the public will be gathered. 

At 11:00 am, all soldiers of the Toronto Garrison who fell in the War of 1812, the Rebellion Crises, the Crimean War, Northwest Rebellion, South African (Boer) War, the two World Wars, and recent conflicts around the globe will be remembered and honoured.


The Fort York National Historic Site is located at 250 Fort York Boulevard. 


Project Update: West Don Lands

Corktown Common has more than 700 trees that are all bursting with fall colours right now. 

Northern Entrance to Corktown Common
The northern entrance to Corktown Common recently received a little TLC. The area at the King-Queen triangle and the meadow to the east of River City have been mowed and weeded. Certain sections where the prairie had failed to take have been thoroughly raked to break-up the soil and new prairie seed drilled in, watered and covered with biodegradable straw matting for added protection from birds foraging. Kindly keep pets away and avoid walking on the straw matting and prairie areas that are becoming established. Also, any trees that have died will be replaced in the Spring.


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