news from our new blue edge

June 2013


The Waterfront's Newest Park Opens for the Summer on June 28th


Corktown Common, Waterfront Toronto’s spectacular new park in the West Don Lands opens on June 28, 2013. 

The pavilion at Corktown Common.Innovation, design and nature work in harmony at Corktown Common. At 7.3 hectares (18 acres) it is the largest park in the area and will be the heart of the new community. It’s a space that will draw visitors from far and wide and help create a sense of place in this new community.

Built on top of the area’s massive flood protection landform, the park is an innovative and creative use of the infrastructure vital to protecting the city from major flood events from the Don River. Designed to take full advantage of the elevations and unique topography of the landform, the park offers stunning views of the city from a vantage point not previously available in Toronto.

Corktown Common offers something for everyone. The playgrounds, splash pad, athletic field and large central lawn can be used for informal gathering or organized activities. And the flexible multi-use outdoor space, kitchenette, community tables, benches, BBQ and a fireplace create a welcoming gathering place for the community. 

The park’s 700-plus trees and thousands of shrubs, groundcovers, and aquatic plants make it a diversely planted habitat that encourages ecological richness, biodiversity and the growth of a healthy forested area within the park. The large marsh that is part of the park’s onsite stormwater management system is already home to birds, bugs, frogs and ducks.

A striking and sustainable pavilion at the play hill serves the practical needs of the park with enclosed bathrooms, a park office and utility space. In keeping with Waterfront Toronto’s sustainable building approach, the pavilion includes solar panels to supplement park power needs.

Located between Bayview Avenue and the GO/CN railroad lines, from King Street to the rail corridor in the south, the new park will become a vibrant and inviting feature of the new neighbourhood, and a destination for the entire city.

You can access the park from Bayview Avenue at Lower River Street or from the Don Valley Trail at the Bala Underpass.  The park cannot be accessed by car and parking is not available. Corktown Common will be open from the end of June until early September.  In order to complete construction of the eastern, river side of the park, the park will close for the winter and reopen in spring 2014. 

The West Don Lands, one of the first communities being developed by Waterfront Toronto, is being transformed from former industrial lands into a beautiful, sustainable, mixed use community.



More Than 300 People Attend Gardiner Expressway East Meeting


More than 300 people participated in a public meeting (and online via live webcast) on the future of the Gardiner Expressway East and Lake Shore Boulevard that was held on the evening of Thursday, June 13, 2013. As part of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Urban Design Study, the public, along with waterfront stakeholders, were asked to consider four alternatives for the Gardiner: maintain, improve, replace or remove the eastern portion of the elevated expressway from Jarvis to Leslie Streets.

A view of the Gardiner's current condition at Lake Shore and Jarvis.John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto and John Livey, Deputy City Manager for the City of Toronto co-hosted the event, which brought together urban design and planning experts who spoke about:

  • How changes to the Gardiner East will be coordinated with waterfront revitalization;
  • Traffic patterns along the eastern expressway;
  • Ongoing rehabilitation efforts to keep the entire elevated expressway safe; and
  • How other jurisdictions around the world have dealt with similar elevated expressways
As part of the EA, an international design study was held in 2010, to solicit ideas for what could be done within each of the three alternatives that require changes to the expressway (improve, replace, and remove).  Six internationally recognized teams of urban designers, architects and engineers, submitted their design concepts, the results of which were unveiled to the public at the June 13th meeting. From the creation of a park on top of the Gardiner, to an underground tunnel or a grand, at-grade boulevard, the submissions represented interesting and innovative ideas for what could be done with this section of the Gardiner. In addition, design ideas were received outside of the design study process, representing submissions from local architects to design students and members of the public.  The designs, as well as the presentation shown at the public meeting, are available at

Members of the public are invited to continue providing their thoughts and ideas for the future of the Gardiner East by participating in an interactive exercise on the Gardiner East website.  The site allows you to be the designer of the future Gardiner Expressway, ranking the design ideas and providing direction to the Gardiner East team.  All public and stakeholder input will be collected and reviewed as part of the EA. Online participation for this round of consultation runs until June 28, 2013. The next round of public meetings is expected this fall with a preferred alternative presented to Toronto City Council in spring of 2014. Once approved by Council, the preferred alternative would then require a review and approval by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment.  


Phase 2 of Mimico Waterfront Park Officially Opens


Community members and stakeholders joined Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and their government partners on June 7th, for the official opening of the second and final phase of Mimico Waterfront Park. 

Click to watch the video:

Activities included a ribbon cutting and official remarks by Bernard Trottier, MP Etobicoke-Lakeshore; the Hon. Laurel Broten, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and MPP Etobicoke-Lakeshore; Mark Grimes, Toronto Councillor Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore; Brian Denney, CEO of Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA); and Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto.

Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Etobicoke, Mimico Waterfront Park connects people to the lakefront in an area that historically lacked public access to the waterfront.  The final phase of the park has transformed the shoreline east of Superior Avenue and created an additional 500 metres of park space.  The park now provides 1.1 kilometres of continuous waterfront park between Norris Crescent Parkette and Humber Bay Park West.

Waterfront Toronto opened the first 600-metre western portion of the park in 2008. This final section of new park enables Torontonians to enjoy the lakefront west of Humber Bay Park for the first time and provides the missing link in the city’s waterfront trail system.




Waterfront Toronto Launches First Social Responsibility & Sustainability Report


Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability ReportWaterfront Toronto has spent the last decade fulfilling its commitment to create a revitalized waterfront that sets a national and global model for sustainability. We are pleased to present our first Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report as a record of how we have lived up to this commitment.

Our approach from the start has been strategic revitalization as opposed to simple real estate development, based on integrated principles that bring together sustainable development, excellence in urban design and leading technology infrastructure, while delivering important public policy objectives.

In keeping with our approach to sustainability, we have launched the report as an online microsite. It highlights our progress, challenges, and achievements from our establishment in 2001 to December 2012, and is based on a set of performance measures that align with the “triple bottom line” approach.

Under the environmental pillar, we address priorities such as climate change, energy and water conservation, and habitat creation while the social pillar discusses issues such as stakeholder engagement and community building. Our approach to economic sustainability involves advancing innovation, creating meaningful employment opportunities, and attracting knowledge-based industries. These efforts serve to help promote Toronto as a centre of economic growth and creativity.

Our vision to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront into a spectacular public destination with vibrant public and cultural spaces and beautifully designed sustainable mixed-use neighbourhoods is reconnecting people with the waterfront and delivering economic, environmental, and social benefits that enable Toronto to compete aggressively with other top tier global cities for investment, jobs and people.

We invite you to visit our Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report to review our progress and achievements.




In Brief


Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes' Village Reaches 50% Completion
On May 23, Waterfront Toronto acted as Master of Ceremonies at an event hosted by the Ontario Pan/Parapan Am Games Secretariat to celebrate the Athletes’ Village project officially reaching 50 per cent completion. The event featured remarks by Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games, Dundee Kilmer, Toronto 2015 and Waterfront Toronto. Read more…

Announcing Aqualina at Bayside Toronto
Hines and Tridel have announced details about Aqualina – the first condominium development planned for Bayside Toronto. Located at the water’s edge between Sherbourne Common and the Parliament Slip, Bayside is Waterfront Toronto’s largest private sector development to date. Read more…

Sneak Peek at New Affordable Housing Projects
Waterfront Toronto participated in an event hosted by Fred Victor on June 17, to provide guests with a sneak peek of the progress of their affordable housing projects in the West Don Lands. The event featured remarks by the Hon. Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Fred Victor, Wigwamen, the City of Toronto, and Waterfront Toronto.

Photo Recap: Queens Quay Revitalization at Doors Open
If you missed Queens Quay during the 14th Annual Doors Open weekend, it's not too late to peek behind our construction fencing and inside Eastern’s trailer compound. Check out our photo album from the event on Facebook. View the album…

Monde Condominiums Launches New Boardwalk Suites
Join Great Gulf on Saturday, June 22 for a New Release of Suites Open House event at the Monde Condominium Presentation Centre on Queens Quay. At the event, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about Monde and its new Boardwalk Suites.  Located next to Sherbourne Common North, and designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, Monde features unique outdoor balconies, generously spaced from each other, jutting out spectacularly to capture full views of the lake. The presentation centre opens at noon. View the evite…

YMCA Announces Naming Donor at Topping Off Ceremony
On May 21, the YMCA of Greater Toronto hosted a media event to celebrate the “topping off” of their new centre on Cherry Street, currently under construction as part of the Toronto 2015 Athletes’ Village project in the West Don Lands. At the event, officials also announced a generous private donation from the Cooper-Koo Family that will support the YMCA Strong Start, Great Future fundraising campaign. In honour of this donation, the new centre will be named the Cooper Koo Family YMCA. Learn more…




Construction Update: Queens Quay


With construction well underway, Queens Quay is on its way to becoming an impressive new waterfront street. This phase of work – the installation of below grade services such as new sanitary sewers and upgraded Hydro infrastructure – is the most complex and intrusive part of the project.  Over the next few months, crews will complete the majority of this deep service work. And, by the end of the year, the new and much-improved TTC corridor will be complete (including the Spadina Loop). In the meantime, you will start to see signs of the new Queens Quay along the site. The first pieces of granite are being installed this month near Queens Quay and York Street and at the Westin Hotel. Crews will also begin planting new trees. This is all part of our coordinated construction effort which ensures that crews are working on as many activities as possible to keep the project on schedule for a Spring 2015 completion.

To keep the site as agreeable as possible, crews have been undertaking a number of site clean-up activities. Examples of recent clean-up activities include:

  • Garbage and other debris has been removed between the curbs and construction fencing all along the corridor
  • Signage has been examined to ensure it is properly secured
  • The water basin on the north side of the Peter Slip has been cleaned twice to remove floating garbage and storm debris
  • Regular street washing and sweeping to keep dust at bay
  • Fencing has been tightened wherever possible to provide more room for pedestrians
  • Asphalt patching of uneven sidewalks for pedestrian safety

In addition, traffic signal timing has been improved and two lanes of travel are opened up wherever possible to make vehicular traffic flow more smoothly. Signage has also been increased for the bicycle detour to help keep the sidewalks free from bicycles. If you ride your bike on Queens Quay, please use the safe detour next to Lake Shore whenever possible.

To receive weekly updates on construction, subscribe to the Queens Quay Construction Update.


Video Recap: Jane's Walk - Building the New Queens Quay

Building the New Queens Quay
We're rebuilding Toronto's main waterfront boulevard from the ground up. Watch this video to see how we’re bringing the vision to life. 

Need More Information?
Thank you for your patience during construction. If you have questions send an email to or call 416-214-9990.

For Urgent Construction Issues
Please contact Queens Quay Construction Liaison Officer, Robert Pasut at or call 416-505-3073. 

New storm and sanitary infrastructure being installed on Queens Quay.


Construction Update: Martin Goodman Trail and Sidewalk


The new sidewalk on the south side of Queens Quay between Lower Yonge and Lower Jarvis Streets is now open for use. Utility crews have finished their work which was blocking the completion of the new stretch of Martin Goodman Trail running parallel to the sidewalk. Over the next couple of weeks, Eastern Construction will complete its final construction activities on the Martin Goodman Trail including asphalt paving at Lower Yonge Street and line painting.



Construction Update: Toronto Community Housing


Toronto Community Housing building for seniors at 589 King Street East.Toronto Community Housing’s three-building development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands remains on track for occupancy in fall 2013. The 243-unit development will provide affordable rental units for families and seniors.

At the seniors building on King Street, exterior work is nearing completion, while interior work continues apace.  Inside the building, interior masonry work, mechanical and electrical distribution and the installation of the elevators and drywall partitions continues. Plumbing fixture installation and kitchen and bathroom tiling work continues.  The installation of the Building Automation System has begun.  

At the family buildings located between Lower River and St. Lawrence Streets, exterior masonry work is ongoing and window installation is underway on the ground floors. Inside the buildings, mechanical and electrical distribution is ongoing.


Official Opening Celebration: Port Union Waterfront Park Phase Two


Join Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and our government partners as we celebrate another major milestone in the development of our waterfront – the official opening of the second phase of Port Union Waterfront Park in Scarborough.  

The second phase of the park provides an additional 1.8 kilometres of waterfront trail that builds on the existing phase one, which opened in 2006.

Port Union 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 Scarborough waterfront, establishing a link between existing and emerging waterfront communities and public spaces.

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

      Mimico Waterfront Park

Event Details
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Time: 11am to 12pm
Location: Port Union Waterfront Park is located in Scarborough at the foot of Port Union Rd. The event will be held at the lookout at the water’s edge. Please access through the pedestrian underpass at Port Union Village Common.
Accessibility: Accessible.

Transit: Take the 54A Lawrence East bus to Port Union Rd. or take the Lakeshore East GO train to Rouge Hill Go Station.
Parking: Extremely limited due to the Port Union Waterfront Festival.


Official Opening: Canada Square


Join Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre on Monday, July 1 for the official opening of Canada Square, an impressive lakeside plaza and important new landmark on Toronto’s waterfront. Inspired by great European plazas, Canada Square offers a place for people to gather and enjoy beautifully framed views of Lake Ontario and Toronto’s skyline under a canopy of majestic redwood trees.

Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates, Canada Square is part of the overall York Quay Revitalization project. The project began with the construction of a new underground parking garage which unlocked the surface – a former waterfront parking lot – for the creation of new public space including Canada Square, Ontario Square and Exhibition Common – an interim landscaped activity area.

The official opening of Canada Square is part of Canada Day weekend festivities at Harbourfront Centre which include dance, music, food and family activities all weekend long.

Ontario Square
Harbourfront Centre will officially open Ontario Square on Sunday, June 23, 2013 during the Redpath Waterfront Festival. The opening is planned for 2pm. Learn more...


Event Details
Date: Canada Day - Monday, July 1, 2013
Time: 12:30pm – music begins; official opening ceremony begins at 1pm
Location: Canada Stage at Harbourfront Centre
Accessibility: Canada Square is fully accessible. Please see Harbourfront Centre’s Planning Your Visit page for additional details on accessible services available and best drop-off points if arriving by car or Wheel Trans. 

Transit: 509 bus from Union Station (exit at the Lower Simcoe stop)
Parking: Paid underground parking is available at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, enter at Lower Simcoe Street)

For more information:
or contact 416-973-4864


Redpath Waterfront Festival: Tall Ships Return


Tall Ships are returning to Toronto’s Waterfront from June 20 to 23 during the Redpath Waterfront Festival. Toronto will be the only port to host the full fleet of ships as they travel throughout Ontario during the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour. During the festival, Toronto’s unique urban waterfront will be the best place to get on board and tour the international fleet of majestic ships that will grace our inner harbour. From Sherbourne Common and Canada’s Sugar Beach to HtO Park East, enjoy the music, food, dance and a host of other great activities for adults, kids, families and lovers of all things nautical. 

Waterfront BIA's Singing Ambassadors Return

The Singing Ambassadors presented by The Waterfront BIA are back this summer! The program features eight lively ambassadors who will travel along Toronto's waterfront offering assistance, directions and recommendations to visitors, as well as impromptu a cappella performances of classic summer hits. You’ll find the ambassadors along Toronto’s waterfront Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until September 3.

      The Tall Ships return for Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto.

To see the ships up close, buy your tall ship deck tour tickets online. Check out all the great events on the waterfront this weekend here.


Open Roof Festival: Movies, Music and Food in East Bayfront


Open Roof Festival brings its unique outdoor music, film and food festival to the waterfront for the summer. The festival’s new venue, Moonview Lot, is located at 175 Queens Quay East, next to Sherbourne Common and George Brown College in the heart of East Bayfront. 

The large outdoor space offers a stunning view of the city skyline for festivalgoers. On rainy nights, the events move indoors at Corus Quay

The festival kicks off on Thursday, June 20, with a live concert by Juno award winners, The Sheepdogs, followed by a screening of the band’s documentary, The Sheepdogs Have At It


Open Roof Festival
The festival runs Thursday nights from June 20th to August 22nd.

For a complete listing of events and to buy tickets, visit


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