Waterfront Toronto Kick-starts Central Waterfront Revitalization
Continuous waterfront access begins with construction of
Spadina Head of Slip
Toronto, November 30, 2007 - Federal Environment Minister John Baird, Ontario
Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan, Toronto Mayor David Miller and
Waterfront Toronto Chair Mark Wilson today launched the start of construction of Phase
One revitalization of Toronto's central waterfront.
Officials from three levels of government were joined by children from the Waterfront
School's grade five/six class at the Spadina Head of Slip to mark the next stage of
Waterfront Toronto's commitment to reclaim the water's edge for Toronto residents and
visitors. The first phase of revitalization of the central waterfront is scheduled to be ready
for public enjoyment by June 2008.
Phase One revitalization will begin with the Spadina Head of Slip, adjacent to the foot of
Spadina Avenue and south of Queens Quay Boulevard West. It will create a gateway to
the waterfront at the foot of Spadina with the building of a 620 square metred undulating
wood pedestrian deck over water, and will link the Music Garden and HtO Park. The
construction will entail hoarding fitted around the site and will involve dock-wall repairs,
in-water fisheries habitat construction, deck installation and landscape improvements.
Phase One will also include the creation of publicly accessible space at Portland, Rees
and Simcoe Streets. The formation of a continuous water's edge promenade and redesign
of Queens Quay Boulevard between Bathurst and Parliament Streets is a vital
element of the design by West 8 + DTAH. Selected during Waterfront Toronto's 2006
design competition, the design covers the three-kilometre area between Bathurst Street
and Parliament Street and will create continuous public access from Bathurst to
Parliament, establish gateways at the heads of slips and complete the Martin Goodman
Trail through the central area.
"Our Government believes in investing in the urban renewal of Toronto - both traditional
infrastructure and parks and green spaces," said Minister Baird. "We support efforts to
create more livable and sustainable cities such as the work being done on Toronto's
waterfront which will result in real benefits for this city and will help ensure Canada's
continued success in the global economy."
As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Waterfront Toronto will work
closely with the Toronto and Region Conservation during Phase One construction to
implement the Toronto Waterfront Aquatic Habitat Restoration Strategy (TWAHRS). The
goal of the strategy is to connect the recovery of Toronto's waterfront with improvements
in aquatic ecology. The work will feature sustainability projects such as a new storm
water management system and pontoons for the floating piers designed to enhance fish
habitat and improve water quality.
"Today marks the beginning of a new phase of redevelopment with the construction of a
new waterfront gateway, and the creation of an exciting new publicly accessible space at
the water's edge," said Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan.
"Together, we are creating a new public space on the waterfront that continues the
McGuinty government's plan to re-invest in Toronto, to rebuild a healthier, stronger
future for the city and the province."
At public meetings and through their voting during the design competition, Torontonians
showed their overwhelming support for the West 8 visionary plan, which modernizes the
city's landscape by providing Toronto with a waterfront that is functional and sustainable.
The design shifts traffic to the north side of the streetcar tracks leaving four metres on
the south side for the completion of the Martin Goodman Trail through the central area
along the waterfront. Two rows of large, native trees will frame the trail and the
promenade, creating a new "green foot" for Toronto along Queens Quay Boulevard and
beautifying the water's edge. The winning design is currently the subject of a formal
Environmental Assessment examining the future redesign of Queens Quay Boulevard.
"The Spadina Quay platform construction is the first of a series of heads of slip
enhancements aimed at widening and connecting the water's edge for the enjoyment of
all Torontonians," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "I am delighted to see the vision of a
connected promenade unfolding and look forward to the day when Torontonians will be
able to comfortably stroll along the full stretch of the harbour's edge enjoying remnants
of the City's heritage, waterfront amenities and marine activities both on water and on
Waterfront Toronto recently earned distinguished awards for its Central Waterfront
Master Plan at the 2007 Toronto Urban Design Awards. This in addition to the very
successful Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition affirms the importance of
innovative and creative design on Toronto's waterfront.
"The transformation of the heads of slip, starting with Spadina, gives the water's edge
back to the people, and connects and beautifies the waterfront for all Torontonians," said
Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto. "The efforts of many people have come
together to make today's event significant. From the children who are witnessing our
commitment to their future, to the politicians who are supporting this initiative, Toronto
should be proud and optimistic about their waterfront's future."
The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto created
Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public
accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and
fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.
Tanya Bevington, Waterfront Toronto
416-214-9042 ext. 239
Eric Richer, Office of the Minister,
Environment Canada — 819-997-1441
Amy Tang, Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal,
Minister's Office —
Don Wanagas, City of Toronto
Mayor's Office — 416-338-7134