Spanning two decades, waterfront revitalization has been an overwhelming success. Through $2.75 billion of up-front government investment and a tri-government approach led by Waterfront Toronto, waterfront revitalization demonstrates the importance of a forward-thinking vision for Toronto’s waterfront.

Through the construction of complete communities and public realm improvements, Toronto’s downtown waterfront has been physically transformed to bring significant economic, social and environmental outcomes to residents and businesses.

However, the task is far from complete. In response to City Council direction, City staff are reflecting on previous efforts and engaging in a public consultation and stakeholder engagement process to refresh the vision for waterfront revitalization. While the original vision for Toronto’s downtown waterfront and several precinct plans and frameworks remain relevant, significant time has passed and it could be updated to reflect today’s priorities such as:

  • Indigenous reconciliation and engagement;
  • Building back stronger through strategic economic development investments;
  • Equity and inclusion, including through housing;
  • Climate resilience and sustainability.

There is the opportunity to advance these priority outcomes beyond Toronto’s central waterfront – to the full 43 kilometers of the wider waterfront, from Etobicoke to Scarborough.

Indigenous Reconciliation and Engagement

A renewed vision will address the importance of the waterfront to Indigenous communities and advance City commitments to take meaningful action to advance truth, justice and reconciliation. The next phase of waterfront revitalization will build on engagement with Indigenous rights-holders, and urban Indigenous communities, people and organizations that represent First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and Treaty and Territorial partners such as the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Building Back Stronger Through Strategic Economic Development Investments

A renewed vision will identify specific economic themes that support post-pandemic recovery and deliver on economic, social and environmental outcomes. To date, waterfront revitalization has incorporated innovative approaches to city-building and these approaches will continue to inform precinct planning for future waterfront neighbourhoods, communities and industrial sectors.

Equity and Inclusion, Including Through Housing

A renewed vision provides the opportunity to create a more inclusive waterfront in alignment with City strategies that advance equitable outcomes related to affordable housing, accessible design, racial equity, pedestrian and cycling connections, transit infrastructure and community services. The next phase of waterfront revitalization could be used to ensure that City services, spaces and programs along the waterfront continue to be inclusive and accessible to all Torontonians.

Climate Resilience and Sustainability

The next phase of waterfront revitalization will embed climate resilience and TransformTO greenhouse gas reduction targets into infrastructure projects (i.e. transit, flood protection) and set a precedent for climate positive design. Ongoing precinct development will advance climate positive design and aquatic habitat restoration while advancing public realm improvements and demonstrating how climate resilient initiatives can flourish along Toronto’s waterfront.

A longstanding history of public consultation has informed waterfront revitalization policy and project priorities. The City, with support from its waterfront and government partners, is undertaking a virtual public consultation and stakeholder engagement process to gather public input on a renewed vision.

There were three virtual public meetings held in February and March:

Meeting #1
Tuesday February 22, 2022
WebEx Recording
Meeting #2
Wednesday February 23, 2022
WebEx Recording
Meeting #3
Thursday March 3, 2022
WebEx Recording

 

These virtual public meetings presented an update on the waterfront revitalization and included opportunities to gather public feedback. All three meetings had the same content and format, with a presentation followed by a workshop.

Stakeholder consultations are ongoing, with thematic focuses on parks and public realm, health and wellbeing, housing and complete communities, mobility and connectivity, environment and climate change, and creative industries and economic development.

Presentation Material

The public meeting presentation is available below for reference.

The Next Phase of Waterfront Revitalization – Public Meeting Presentation

Surveys

In addition to our public consultations, you can provide your input through our public survey and interactive map tool

Photo Challenge

Do you love Toronto’s waterfront and have ideas for its future?

Tell us using your camera – take a photo of something you love about the waterfront, or ideas you have for its future. Post the photo and your ideas on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and hashtag it with #mywaterfrontTO.

The Humber Bay Arch Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects two sides of the Humber River located south of Lake Shore Boulevard West in Toronto. Built in 1994, this iconic structure design of double-ribbed steel pipe arches is influenced by the First Nations Thunderbird and spans 456-feet-long.
The Humber Bay Arch Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects two sides of the Humber River

The Indigenous engagement program will address the significance of the waterfront to Indigenous rights holders, including Treaty and Territorial partners such as the Mississaugas of the Credit, and with organizations that represent First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and all urban Indigenous communities.

The two phased process, extending throughout 2022, will include individual dialogue sessions with Indigenous Peoples, governments, treaty-rights organizations and urban-based organizations to yield recommendations on the role of Indigenous partners in the implementation of the next phase of waterfront revitalization.

Engagement materials will be posted here as they are available.

The renewed vision for the next phase of waterfront revitalization expands beyond the central waterfront, from Etobicoke to Scarborough. Learn more about the ongoing and future revitalization initiatives below.

Central Waterfront

 Scarborough

Etobicoke

  • Humber Bay Park Master Plan
  • Mimico Waterfront Park
    • The City is exploring the options for extending public waterfront and trail access between Royal York Road and First Street
  • Windows on the Lake
    • The City is exploring community interest in increasing waterfront access along the Etobicoke Waterfront through “Windows on the Lake” parkettes at road ends