The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is the largest urban redevelopment project currently underway in North America, and it is one of the largest waterfront revitalization efforts ever undertaken in the world.
On a world scale, Toronto’s waterfront revitalization is almost unequalled in size. It’s larger than Lower Manhattan south of Houston Street, and four times the size of Monaco. To get a sense of its proportions on a local scale, the total area being redeveloped is 800 hectares (1,977 acres), which translates into an area roughly the size of Toronto’s downtown core, from Bathurst Street to Sherbourne Avenue and Front Street to Bloor Street.
Expected to take 25 years to complete, our new blue edge will create approximately 40,000 new residences and 40,000 new jobs. This will complement and leverage the attributes of our great city.
The impact of a revitalized waterfront on our economy, people and city goes well beyond the sheer size and scale of the project. Between 2001 and March 2010, work on the waterfront had already generated approximately 9,700 full-time years of employment and contributed $1.9 billion to the Canadian economy.
Revitalizing our new blue edge will change the face of our city. It is an exceptional city-building undertaking, the benefits of which will secure the future for generations to come.
New York City, U.S,
37 hectares (92 acres)
Battery Park City is a planned community at the southwestern tip of Lower Manhattan. The land it stands on was created on the Hudson River using the dirt and rocks that, in great part, were excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center. The neighbourhood – which includes the World Financial Center and numerous residential, commercial and retail buildings – is named after Battery Park, which is adjacent to it. Battery Park City Authority, a public-benefit corporation, owns and manages Battery Park City. Private capital has financed most of the development, including the $200 million for landfill and $4 billion for development. Several commercial and residential projects are underway, and some have already been completed.
40 hectares (98 acres)
Recent developments at SA1 Swansea Waterfront emphasize the potential of a waterfront location to improve the prosperity and profile of a city. The Welsh Assembly Government is implementing a master plan on the site, which was acquired from Associated British Ports.
To date, the Welsh Assembly Government has invested £50m in SA1, and the private sector £150m. SA1 aims to secure around 4000 jobs, and provide over 2000 new residential properties. With two new pedestrian and cycle bridges, the new SA1 Gateway road connection, and close proximity to motorway and air links, SA1 is a sustainable extension to Swansea City Centre.
42 hectares (103 acres)
Darling Harbour stretches from Paddy's Markets and Sydney Entertainment Centre in the south to King Street Wharf and the Maritime Museum in the north. Home to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, an IMAX theatre, and the Sydney Wildlife World and Powerhouse Museum, the harbour area offers some of Australia’s finest museums and attractions. The old Sega World precinct at Darling Harbour will be transformed and redeveloped into a C$540.74-million commercial office and leisure space. Several projects were completed for the 2000 Olympics, and the entire project is expected to be finished by late 2011.
52 hectares (128 acres)
Glasgow Harbour is a mix-used development. More than 2,500 new homes along with new business, retail and leisure areas have been constructed along three kilometres of waterfront. Approximately 42 per cent of the site has been developed for new parks, which include river walkways and bicycle paths.
Glasgow Harbour is one of the largest waterfront regeneration projects within the UK, and will be a major contributor to the growth of Scotland's economy.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
52 hectares (128 acres)
A successful public/private partnership helped create South Waterfront, the newest neighbourhood in Portland. The project provides residents and visitors with sophisticated urban living in a relaxing and inspiring natural setting along the Willamette River. This emerging neighbourhood integrates alternative transportation, parks and trails, green building practices, mixed-use retail and opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle. The project is ongoing.
97 hectares (239 acres)
The Inner Harbor is one of the most photographed and visited areas of Baltimore. It has been one of the major seaports in the United States since the 1700s and started blossoming into Baltimore’s cultural centre in the 1970s. Since then, the Inner Harbor has become home to many tourist attractions, including the waterfront festival marketplace Harborplace, which officially opened in 1980. A number of projects are under development.
101 hectares (250 acres)
Gardens by the Bay will help make Singapore a leading global city of the 21st century. It will transform Singapore into a beautiful tropical garden city in which to live and work. The Gardens will create ambience and a quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown rises. The National Parks Board of Singapore is the lead agency developing the project. Phase 1 is scheduled to open in 2011 at a cost of about C$680 million.
110 hectares (272 acres)
Canary Wharf is a vibrant business district teaming with a variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and wine bars, as well as health care and leisure facilities with extensive arts and events programming. Canary Wharf began development in 1987, and was jointly funded by Olympia & York and the London Docklands Development Corporation. The Canary Wharf vision is now a reality. Leading international companies are enjoying the high-quality buildings, facilities and infrastructure within London's newest business district.
Cape Town, South Africa
123 hectares (304 acres)
Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour, V&A Waterfront has become South Africa's most visited destination, offering indoor shopping, entertainment venues and more than 80 restaurants that bring a fusion of international food, The V&A Waterfront’s group of companies is owned by a consortium of investors through a South African trading company with local and international shareholding.The project is now completed.
157 hectares (388 acres)
HafenCity is a massive, exclusive residence and office real-estate development that will include a cosmopolitan mix of offices, hotels, shops and residences, as well as significant science and educational facilities – and much more. The development will boast an ensemble of spectacular open spaces on the waterfront, including a floating walkway, the elaborate Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, a five-star hotel and luxury condominiums. HafenCity will be served by a network of roads, connecting the city centre and the autobahn, and two underground rail stops. The project will be developed at a cost of more than C$9.5 billion.
182 hectares (450 acres)
Extending along 3.2 kilometres of shoreline, the Edinburgh Waterfront is one of the most significant waterfront regeneration projects in Europe. Forth Ports PLC started regeneration activity on the waterfront in the 1980s. During the 1990s, the Malmaison Hotel opened, and the Scottish Executive Building was developed. Also, Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre and Rennies Isle, a property development featuring waterfront flats, opened. The cost of the project is estimated at C$1.56 billion, and it’s expected to be completed in 2011.
186 hectares (459 acres)
MM21 transformed Yokohama from a low-rise city with few buildings over 100 metres tall to one of Japan's most important highrise clusters. Since its inception in 1981, MM21 has transformed Yokohama's waterfront by redeveloping abandoned dockyards and breathing new life into piers that had fallen into disuse. The development through fresh land reclamation is still continuing and is expected to cost C$1.52 billion.
225 hectares (556 acres)
To reconnect the city with the water in the Bjørvika area of Oslo, the highway that runs through the area is being rerouted through a 675-metre-long underwater tunnel that’s expected to open in 2010. Some projects are already completed, such as the Oslo Opera House which opened in April 2008. In the planning phase or under construction are new office projects, thousands of new dwellings and several major cultural institutions. Costs to date are C$4.4 billion.
Los angeles, U.S.
400 hectares (988 acres)
This project is connecting the San Pedro community with the waterfront, enhancing services around the Port of Los Angeles. Improvements will include 14 kilometres of continuous promenade along the water’s edge, new plazas, 10.8 hectares (27 acres) of new parks, landscaping between the Port’s waterfront attractions, three new harbours, a public pier and much more. The project is currently undergoing an environmental review process.
520 hectares (1,285 acres)
The Docks is radically changing the area, not only through major phases of mixed-use property development but by involving local people in its planning, and by fostering and investing in educational and other social interventions. These interventions aim to develop social and economic capacity to ensure that the area’s development is truly sustainable. Under development since 1997, there are plans for ongoing implementation.
1,100 hectares (2,718 acres)
By introducing a barrage, Cardiff Bay has been turned into a 200-hectare (500-acre) freshwater lake with almost 13 kilometres of waterfront. Completed in 1999, the construction of the barrage has been one of the largest engineering projects in Europe. The future development of Cardiff Bay will transform the area into a tourist and leisure destination. A public/private development program, the barrage cost C$343.77 million, and the total estimated cost of the regeneration is C$3.75 billion.
13,000 hectares (32,123 acres)
Located on the western shores of Dubai, Dubai Waterfront will transform an empty desert and sea into an international city that’s twice the size of Hong Kong Island and will eventually host a population of about 1.5 million people. Dubai Waterfront is being developed on the last 15 kilometres of natural coastline in Dubai and will provide more than 70 kilometres of coastline in total, including the development of 23 per cent of the Arabian Canal. Work is ongoing.