Five striking timber footbridges will connect the water’s edge promenade and boardwalk making the waterfront more enjoyable than ever before.
One of the defining features of the water’s edge promenade and boardwalk planned for Toronto’s downtown waterfront is a series of five iconic timber footbridges that will allow people to stroll across the inner harbour’s slip basins and inlets.
This family of footbridges will create a waterfront link between the major destinations that line the central waterfront including the Music Garden, HtO Park, Harbourfront Centre and Queens Quay Terminal.
In addition to connecting the water’s edge, the footbridges located at the Police Basin and the Spadina, Peter, Rees, and Simcoe slips will help establish an immediately recognizable identity for the waterfront.
While all of the footbridges will be defined by their robust, timber construction, each will have its own unique features and characteristics based on location and the amount of marine activity in its slip.
Two of the five footbridges, at the Rees and Simcoe slips, will be lift bridges. These lift bridges will allow boats to access the active marinas in those slips.
At the Police Basin slip, a dramatic arched footbridge has been designed to accommodate police boats that need to exit quickly in an emergency without waiting for a lift bridge to rise.
The arched footbridges at the Spadina and Peter slips will accommodate a wide variety of land and marine-based users. While neither slip has an active marina, the design of the bridges allows enough clearance for the harbour cleaning boat and the other smaller motorized and non-motorized craft that regularly use the slips.
Location: Spadina Slip (just east of Spadina Avenue)
Span: 61.5 metres
Location: Peter Slip (between Spadina Avenue and Rees Street)
Span: 60.9 metres
Location: Police Basin (directly behind the Marine Police Station)
Span: 10.75 metre
Location: Rees Slip (just west of Rees Street)
Span: 42.1 metres (lift bridge)
Location: Simcoe Slip (just west of Simcoe Street)
Span: 57.6 metres (lift bridge)
The wavedecks and footbridges, while complimentary, serve two very different purposes. The wavedecks create generous public spaces along Queens Quay at the heads of key slips. Like an urban dock, they offer a space to enjoy the beauty of the lake in areas that previously lacked public access to the shoreline. The footbridges, located at the end of the slips, allow people to stroll over slips along the continuous water’s edge boardwalk.
The materials chosen for the footbridges — yellow glulam cedar and ipe wood — will be the same as those used for the wavedecks. Like the wavedecks, the beautiful and durable footbridges will age gracefully and become important waterfront landmarks.