Waterfront Toronto is working with landscape architects, urban planners, stakeholders and the general public to transform the most developed part of Toronto’s downtown waterfront into a spectacular waterfront area.
Over the years, Toronto’s central waterfront has been the focus of many different types of planning efforts. From early land filling for marine shipping facilities to scattered residential development projects in the 1970s, years of ad hoc planning have resulted in a waterfront lacking a coherent look and feel, and one with limited access to the water’s edge.
In 2006, Waterfront Toronto began the process of revitalizing this valuable city asset. The first step in the planning process was to develop a long-term vision for the central waterfront’s public realm — or in other words — all of the public space around buildings such as sidewalks, streets, promenades and parks.
To do that, Waterfront Toronto launched the Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition in 2006 with an aim to garner fresh ideas for how to transform the area into a world-class waterfront.
Since the 2006 design competition, planning for the revitalization of the central waterfront has been underway in two key areas:
While some of the early planning was underway, Waterfront Toronto began transforming the central waterfront by designing, constructing and opening three wavedecks at the heads of the Spadina, Rees and Simcoe slips. These must-see wavedecks helped build momentum for waterfront revitalization.
In the summer of 2006, Waterfront Toronto held a 10-day long public installation called Quay to the City. This event allowed people to experience the winning design idea for Queens Quay from the Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition.
Car traffic on the south side of the street
was replaced with bicycle lanes and a kilometre-long stretch of 12,000 red geraniums. There was also a picnic lawn the length of almost ten football fields.
A four-storey sculpture built with bicycles highlighted the entrance to temporary new section of the popular Martin Goodman Trail.