Toronto’s main waterfront street is being transformed into a showpiece for the city.
Queens Quay, which runs east-west parallel to the lakefront, is the waterfront’s main street. It spans more than 3 kilometres from Bathurst Street in the central waterfront to Parliament Street in East Bayfront, the new waterfront neighbourhood currently being developed by Waterfront Toronto. In the central waterfront, construction is now underway to transform Queens Quay into one of the world’s most beautiful waterfront boulevards.
The plans for Queens Quay, which were developed after an international design competition and extensive environmental assessment process, will ensure the area becomes a waterfront destination and not just the uninviting traffic corridor it is today. When complete, Queens Quay will feature two lanes of east-west traffic on the north side of the street with a dedicated Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in the middle.
On the south side, a generous granite pedestrian promenade defined by a double row of trees will run alongside the Martin Goodman Trail, a multi-use recreational trail.
Businesses and condominiums on the north side of the street will front onto widened sidewalks with granite sidewalks and a row of mature trees. Queens Quay will provide the kind of atmosphere conducive to economic vitality, ground floor retail activity and urban vibrancy. It will become an iconic street that is as beautiful as it is functional.
This new world-class street will link major destinations along the water’s edge, create pedestrian and cycling-friendly promenades and encourage an economically vibrant area that serves as a destination for locals and visitors alike.
Boundaries: From Spadina Avenue to Yonge Street
Length: 1.7 kilometres
Width of pedestrian promenade: 4 - 7 metres (varies)
Width of Martin Goodman Trail: 3.6 - 4 metres (varies)
Proximity: 10 minute walk to Union Station
Materials: 2 tone (Canadian red and grey) granite pavers forming maple leaf pattern along promenade. Grey granite for curbs on streetscapes.
Benches: Ipe with red cast aluminum bases featuring maple leaf motif
Light pole: Timber pole with wire brush finish and cast aluminum base with tree bark pattern
Phase one construction: Bay Street to Yo Yo Ma Lane (just west of Lower Spadina Avenue)
Learn about the vision for Queens Quay with Waterfront Toronto and Adriaan Geuze of West 8.
Waterfront Toronto has long recognized the importance of transforming Queens Quay into a world-class boulevard. Because Queens Quay runs the length of Toronto’s waterfront, giving this boulevard a new life is critical to Waterfront Toronto’s overall revitalization goals.
In 2006, Waterfront Toronto launched the Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition. As part of its winning design, West 8 + DTAH proposed a design for Queens Quay that would make it a signature boulevard by reducing the number of lanes of traffic to allow for a generous new pedestrian promenade, cycling path and much improved landscaping in the area.
While Waterfront Toronto was an advocate of the winning design, it fully supported the statutorily-required Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process which had to occur before any work on Queens Quay could begin.
Waterfront Toronto is working with leading tree experts and will employ the latest technologies to ensure that trees planted along Queens Quay will mature and thrive.
See how silva cells help deliver mature trees.
The Martin Goodman Trail, a 56 kilometre multi-use recreational trail, is currently disjoined as it passes through the centre of the city. Waterfront Toronto’s plans for revitalizing Queens Quay will connect the trail. Cyclists will be able to travel along a generous, four metre-wide, off-street Martin Goodman Trail from Lower Spadina Avenue all the way through East Bayfront to Parliament Street where the trail continues along Lake Shore Blvd.