The most dramatic of the wavedecks along Toronto’s downtown waterfront, Simcoe has become a must see Toronto attraction.
The Simcoe WaveDeck, one in a series of uniquely Canadian urban docks, is as artistic as it is functional. Located just west of Simcoe Street, the wooden wavedeck features an informal public amphitheatre-style space with impressive curves that soar as high as 2.6 metres above the lake.
Inspired by the shorelines of Ontario’s Great Lakes, the Simcoe WaveDeck created new public space at the water’s edge by replacing a narrow sidewalk with a grand waterside gathering place. Its whimsical and dynamic design has made the wavedeck one of the waterfront’s most interesting new public spaces. People of all ages are enjoying views of the harbour from its 30 metre-long backless bench, using its steps as a place to eat lunch and taking pictures of themselves sliding on its graceful curves.
The 650 square metre structure is made of yellow glulam cedar and ipe wood. The wavedeck’s two large swells feature slender stainless steel railings that follow the undulations of the waves in the deck. These railings are designed to differentiate the curved portions of the deck and help visitors negotiate the slopes.
In addition to the railings the wavedeck includes several other health and safety features including antislip components at the edge of each step and a visual white band to provide contrast and help mark the edge of steps. To provide traction on the slopes, strips of abrasive material called carborandum inserts were used and the deckboards were angled to provide extra traction on the steepest slopes.
In the evening, the deck is lit from below with colourful LED fixtures mounted to the timber structure. These colourful lights cast a glow from beneath the deck creating a beautiful effect on the water and highlight the architecture of the wavedeck.
Location: West of Simcoe Street on the south side of Queens Quay
Construction Contractor: Somerville Construction
Size: 650 square metres, 10.7m (length), 60m (width)
Number of deck boards: 3670 deck boards (3050 short deck boards and 620 long deck boards)
Materials: Ipe wood and glulam Coastal Yellow cedar
Operation: The City of Toronto is the owner of the Simcoe WaveDeck and the City Parks Department provides maintenance and operation of the public space.
View photos of the Simcoe WaveDeck.
Watch the Simcoe WaveDeck take shape by viewing the webcam footage of its construction.
Take a tour of the wavedecks with Christopher Hume of thestar.com
Simcoe WaveDeck is a hit with the public. Many people have posted videos on You Tube. Watch the video produced by TorontoHD.
The Simcoe WaveDeck incorporates many features to ensure that people of all ages, including those with disabilities, have access to this unique public space.
The wavedeck is wheelchair accessible from all sides and includes a large barrier free zone at the east side of the deck. In addition, an accessible route between the two large swells in the deck leads users down toward the water.
Other accessibility features include:
In addition to the wavedecks, Waterfront Toronto is working to ensure that all of our projects help to create a waterfront that makes public accessibility a priority.