Designing and building a vibrant new promenade next to a prominent historical landmark.
Along the Portland Slip, Waterfront Toronto is working with the City of Toronto to ensure that required municipal infrastructure repairs result in a new, vibrant promenade and a safe way to access Ireland Park. The City of Toronto has started a first phase of improvements to the Canada Malting Silos site which include repairs to the east dockwall and the demolition of the germination and kiln buildings on the western part of the site.
The City has completed the east dockwall repairs, and Waterfront Toronto will now make improvements to the water’s edge in this area and will build a first phase of water’s edge promenade next to the silo site. The new 130 metre-long stretch of water’s edge
promenade will help connect Queens Quay to Ireland Park, an often overlooked public space tucked behind the Canada Malting Silos.
This project is part of the water’s edge promenade and boardwalk one of the defining features of Toronto’s downtown waterfront. At the Portland Slip, the first phase of construction will include a 9.7-metre wide granite promenade featuring a two-toned red and grey maple leaf mosaic pattern. A double row of native maple trees will line the promenade offering protection of winds and shade during the summer months.
The first phase of water’s edge promenade will stretch 130 metres along the west side of the slip. The promenade will begin at the lake and connect with the existing sidewalk just east of the Harbourfront Community Centre.
A double row of mature trees is a key ingredient in the design of the water’s edge promenade. Waterfront Toronto is working with leading tree experts and employing the latest technologies to ensure that planted trees mature and thrive. Research shows that a major impediment to establishing trees in urban areas is the lack of an adequate volume of soil for tree root growth. The soils under pavement is highly compacted and usually stops tree roots from growing causing the trees to die prematurely after seven to ten years.
New tree planting technology, which installs a tiered web of rigid boxes — called silva cells — is designed to house an average of 30 cubic metres of nutrient soil per tree. These reinforced cells provide support for the soil so it won’t compact under the weight of the pavement above. The system allows tree roots to spread and thrive resulting in healthier mature trees.