A unique linear park in the eastern reaches of the city featuring cobblestone beaches, pedestrian lookouts and connections to waterfront trails. The park provides lakefront access in an area where previously none existed.
The Port Union Waterfront Park is a new park on the shoreline of Lake Ontario between the mouth of Highland Creek and the Rouge River in the eastern end of the city close to the border with Pickering. The project includes the development of improved recreational access to the waterfront, 3.8 km of waterfront trail, shoreline protection and the creation of terrestrial and aquatic habitat.
The new shoreline park is composed of a series of headland beach systems which are integrated into two existing dynamic beaches at the western (Phase one) and eastern (Phase two) ends of the project area, as well as a larger headland in the central portion of the site, known as the Pedestrian Node.
Phase one opened in September 2006 and the second phase opened in November 2012. The project also included a new gateway at the eastern edge of the park that connects the City of Toronto and the City of Pickering. The Western Gateway opened in June 2010.
Boundaries: From the Highland Creek in the west to the Rouge River in the east.
Design Team: PMA Landscape Architects, Ganawa Company and Brown & Co
Size: Phase one approximately 8 hectares. Phase two, approximately 5.5 hectares
Trails: 3.8 kilometres of continuous waterfront trail system
Number of Beaches: Phase one included five cobblestone beaches; phase two included five cobblestone beaches.
You can access the park by entering via the pedestrian bridge over Highland Creek from East Point Park, the pedestrian underpass at the Port Union Village Common or from the east at Rouge Beach.
Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation opened phase one of the Port Union Waterfront Park in September 2006. Running along Lake Ontario in Scarborough from Highland Creek in the west to Port Union Road in the east, the park provides the people of Toronto with access to the shoreline, trails, wetlands, pedestrian lookouts and cobblestone beaches.
Phase one involved the construction of the pedestrian node at the foot of Port Union Road, more than half of the 3.8 kilometres of proposed waterfront trail system, five cobble beaches and a bridge at the mouth of Highland Creek.
A bridge over the mouth of the Highland Creek and a pedestrian tunnel at Port Union Village Common now provide safe access to the lake and connect the two access points through a 1.4 kilometre trail. Up until completion of this first phase, public access to the water was restricted due to the proximity of the CN railway line to the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Shoreline restoration improvements and the creation of additional aquatic and terrestrial habitat were also important parts of the first phase of work and are in keeping with Waterfront Toronto’s sustainability commitments.
The second phase of the park is located between Chesterton Shores in the west to the Rouge River in the east. Phase two also includes improved recreational access to the waterfront and brings the total length of the trail to 3.8 kilometres. Additional features include shoreline protection and enhancements to terrestrial and aquatic habitat. Phase two of the park opened to the public in November 2012.
The park was constructed using lake fill material from local construction sites, including the reuse of existing shoreline protection materials at the base of the CN Rail line. The bridge of over Highland Creek is made completely of self-weathering steel. The parkland was planted with native trees and shrubs.
A mural in the Port Union pedestrian tunnel depicting the nautical heritage of the community was painted by a local artist.
The Western Gateway to Port Union Waterfront Park is a pedestrian bridge and staircase constructed to connect the City of Toronto and City of Pickering waterfronts. The bridge features a raised boardwalk made of corten steel with spruce decking.
The gateway was conceived to provide visitors and trail users from both Toronto and Pickering safe and easy access to the lake and waterfront trail systems on both sides. Improvements to the eastern shore of the Rouge River included new steps on the north side of the railway and the replacement of the raised pedestrian boardwalk on the south side of the railway.
The Gateway to Port Union Waterfront Park enhances connectivity of the waterfront trail system and is in keeping with Waterfront Toronto's commitment to creating accessible and vibrant public spaces. The gateway, which officially opened in June 2010, was funded under the Port Union Waterfront Park project in a cost sharing agreement with the City of Pickering.