Our revitalization effort seeks to raise the bar for excellence in design and set new standards for architecture and public space.
To help achieve and uphold our standards for design excellence, we host international design competitions and work with some of the most highly regarded planners, architects, designers and landscape architects in the world.
Often the best in the world are already based here. When they are not, they partner with Toronto’s outstanding local firms to help us envision and elevate our waterfront communities. By working with the world’s premier design talent, Waterfront Toronto is
creating a new gold standard by which all other communities will be judged.
To further help us and our design partners raise the bar, we established the Waterfront Design Review Panel in 2005. The Panel is an independent body to guide and inform our projects.
Design excellence is a key element of every park that is being created along the waterfront, and it is a feature of other public space like streets and sidewalks. For example a granite maple leaf mosaic will be incorporated into the main waterfront street, bordering sidewalks and on the water’s edge promenade.
We are also maintaining consistency in all waterfront design elements such as benches and lamp posts in public spaces, so that people will know they are in public space. Throughout the waterfront similar materials such as timber and granite are being used to create a unified aesthetic.
Furthermore, public spaces are being designed and built so that they are beautiful and long lasting. Materials such as the types of woods, metals and stones used in the building of the public space are chosen for how they look today and how they will improve with time, weather and age.
Among the most celebrated projects on our new blue edge are the wavedecks in the central waterfront. Inspired by the shorelines of Ontario’s Great Lakes, the wooden wavedecks provide unique access to the water’s edge where previously none existed.
These urban docks are functional and beautiful. Backless benches act as elegant barriers to the water while also providing seating for users of the space. In the evening, each of the three wavedecks is lit from below with colourful LED fixtures. These colourful lights cast a glow from the lake creating a stunning effect on the deck and the water.
The wavedecks were designed and built with incredible attention to detail. For instance the thousands of screws used to hold the wavedecks together were lined up with exquisite precision enhancing the overall aesthetic.
The Spadina, Simcoe and Rees WaveDecks have garnered nine awards or nominations from the local, national and international design community since opening in late 2008 and early 2009. The Simcoe and Rees WaveDecks were honoured with 2010 Design Exchange Awards and the Spadina WaveDeck was the first Canadian project to be ever be shortlisted for a prestigious Brit Insurance Award.
Join Christopher Hume on Thestar.com for a tour of the award winning WaveDecks