A major goal for waterfront revitalization is to give the waterfront back to the people, by increasing access to the lakefront and ensuring that people can enjoy their waterfront.
Planning for the waterfront does not stop at the water’s edge but embraces both land and marine activities and environments. Waterfront Toronto has undertaken many initiatives that encourage an active, diverse and accessible waterfront for all to enjoy.
In 2006, Waterfront Toronto developed a Marine Use Strategy to ensure that the diverse marine uses and users of Toronto’s waterfront are carefully considered in the context of waterfront revitalization. The strategy looks at all recreational, commercial and industrial water-based activities and uses along Toronto’s waterfront with a focus on the central waterfront area between
Ashbridge’s Bay and Humber Bay Park. It provides recommendations and guidance for an integrated and sustainable approach to planning on the waterfront to ensure that the needs of all marine users are met.
One major challenge is that the downtown waterfront area is not currently suitable for swimming. However we are working to ensure that it can be used for other recreational opportunities.
In 2006, Waterfront Toronto built the Western Beaches Watercourse - a 600 metre 'flat water' training and competition centre for rowing and paddling. The watercourse was created to enable the City of Toronto to host the 2006 International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships.
Waterfront revitalization is about connecting the whole city from east to west. Waterfront Toronto is creating opportunities for better waterfront access from Scarborough to Etobicoke. Mimico Waterfront Park and Port Union Waterfront Park are both examples of Waterfront Toronto’s commitment to ensuring that waterfront revitalization happens across Toronto’s many waterfront communities. Both of these parks have created beautiful lakefront amenities in areas that previously lacked public access to the waterfront.
Environmental sustainability is a key feature of waterfront revitalization. Waterfront Toronto considers the restoration of marine ecology integral to creating a living ecosystem in Toronto’s Inner Harbour. We are coupling waterfront revitalization efforts with improvements to marine ecology through the conservation and enhancement of terrestrial and aquatic habitat.
Our Marine Use Strategy embraces the community of marine uses and users on the waterfront. This strategy is built around five core themes:
The objective of the marine strategy study is to ensure that the diverse marine uses and users of the Toronto Waterfront are accommodated with adequate facilities in appropriate locations in the context of waterfront revitalization.
The Guide is a compendium of information accumulated during an extensive program of research and consultation completed during the Marine Use Strategy process. The Resource Guide informs and provides support for the vision, objectives and strategies presented in the Marine Use Strategy Final Report, and is intended to be read in conjunction with that report. It also serves as a resource providing key information required for effective implementation of the Marine Use Strategy.