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Waterfront Toronto opens dramatic new wavedeck


Toronto, June 12, 2009 - Waterfront Toronto, together with the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto, officially opened the Simcoe WaveDeck, the second and most dramatic urban dock being built along Toronto’s central waterfront.


The Simcoe WaveDeck, one of four uniquely Canadian wavedecks planned for the area, is as artistic as it is functional. Located just west of Simcoe Street at the water’s edge, 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 Canadian cottage experience and the shorelines of Ontario’s great lakes, the wavedeck is meant to give urban dwellers a feel for life at the lake. Providing access to Lake Ontario is a key priority for Waterfront Toronto and is an important public goal supported by all of our government partners.


“It is a pleasure to work with other levels of government to support the projects initiated by Waterfront Toronto to improve access to Lake Ontario's promenades, recreational facilities and parks,” said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “The federal government is pleased to have contributed all of the construction costs, in the amount of more than $5 million to make this project a reality. Our government will continue to contribute to innovative infrastructure projects such as the Simcoe WaveDeck, underlining our commitment to the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront.”


Built in less than eight months, the Simcoe WaveDeck joins the Spadina WaveDeck which opened last year in creating more public space along one of the most heavily used parts of the Toronto shoreline. Construction of the third wavedeck at Rees Street is well underway and will open in August.


“Our government is committed to creating waterfront community spaces such as this one to improve the way Ontarians live, work and play” said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “Improved access to the waterfront means that residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy a stroll along the water’s edge or use it as a place to gather with family and friends.”


The wavedecks are just one part of Waterfront Toronto’s award-winning design for the central waterfront. The plan also includes a continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk; a series of pedestrian footbridges connecting major attractions on the waterfront, and the transformation of Queens Quay into a pedestrian-friendly, grand boulevard.


“The completion of this project marks the ongoing transformation of our waterfront into a series of beautiful and functional civic spaces,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller. “It provides a glimpse of things to come for the many other projects along Toronto's waterfront that will be completed shortly.”


The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront includes the creation of more than 300 hectares of new and improved parks and public spaces – the equivalent of 575 football fields.


“Today’s opening is another indication that waterfront revitalization is in full swing,” said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto. “Construction projects are underway all along the waterfront as we work to create one of the most beautiful and sustainable waterfronts in the world.”


In addition to the installation of the wavedeck at Simcoe Street, construction activities included dockwall repairs, in-water fisheries habitat construction and landscape improvements.


Other parts of the revitalization of the central waterfront project are also taking shape. Planning for the first of five pedestrian footbridges along the waterfront is currently underway.


Furthermore, after a two-year Environmental Assessment process, Waterfront Toronto will present the technically recommended alternative for revitalizing Queens Quay Blvd to City Council for approval in July followed by the Minister of the Environment this fall. If approved, the plan will turn Queens Quay into a grand lakefront boulevard with two lanes of traffic on the north side of the street, streetcars in the middle, and a new tree-lined park along the south side of the street with space for the Martin Goodman Trail for pedestrians and cyclists.


Waterfront Toronto
Construction projects are currently underway to support new communities in West Don Lands and East Bayfront. In addition, since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects, including the Western Beaches Watercourse, York and John Quay promenades, phase one of Port Union and Mimico Waterfront Parks, Cherry Beach Sports Fields and the Marilyn Bell Park promenade and trail.


This summer, Waterfront Toronto will open the Rees WaveDeck and will unveil an improved Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place . We will also begin construction of Sherbourne Park and Sugar Beach — two signature parks in East Bayfront.


For a tour of the Central Waterfront with Adriaan Geuze, Principal, West 8 and Waterfront Toronto Vice-President of Planning and Design, Chris Glaisek, log on to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hr-ujDmrMk


The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.




Media Contacts:
Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto 416-214-1344 x264 or 416-271-1316
Chisholm Pothier, Finance Canada, Office of the Minister of Finance 613-996-7861
Amy Tang, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister’s Office 416-327-6747


Video - Building Our New Blue Edge: Central Waterfront

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