Creating a Prosperous Waterfront
Villiers Island is planned to be Toronto’s first climate-positive neighbourhood, meaning it will produce more clean energy than it uses. It will also create thousands of housing units, new parks and employment opportunities on the waterfront.
POSTED: MAY 18, 2023
In This blog:
Waterfront Toronto has helped to make new waterfront neighbourhoods magnets for future-oriented employers, institutions and residents.
T3 Bayside will finish construction this year making it the largest mass-timber building on the waterfront.
The first child care centre in Bayside will begin welcoming children to the facility outfitted with custom play structures for different age groups.
In 2023–2024, we will work with our development partner for Quayside, Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, to refine the planning and design of the exciting new neighbourhood.
Villiers Island is a pivotal opportunity to transform the waterfront for future generations. This year, we will work with governments to secure funding for quick-start projects so people can enjoy this area during its revitalization process.
A new innovation ecosystem is forming on the waterfront as employers, institutions, and new residents gravitate to the newly revitalized area. The drivers of prosperity — investment and talent — have been growing increasingly mobile for years, as many workers re-evaluate their work-life balance. Waterfront Toronto catalyzes this growing dynamism by creating livable neighbourhoods and high-quality public spaces alongside engaging economic opportunities.
In the final piece of this three-part blog series highlighting key projects and goals from our Rolling Five-Year Strategic Plan 2023/24 - 2027/28, we take a closer look at how our work is transforming the way cities are built.
Innovative developments coming soon to East Bayfront
We require our development partners to meet high but attainable standards in emissions reduction, energy efficiency, waste reduction and water conservation. Because of this, waterfront developments have set new standards in sustainable design and construction. By demonstrating a commitment to leading-edge infrastructure and development, Waterfront Toronto has helped to make new waterfront neighbourhoods magnets for future-oriented employers, institutions and residents.
By using sustainable wood instead of standard building materials, T3 (Timber, Talent, Technology) Bayside will store or prevent more than 10,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions or the equivalent of taking 2,708 cars off the road for a year.
Learn more about the innovative developments coming soon to the waterfront on page 53 of our Strategic Plan.
In 2023–2024, we expect T3 Bayside by Hines to achieve substantial completion. This new mass timber development will bring approximately half a million square feet of innovative office space to the waterfront. Demonstrating our confidence in the area’s continued growth and vibrancy, Waterfront Toronto will be moving our own offices to T3 Bayside upon its completion.
This year, the first child care centre in Bayside will begin to welcome children to the facility outfitted with custom play structures for each age group. WoodGreen was selected by the City of Toronto as the non-profit operator for the facility located inside Aquabella.
Construction will also continue on Aqualuna, the fourth and final residential development in Bayside by Hines/Tridel. In addition to hundreds of housing units, a 26,000 square-foot community centre will be incorporated into its ground floor, which will be owned and operated by the City of Toronto.
Creating a dynamic, inclusive, and resilient community
Waterfront Toronto’s ambitious requirements for Quayside attracted proposals that envisioned a truly innovative neighbourhood in the heart of the city. In 2023–2024, we will work with our development partner, Quayside Impact Limited Partnership (Quayside Impact), to refine the planning and design of this exciting new community.
Quayside will be home to a 2-acre network of barrier free green spaces, dubbed the Community Forest, providing access to nature and promoting physical and mental health for residents and visitors.
Quayside Impact and its team of internationally notable architects, made a compelling proposal that closely aligned with the objectives we laid out for Quayside, including:
4,000+ residential units, including more than 800 affordable units, with an emphasis on family-sized units,
3.5 hectares of public space, including a 2-acre Community Forest, as well as a rooftop urban farm,
Canada’s largest all-electric, zero-carbon development,
Advancing employment, business and capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous peoples and equity-deserving communities.
More details about this exciting new neighbourhood can be found on pages 49-51 of the Strategic Plan.
In 2023-2024, we’ll work towards the 30% and 60% design milestones for the Quayside infrastructure and public realm — including advancing designs for Parliament Grove, a new green space lining either side of the realigned Parliament Street, extending Queens Quays East and the Water’s Edge Promenade.
A generational opportunity to transform Toronto’s waterfront
The completion of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project is a springboard into the critical next phase of waterfront revitalization. We have a chance to unlock the potential of land newly available for development at Villiers Island, a new island being created as part of the flood protection work. We’re working with all three orders of government to set a path to implementation, including refining goals and principles for the area, and determining how public investments can most effectively enhance the area and catalyze self-sustaining economic growth.
Villiers Island is a generational opportunity to transform Toronto’s waterfront for the better — adding homes, driving economic development and reinforcing the area as a landmark in sustainable and resilient design and construction.
In 2023–2024, we will work with governments to secure funding for quick-start projects on Villiers Island so people can enjoy this area during its revitalization process. For example, we’ve had exploratory discussions about bringing large international events to the area, such as offering the waterfront as a potential FIFA live site to support the 2026 World Cup hosting efforts. Learn more on pages 40-41 of our Strategic Plan.
Find Out More About These Projects And What We Aim To Achieve Over The Next Five Years In Our Updated Rolling Five-Year Strategic Plan 2023/24 - 2027/28.