January 24, 2024, Toronto, ON – Today marked the opening of two new roads and bridges that will link the future Villiers Island to downtown Toronto, as well as the surrounding Port Lands.
Part of a family of four iconic bridges, the Cherry Street North and Commissioners Street bridges are the latest connections to open in the Port Lands, marking a key advancement in the Port Lands Flood Protection project. The Cherry South Bridge, which crosses the future renaturalized mouth of the Don River, opened in October 2022.
Through an ongoing partnership, the new roads and bridges were made possible by investments from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Toronto in the Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure Project. This project will provide critical flood protection to southeastern portions of downtown Toronto, transform the area into usable public and green space, and will upgrade critical infrastructure including roads and bridges. Additionally, these upgrades will connect people cycling, walking and driving to the future Villiers Island, and include space allocated to future transit.
“Today marks a significant milestone for the Port Lands area. The newly opened bridges and roads play a vital role in the transformation of the Port Lands, providing greater transportation access – including active transportation – to and from the downtown core and setting the stage for future development opportunities.”
Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is an important priority for our government. Today’s opening of two new roads and bridges will provide greater access to and from the area for residents and visitors alike. The completion of this project will be part of the transformation of the Port Lands into one of the city’s most important urban spaces.”
The Honourable John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood
“Today’s announcement is an exciting one for the residents of Toronto and visitors. Connecting the future Villiers Island to downtown Toronto with new bridges and roads is a crucial step that will allow people to walk, bike, or drive along the waterfront, while enabling access for people to explore the greenspaces and parks in the surrounding Port Lands. Ontario is pleased to have worked with its government partners to invest in the Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure Project to create a world-class waterfront, with the province contributing more than $400 million.”
The Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure
“These new roads and bridges will make it easier for residents and visitors to access more natural green spaces, and some of the most unique urban environments in the city. We’re pleased to support this project, while continuing to work with our partners to build a world-class waterfront, with more vibrant and resilient neighborhoods, public spaces, wetlands and parks. Together, we’re unlocking the area’s potential for future housing and other development.”
Amarjot Sandhu, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure
“These new connections are an important step towards building a healthy and sustainable future community in the Port Lands, with new housing and public green space. With dedicated cycling, walking and transit lanes on these roads and bridges, visitors and residents can access scenic parks and playgrounds that soothe the mind and nurture the soul. This achievement – and future revitalization on the waterfront – has happened because all levels of government have worked together.”
Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto
“These bridges reflect the innovation and design excellence woven through all of Waterfront Toronto’s projects. These connections fulfil a promise to reconnect people to the waterfront and to reorient Toronto to the lake by turning underused, post-industrial lands into the city’s new front porch. People crossing these bridges will get their first look at the new parks and river that are under construction. For many, it will be the first time they encounter the potential of Villiers Island to create new access to water, sprawling greenspace and new housing right downtown.”
George Zegarac, President and CEO, Waterfront Toronto