Waterfront Toronto celebrates design excellence with first ever Waterfront Design Review Panel Awards

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Aerial photo of an angular building at dusk with a railyard in the background.

October 26, 2022, Toronto, ON – Waterfront Toronto is thrilled to announce the recipients of its inaugural Design Review Panel Awards. The awards recognize ten visionary projects across seven categories, and were presented in a ceremony at Waterfront Toronto’s lakeside offices today. 


The Waterfront Design Review Panel (WDRP) is composed of cross-disciplinary experts who review waterfront project proposals and offer advice to improve design excellence, environmental performance, and deliver a cohesive approach to waterfront revitalization. The panel’s feedback has been vital in delivering numerous iconic projects along Toronto’s waterfront, including those receiving this year’s awards.


“These awards are a chance to recognize the incredible, collaborative work of the DRP and the teams behind each of these projects,” said George Zegarac, CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “All of the projects nominated completed the DRP process and each project emerged the better for it. Congratulations to all.”


“On behalf of the WDRP, I want to congratulate all of today’s nominees and award recipients. In launching these awards, it was clear how much talent, effort, and vision goes into every project, and we’re lucky to review and improve such exciting work,” said Paul Bedford, chair of the WDRP. 

 

In order to qualify, projects must have completed the design review process or completed construction between 2019-2021. Hall of Fame Awards recognize the buildings or projects built for at least five years that most enhanced the waterfront. In future, the Waterfront Design Review Panel Awards will be hosted on a bi-annual basis.
 

 

Award Recipients

 

Category: Excellence in Residential Design 

Criteria: For a market condominium, rental or affordable housing building. 

Recipient: Canary Landing, 125 Mill Street 

Citation: Canary Landing’s design, particularly the use of refined cladding and contrasting treatment of the lower and upper floors, successfully references the heritage aspects of the precinct in a contemporary way. The gently curving precast cladding on the upper volumes echoes the grain silos that once dotted the waterfront, and the detailed brick work on the lower volumes and in the public realm tie the site into the historic Distillery District across the street. Canary Landing is a remarkable and sophisticated project that raises the bar for residential design. Read more from the project team

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Rendering: a mixed-use building in a downtown core.

 

Category: Excellence in Commercial or Institutional Design 

Criteria: For a non-residential use building, such as commercial, institutional, or infrastructural. 

Recipient: T3 Bayside (Phase 1), 251 Queens Quay East 

Citation: T3 Bayside's design represents an exceptionally ambitious and provocative commercial building. The project’s use of mass timber is elegantly supported by its simple massing, punctuated by a string of double-height social spaces skillfully woven through the office floors. The innovation in mass timber is much needed as we grapple with the economic and environmental impacts of traditional construction methods. This building is a seminal project for the Toronto waterfront that sets a clear pathway for future high-quality commercial buildings in Canada. Read more here

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Rendering: T3 Bayside Phase I and II as seen from street level.

 

Category: Excellence in Public Landscape Design 

Criteria: For a park, streetscape, or other public open space project. 

Recipient: Port Lands Flood Protection Project, River and Parks 

Citation: The new river and parks in the Port Lands Flood Protection (PLFP) project represent the realization of a fifty-year dream to reclaim the mouth of the Don River. The design sets a global precedent for the transformation of flood-prone, post-industrial waterfronts into climate resilient, ecologically rich, and socially inclusive urban districts. The design of the new river channel successfully references the dynamic and complex estuary systems found on the Great Lakes, and the design of the parks skillfully integrates a diverse recreational program with a forested buffer to create what will be one of the most significant new park system in Toronto’s history. Read more here

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Rendering: a person running on a pathway in a riverside park.

 

Category: Excellence in Planning and Urban Design 

Criteria: For a precinct plan, master plan, public open space plan, or development plan. 

Recipient: Gardiner and Lake Shore Boulevard East Public Realm

Citation: The design of the Lake Shore Boulevard East public realm sets a new precedent for human-scale, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. By creating a network of green linkages along the corridor, a vibrant public realm will emerge in a formerly desolate area.  This project exemplifies how novel forms of public open space can be developed out of idiosyncratic, residual, and contested spaces. The design successfully blurs park and infrastructure, a truly innovative and critical initiative that will facilitate re-calibrating the relationship that citizens of the city have to this area. Read more here.

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Rendering: people walking on a paved pathway between trees.

 

Category: Excellence in Design Innovation 

Criteria: For a project that addresses environmental, social, or other contemporary issues through design and research. 

Recipient: Limberlost Place at George Brown College, 185 Queens Quay East 

Citation: The design of George Brown College’s Limberlost Place features innovation throughout. A combination of elements including solar chimneys, rooftop photo-voltaic panels, a de-centralized mechanical system, vented hallways, and operable windows allows the building to have net zero carbon emissions. The “passive ventilation mode” allows the building to operate passively 50 per cent of the year. The team is also to be commended for their willingness to leverage the project for market transformation, pushing policy and sharing lessons learned to build industry capacity. This project will be an exemplar for all institutional projects. Read more here

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Rendering: street-level perspective of a mass-timber building with a George Brown College sign.

 

Category: Excellence in Built Work 

Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, or neighborhood that delivers on the original design intent. 

Recipient: Cherry Street Stormwater Management Facility, 480 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Citation: The design of the Stormwater Management Facility celebrates the legacy of exceptional municipal architecture like the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plan. It is an elegant, beautifully detailed sculptural work, that will engage and delight the public and prove that beautifully designed infrastructure buildings are an essential aspect of city building. The Stormwater Management Facility is a true model of multi-beneficial infrastructure, and the waterfront will be a more delightful place with city infrastructure treated with this level of design and craft. Read more here

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Aerial photo of an angular building at dusk with a railyard in the background.

 

Category: Excellence in Built Work 

Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, or neighborhood that delivers on the original design intent. 

Recipient: River City RC3 + RC4, 170 Bayview Avenue and 21 Lawren Harris Square 

Citation: The completed River City Phases 3 + 4 represent a sophisticated, well-detailed, and elegantly proportioned set of residential towers. The unique aesthetic contribution to the urban fabric of West Don Lands has been transformative, setting a new bar for the design and execution of multi-residential buildings. The exterior demonstrates a high degree of resolution in material selection and detailing, successfully delivering an ambitious design that elevates the relationship between the project and users. River City Phases 3 + 4 is a triumphant completion of a brilliant ensemble of residential buildings. Read more here or watch this video to learn more about the recipient.

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Two photos of apartment buildings, side by side.

 

Category: Hall of Fame 

Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring. 

Recipient: WaveDecks: Spadina WaveDeck, Rees WaveDeck, Simcoe WaveDeck

Citation: When they first opened, the WaveDecks captured the world's attention and imagination, becoming part of the iconic landscape of the nascent revitalization project led by Waterfront Toronto. The creative use of form and materiality, along with the emphasis on connecting people to the Lake, established a unique design language for the water's edge. The Simcoe WaveDeck, with its deeply undulating curves, has become a “must see” destination on the waterfront, and the triptych provide a truly unique palette that calls for extension to the remaining slips. The WaveDecks are bold, inspirational designs that represent a legacy for Toronto. Read more here

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A crowd of people gathered on Rees Wavedeck

 

Category: Hall of Fame 

Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring.  

Recipient: Canada’s Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive 

Citation: Canada’s Sugar Beach is a special, transformative project that is well used year-round. The iconic and playful pink umbrellas, willows, pines, and white sand juxtaposed with massive cargo ships offloading at the Redpath Sugar Plant create moments that are unique to our waterfront and undoubtedly, Toronto. The park’s weaving together of thoughtful public space principals and sophisticated branding landed it in the eye and heart of visitors, designers, and civic leaders alike, remains as one of the most fun public spaces in Canada. The creativity and imagination displayed by the project and design team is highly commended. Read more here.

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A crowded beach on a summer day. People sitting under pink umbrellas.

 

Category: Hall of Fame 

Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring. 

Recipient: Corktown Common, 155 Bayview Avenue 

Citation: Corktown Common was designed to couple critical flood protection infrastructure with social and civic programming. In doing, so it helped regenerate the ecological and environmental health of the area, enabling the construction of the Canary District and a new park, rich in experience and amenity. It demonstrates that parks can offer a range of activities for multi-generational enjoyment, and whose hard urban boundaries are eased by an expertly designed landscape edge.  This project helped launched the redeveloped of the West Don Lands, and is now the public heart of the entire precinct. Read more here.

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Aerial photo of a city park surrounded by apartment buildings and a river.

Nominated Projects

 

Excellence in Residential Design 

Aqualuna, Bayside, 3XN / Hines + Tridel 

West Don Lands Blocks 3/4/7, Cobe / DKT 

Canary Landing (WDL Block 8), Cobe + aA / DKT 

Canary Landing (WDLBlock 20), Henning Larsen Architects / DKT 

 

Excellence in Commercial / Institutional Design 

30 Bay, Rogers Stirk Harbour / Oxford 

Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Stantec + Two Row Architect / KMT 

Limberlost Place, Moriyama & Teshima +  Acton Ostry / George Brown College 

Rekai Centre (WDL Block 5), Montgomery Sisam / The Rekai Centres 

T3 Bayside Phase 1, 3XN / Hines 

 

Excellence in Public Landscape Design 

Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Stantec + Two Row Architect / KMT 

Easy Bayfront Boardwalk, West 8 + DTAH / Waterfront Toronto 

Gardiner and Lakeshore Blvd. East Public Realm, West 8 / Waterfront Toronto 

Port Lands Flood Protection: River and Parks, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates / Waterfront Toronto 

York Street Park, CCxA (Claude Cormier + Associés Inc.) / Waterfront Toronto 

 

Excellence in Planning / Urban Design 

Gardiner and Lakeshore Blvd. East Public Realm, West 8 / Waterfront Toronto 

 

Excellence in Design Innovation 

Indigenous Hub (WDL Block 10), Quadrangle + Two Row Architect / DKT 

Lake Shore Pilot Project, West 8 + Dillon / DKT 

Limberlost Place, Moriyama & Teshima +  Acton Ostry / George Brown College 

Rekai Centre (WDL Block 5), Montgomery Sisam / The Rekai Centres 

T3 Bayside Phase 1, 3XN / Hines 

 

Excellence in Built Work 

Aquabella, Bayside, 3XN / Hines + Tridel 

River City Buildings RC3 + RC4, Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and ZAS Architects / Urban Capital 

Stormwater Management Facility, gh3* / Waterfront Toronto 

Tommy Thompson Park Entrance and Pavilion, DTAH / City of Toronto 

Ten York, Wallman Architects / Tridel 

Image Gallery

Media Contact:


Simon Bredin 
Waterfront Toronto
E-mail: media@waterfrontoronto.ca