Waterfront Toronto Takes Action to Reconnect City to its Lake

An artist rendering of the proposed vision for Parliament Slip

March 8, 2021, Toronto, ON - Toronto’s waterfront has never been busier and in Toronto’s harbour, it is clear that better access to the water is a priority for the city’s health and future. Today, Waterfront Toronto announced its plan to develop the Parliament Slip into a waterfront destination where people can enjoy new access to the water. 

“Parliament Slip is our chance to create an exciting experience on the water for all types of marine activity. Our plan promises to deliver new kayak and canoe launches, lakeside pools and open water swimming opportunities, a floating restaurant, new mooring facilities with charging stations for electric marine craft, and a waterfront amphitheatre for people to enjoy views of the harbour activity,” said Waterfront Toronto CEO George Zegarac. 

The vision for the Parliament Slip grew from Waterfront Toronto’s 2020 Marine Use Strategy update—a plan to create an active, safe and accessible harbour. The strategy provides a complete view of harbour activities, with recommendations that encompass the movement of people onto and around the water, mooring opportunities for recreational and commercial vessels, and management that will meet the needs of all users.  

“Toronto was born on the waterfront but industry forced it to turn its back from the lake. With today’s announcement we are fulfilling our promise to reorient the city back to the water,” Zegarac added. 

“Great waterfronts around the world have distinct defining features. Memorable design, welcoming public spaces, the ability to serve recreational and transportation needs, waterfront dining and retail options, and cultural attractions,” said Chris Glaisek, Chief Planning and Design Officer for Waterfront Toronto.  

“Parliament Slip is where we can bring all of these features to life, create a more active and inclusive destination for everyone, and build a lasting connection between Toronto and the waterfront that we can showcase to the world,” Glaisek finished. 

In June 2019, Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with City of Toronto, PortsToronto, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, began the work which resulted in the 2020 Marine Use Strategy update.  

Waterfront Toronto will continue to work with residents, business owners, Toronto’s Indigenous community, as well as environmental and recreational groups to implement the strategy's recommendations. 

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What people are saying about the Marine Use Strategy and Parliament Slip

“The Marine Use Strategy provides an excellent framework for future development and uses associated with Toronto’s world-class waterfront and represents a collaborative effort on the part of many waterfront stakeholders to develop a strategy that is inclusive of various perspectives and uses. The concepts for the Parliament Slip are among the first to emerge from the Marine Use Strategy and promise to deliver on the vision of the document and provide Toronto with an exciting and inclusive experience on the water for all types of marine activity.” – Chris Sawicki, Vice President of Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services at PortsToronto.

“TRCA, in our role as a technical advisor and expert in shoreline restoration, is excited to be partnering with Waterfront Toronto on this important project which will enhance the public realm and achieve a net ecological benefit for aquatic habitat in this part of Toronto Harbour.” – John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

“The key to unlock Toronto’s potential as a world-class city is to maximize access and use of its fast-growing waterfront. Today’s updates to the Marine Use Strategy and ambitious plans for Parliament Slip are another exciting step in that direction.
It will take a lot of working together, and the business community is grateful to see work announced today by Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto’s Waterfront Secretariat, PortsToronto and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority.” – Tim Kocur, Executive Director at the Waterfront BIA

Media Kit: 


artist rendering of people swimming and gathered around the Parliament Slip

A rendering of the proposed vision for Parliament Slip animation, looking southeast from Queens Quay.
Rendering provided courtesy of West 8 + DTAH. 

rendering showing a bird's eye view of Parliament Slip site
A rendering of the proposed vision for Parliament Slip animation, view looking north from the
Inner Harbour. Rendering provided courtesy of West 8 + DTAH. 


Media Contact:

Media Relations
Waterfront Toronto