The Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge will connect the central waterfront to Villiers Island and the expanded park system along the new mouth of the Don River.
The Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge will link the neighbourhood and Toronto’s downtown to an expanded regional park system along the Don River and . It will contribute to the creation of a continuous and publicly accessible water’s edge along the Toronto waterfront and play a critical role in providing safe, direct, and equitable access across the Keating Channel.
Beyond providing an elevated path of travel across the water, the Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge will also be a destination. It will carry users over the channel while also offering places to stop, rest, gather, interact and enjoy the view.
The Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge project is a partnership between Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, in collaboration with Host Nation and Treaty Holder, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
The Keating Channel Precinct Plan (2010), the Villiers Island Precinct Plan (2017), and the Port Lands Planning Framework all imagined a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that crossed the Keating Channel, linking the Central Waterfront to Promontory Park and Villiers Island. These plans were all informed by extensive community consultation and engagement.
In early 2023 the Federal Government committed to funding for a bridge at this site and Waterfront Toronto committed to financing the remainder of the project budget that was not covered by the Federal commitment. Once funding was secured, Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and MCFN initiated a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Design Competition process.
In keeping with Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto’s commitment to public engagement, we established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to support this stage of the project. The Committee’s mandate is to provide a forum for feedback, guidance and advice to the Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge project team at key points during the Design Competition. This includes articulating the committee’s aspirations for the bridge and sharing feedback and comments with the design competition evaluation committee for their consideration.
Together, Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto, MCFN and the CAC, identified and refined six project goals to guide the bridge design and implementation:
1. Create a Beautiful and Distinctive Gateway to the Waterfront
Becoming a landmark and a destination on the waterfront and complementing the existing Port Lands bridges.
2. Connect the City and Villiers Island
Connecting Quayside to an expanded regional park system along the Don River by providing safe, direct, and equitable access across the Keating Channel.
3. Incorporate a Living Landscape
Celebrating our connections with land and water by integrating nature in the design and offering opportunities for biodiversity.
4. Create with Indigenous Voice and Agency
Contributing to the visibility and overall wellbeing of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Toronto through Place-making and Place-keeping and honouring Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
5. Embody Sustainable Strategies and Innovation
Symbolizing, representing, and celebrating sustainability, climate resiliency and green infrastructure, extending to cost efficiency, life-cycle analysis, constructability, durability, and maintainability, to the extent possible.
6. Create a Place for All People
Offering unique, inclusive experiences of transition, interaction, observation, comfort, discovery, sensation, safety, and access to all users.
Indigenous Design and Engagement
Incorporating Indigenous design principles and engagement with Indigenous communities is key to this project. Waterfront Toronto is working with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Host Nation and Treaty Holder, and the City of Toronto’s Indigenous Affairs Office to achieve this goal and support local Indigenous arts, cultures, storytelling, histories, and traditions. The effort focuses on celebrating Indigenous Place-making and Place-keeping – the collective re-imagining of public spaces to strengthen the connection between place, community, values, culture, past, present and future.
The Indigenous design integration will be guided by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and informed by engagement and collaboration with Indigenous consultants, team members, organizations, and communities, throughout the course of this project.
The Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge will provide an accessible path of travel across the Keating Channel. It will go above and beyond AODA compliance and adhere to the and Waterfront Toronto’s Draft Accessibility Design Guidelines.
The Keating Channel Pedestrian Bridge will complement existing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, including the separated bike lanes on the Cherry Street bridge that connect the Martin Goodman Trail to the bike paths on Villiers Island and Toronto’s greater cycling network. This bridge will offer an additional crossing, connecting the Water’s Edge Promenade to the east of Parliament Slip to a future park and pedestrian pathways at Promontory Park North.
In May 2023, Waterfront Toronto and its partners issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking architects, engineers, landscape architects and other design professionals to submit statements of qualifications to produce innovative design proposals for the bridge. We received 13 submissions from a variety of local, national and international teams. Following careful evaluation of the submissions,
To further the public aspect of the Design Competition, the shortlisted teams will share their designs with the public at a virtual meeting on September 28, 2023 from 5:30PM-8:00PM and public feedback will be sought through an online survey that will be open for one week from September 28-October 5.
An evaluation committee made up of Waterfront Toronto, City of Toronto and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation staff will review the designs considering input from a Technical Advisory Committee, the Community Advisory Committee and the public. The successful Proponent will be identified in the Fall of 2023.
This project is fully funded, in part by the .