Jury selects team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation
today announced that a team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
(MVVA) beat out three other internationally recognized competitors to win the
Lower Don Lands Design Competition.
"The winning MVVA design represents a bold innovative approach to
naturalizing the mouth of the Don River and transforming a long neglected area
into sustainable new parks and communities," said Mark Wilson, TWRC chair.
"With this design, the Lower Don Lands stands to become one of the most
remarkable places on Toronto's revitalized waterfront."
TWRC appointed a jury to select the winning design. The jury felt the
MVVA design's big, bold moves impressively integrated the natural and wild
elements of the river's mouth and the Lower Don Lands with urban placemaking,
creating a spectacular and compelling vision for the area.
In taking this approach, the MVVA team best addressed the competition's
two key objectives of providing a naturalized mouth and iconic identity for
the Don River and creating a comprehensive plan for addressing urban design,
transportation, naturalization, sustainability and other ecological issues.
Importantly, the team's detailed understanding of soil conditions and
remediation, engineering requirements and landownership issues helped produce
a plan that is cost effective and achievable.
"Great cities and great waterfronts go hand in hand," said the Honourable
John Baird, Minister of the Environment and federal minister responsible for
the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. "We have the great city. Now
we have the design for the Lower Don Lands."
The other members of the MVVA team are Greenberg Consultants, Inc.,
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Behnisch Architects, Limno-Tech, Inc., Applied
Ecological Services, Great Eastern Ecology, Transsolar, RFR Engineering, Arup,
and Totten Sims Hubickiand Associates.
The Lower Don Lands cover the area that runs from Parliament Street east
to the Don Roadway and from the rail corridor south to Commissioners Street,
including the Don Greenway. The area is a critical link between the new
waterfront communities that are emerging in the East Bayfront, the West Don
Lands and the Port Lands.
Under the winning MVVA scheme, the Lower Don Lands will be transformed
into a sustainable "green" city, a new destination where city, lake, and river
interact in a dynamic and balanced relationship - an urban estuary. The mouth
of the Don River is the centerpiece of the MVVA design. By moving the river's
mouth from the Keating Channel to Lake Ontario, the scheme reasserts the
rivers presence in the city and makes the river an iconic identity for the
Lower Don Lands.
"The MVVA outstanding winning design captures the underlying objectives
of the waterfront revitalization vision so enthusiastically supported by the
McGuinty government: to reclaim the water's edge in the Lower Don Lands area
for the people of Toronto and the Province of Ontario as a magnificent public
asset," said David Caplan, Ontario Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal.
"This design helps meet the province's goal of reconnecting Toronto with its
waterfront, by developing sustainable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods that
exist in harmony with their natural surroundings."
Although the river's mouth is relocated, the Keating Channel itself
remains in tact and will be an important link between the neighbourhoods to
the north and south. Envisioned as retail-oriented promenade, the Keating
Channel will become an animated destination for city residents and visitors.
"The design competition has been most helpful in coming up with a new
vision of the mouth of the Don River," said Mayor David Miller. "It's now much
more integrated with the neighbourhoods that surround it and provides plenty
of green space for recreation and the enjoyment of nature. I want to
congratulate TWRC for assembling four talented design teams who have shown
Torontonians that it's possible to transform this long neglected area into a
thriving, productive part of the city landscape."
In addition to the generous parks, improved access to the river and lake,
and a network of trail connections, the MVVA design provides for new
waterfront neighbourhoods that will have strong connections to existing and
emerging communities in the East Bayfront and the West Don Lands.
The MVVA design will now inform the naturalization of the mouth of the
Don River, flood protection for the Port Lands, precinct planning for the
areas between Parliament Street and Cherry Street and in the north end of the
Port Lands, and extending Queens Quay from Parliament Street to Cherry Street.
The mouth of the Don Naturalization is in progress. Precinct planning and an
Environmental Assessment to realign Queens Quay will be underway by the
Members of the jury that selected the winning design were architects
Bruce Kuwabara, who chaired the jury, Renee Daoust and Charles Waldheim,
photographer Edward Burtynsky and Morden Yolles a structural engineer.
The federal, provincial and city governments established TWRC to oversee
and lead the renewal of Toronto's central waterfront. TWRC currently has a
number of major waterfront parks projects underway and development is about
start on the West Don Lands, the first new waterfront community.
For further information: Media contact: Kristin Jenkins - (416)
214-1479, email@example.com; Tanya Bevington, (416) 214-9042, ext. 239,