TORONTO, July 1, 2013 /CNW/ - In a special Canada Day ceremony,
Waterfront Toronto, Harbourfront Centre and the Government of Canada,
officially opened Canada Square, a new landmark in the heart of
Toronto's waterfront. In the spirit of great European plazas, Canada
Square offers a new place for people to gather and enjoy beautifully
framed views of Lake Ontario and Toronto's skyline under a canopy of
majestic redwood trees.
The new Canada Square marks the completion of a multi-phased project
that has transformed about a third of Harbourfront Centre's 10 acre
site into an even more vibrant waterfront destination. Central to the
project was the construction of a new 300-stall underground parking
garage at Harbourfront Centre which opened last summer. By moving the
parking lot underground, the surface area was opened up for the
creation of new public space.
"Canada Square demonstrates how beautiful new public space and
investments in infrastructure go hand in hand in building a great
waterfront," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront
Toronto. "Moving parking underground has allowed us to give this
important waterfront site back to the people."
Designed by renowned landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh and
Associates, Canada Square brings nature onto the site in an
unconventional way. With more than 40 redwoods framing the plaza,
Canada Square is a vertical garden with a theatricality befitting its
Harbourfront Centre location.
"After more than a decade, Harbourfront Centre's dream of converting a
parking lot into a beautifully landscaped urban oasis is finally a
reality," said William J.S. Boyle, CEO of Harbourfront Centre. "It has
transformed the center of our site for the enjoyment of the public. "
The revitalization of Harbourfront Centre's site also includes Ontario
Square, a large public plaza facing Queens Quay and Exhibition Common,
an interim landscaped area with a café, Common Goods (Muvbox) kiosks
and tented activity areas.
"The Canada Square project is an integral part of the incredible
transformation already underway across Toronto's Waterfront. Parks and
open spaces make cities more welcoming and are a vital part of the
overall prosperity envisioned by the residents and businesses of this
community," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance.
"The Harper Government is proud to be a part of this dynamic and
forward-looking initiative which will attract businesses to the
neighbourhood and help create jobs and growth for the region."
"Revitalizing Toronto's waterfront is integral to shaping the city's
environment and ensuring Torontonians and all visitors benefit from a
sustainable future," said the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the
Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. "With our
Government's investment, we are helping to provide the necessary
infrastructure to stimulate the growth of this neighbourhood which will
benefit the Greater Toronto Area as a whole."
No detail was overlooked during the revitalization of this site. Even
the new underground garage is more than just a functional piece of
infrastructure - it is an enticing part of the urban experience. The
garage includes a distinctive art piece called Light Cascade designed by award-winning architect and designer, James Carpenter. This
impressive structure, comprised of a three-storey curtain wall of glass
and mylar, rises 10 metres from the underground base of the garage
through an aperture to Ontario Square above.
The revitalization of Harbourfront Centre's site is part of the overall
transformation of the Central Waterfront which is improving the most
heavily used and developed part of the waterfront. Construction is well
underway on the transformation of Queens Quay, which will create a
vibrant waterfront district by linking major destinations like
Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay Terminal, HTO Park and the Toronto
This is the second time Waterfront Toronto and Harbourfront Centre have
worked together to improve this central waterfront area. In 2006,
public access to the water's edge was improved by widening the
promenade south of Harbourfront Centre and the addition of a wooden
boardwalk and two new finger piers. This area has since become a
vibrant and much-visited waterfront destination.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created
Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's
waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable
development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key
drivers of waterfront revitalization.
Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres
of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We
celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and
enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from
across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts
more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000
diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives
operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of
Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private
sector and individual donors.
Image with caption: "Official opening of Canada Square (from left to right Tenio Evangelista, President, Board of Directors, Harbourfront Centre, Hon. Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and MP, Thornhill, William Boyle, CEO Harbourfront Centre, and Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto) (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130701_C4627_PHOTO_EN_28663.jpg
SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto
For further information:
Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto firstname.lastname@example.org 416-214-1344 x264 or 416-271-1316
Althea Linton, Harbourfront Centre email@example.com 416-973-4428