TORONTO, May 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto together with the
Governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto celebrated the
official start of construction for Underpass Park, a significant
milestone in the development of the West Don Lands.
Underpass Park is the most extensive park to ever be built under an
overpass in Canada, and the first of its kind in Toronto. The unique
urban park is transforming the derelict space beneath the Eastern
Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses into a bright and welcoming
neighbourhood amenity and a key public space in the West Don Lands
"Underpass Park embodies the kind of infrastructure project the federal
government stands four-square behind," said Minister
Flaherty. "Transforming once derelict lands into inviting parks and
open spaces is a direct investment in healthier and greener communities
where businesses flourish and families thrive."
"The transformation of the West Don Lands into a vibrant, flourishing
community where people will live, work, play and learn is the kind of
public infrastructure project that really excites us," said Minister
Murray. "Underpass Park is a welcome addition to a renewed waterfront
where businesses want to invest, families choose to live and
communities continue to thrive."
"What makes Underpass Park so unique is the inspiration came from the
overpass structure," said Councillor Norm Kelly, Chair of Parks &
Environment for the City of Toronto. "I am looking forward to the
completion of the park so everyone in our city can take advantage of
what will be a beautiful, open public space," Kelly added.
The imposing concrete structures of the overpasses currently act as a
barrier between the north and south parts of the community. Underpass
Park innovatively re-engineers the area under the overpasses to create
an inviting public space that connects the two parts of the West Don
Lands, contributing to the vibrancy of the neighbourhood and the
success of the development projects underway in the area.
"Underpass Park embodies design excellence and creativity," said Mark
Wilson. "Its design and adaptive reuse of derelict urban land raises
the bar for urban space in the city and beyond."
Designed by landscape architectural firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
with The Planning Partnership, Underpass Park maximizes the unique site
conditions imposed by the massive concrete overpasses to convert a
neighbourhood liability into a welcoming and distinct public space.
The park is being built in two phases, with the portion east of St.
Lawrence Street adjacent to both the River City private sector
development and the new affordable housing complex by Toronto Community
Housing, being constructed first. The first phase is expected to be
complete by the end of 2011. The second phase of the park, on the
western side of St. Lawrence Street, will be built next.
Construction of Underpass Park is another sign of the momentum and
progress being made in the West Don Lands, which will be home to the
Athletes' Village during the 2015 Pan Am Games. Work is well underway
throughout the West Don Lands, both in the area that will be home to
the Athletes' Village and the areas surrounding it.
Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has opened more than 17 new or improved
parks or public spaces including wavedecks, sports fields, revitalized
trails and new waterfront parks. Last year the organization opened
Canada's Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common South in the new East
Bayfront neighbourhood, and started construction of Don River Park in
the West Don Lands. Waterfront Toronto has also finalized development
agreements with Great Gulf Homes, Urban Capital and Hines for private
sector projects on the waterfront, as well as with George Brown College
for the development of their new state-of-the-art Medical Arts Building
on Queens Quay.
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.
SOURCE Waterfront Toronto
For further information:
Tari Stork, Manager, Project Communications, Waterfront Toronto
T: 416-214-1344 x 279 / C: 416-414-1577 / firstname.lastname@example.org