Toronto's Outer Harbour Recreational Node

Home to Fish, Fowl and Fans of Both

TORONTO, April 22, 2015 /CNW/ - With their fishing lines cast into the water, officials from Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the City of Toronto today celebrated the official opening of the Outer Harbour Recreational Node.

An inviting outcropping at the water's edge in Lake Ontario Park, the Outer Harbour Recreational Node is an accessible space to enjoy recreational fishing, birding or to simply sit and enjoy nature. It's also an appealing resting area for those using the nearby Martin Goodman Trail and the Tommy Thompson Park trail system. The Outer Harbour Recreational Node is one of thirteen "Quick Start" projects identified with a view to enhancing existing park conditions and improving the visitor experience, and builds on recent investments in the Lake Ontario Park and Tommy Thompson Park.

"An important goal for Waterfront Toronto is reconnecting the people of Toronto with the water and enhancing places for waterside recreation," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "With this area we are offering people the opportunity to indulge in some simple pleasures – recreational fishing, bird watching, or even launching a canoe."

"This project is a great example of how we can connect people to water and to nature," said Brian Denney, TRCA CEO. "TRCA is committed to building 'The Living City' and the waterfront is the perfect place where people can learn about and appreciate our natural environment. We're looking forward to working with our partners on future improvements to the waterfront."

Waterfront Toronto also announced an exciting new partnership with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation dedicated to creating and enhancing the green spaces and recreational areas that make our city more livable. The foundation works in partnership with the City of Toronto and other groups in order to achieve these goals.

With 25 percent of the waterfront revitalization area reserved for high quality parks and public spaces, Waterfront Toronto has made it a priority to incorporate best practices for healthy trees into all of their work. Together, Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation share a vision and a commitment to waterfront revitalization that builds upon Toronto's great tradition of parks.

"We are excited to do our part to help Waterfront Toronto create great parks that will enhance natural habitat and provide more opportunities for families to visit and explore our waterfront," said Andrew Sorbara, Chair of Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. "Bringing together partners like Forests Ontario and working with the private sector will help us realize that goal."

Rob Keen, Chief Executive Officer of Forests Ontario, joined the celebration to announce support for enhancing the natural habitat of the Baselands area through the Government of Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program, administered by Forests Ontario. The program is designed to significantly reduce tree planting costs and thereby increase the number of trees planted. The 50 Million Tree Program is part of the Government of Ontario's commitment to plant 50 million trees province-wide by 2025.

"Forests Ontario is pleased to work with municipalities to increase urban forest cover across the province through the Government of Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program," said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. "All forests, whether urban or rural, provide immense benefits to the communities surrounding them and we are thrilled that the 50 Million Tree Program offers municipalities the opportunity to beautify public spaces while offering environmental advantages to its residents."

"Trees play a key role in creating healthy urban environments and I am delighted to see this partnership come together to ensure our Waterfront communities to receive all of the benefits a healthy tree canopy provides," said Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 30.

Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and TRCA are working collaboratively on a series of initiatives to enhance recreational and ecological opportunities in Lake Ontario Park and Tommy Thompson Park, referred to as "Quick Starts". The objective of the "Quick Start" initiatives is to implement a series of projects that can deliver a wide range of public benefits within a reasonably short period of time.

The completion of the Outer Harbour Recreational Node was funded by Waterfront Toronto and Environment Canada with TRCA completing the planning and construction of the improvements. The remaining project components, which include plantings, signage and bicycle racks, will be completed later this spring.

About Waterfront Toronto

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. For more information, please visit www.waterfrontoronto.ca.

About Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 55 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca.

SOURCE Waterfront Toronto

Image with caption: "From left to right: Paula Fletcher, Councillor, Ward 30, City of Toronto; John Campbell, CEO, Waterfront Toronto; Nick Saccone, Senior Director, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150422_C6745_PHOTO_EN_14626.jpg

Image with caption: "From left to right: Nick Saccone, Senior Director, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority; Rob Keen, CEO, Forests Ontario; Paula Fletcher, Councillor, Ward 30, City of Toronto; John Campbell, CEO, Waterfront Toronto; Andrew Sorbara, Chair of Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150422_C6745_PHOTO_EN_14628.jpg

For further information: Media Contacts: Waterfront Toronto, Carol Webb, Manager, Project Communications, Telephone: 416-214-1344 x 422, Mobile: 416-272-3096, E-mail: cwebb@waterfrontoronto.ca; Toronto and Region Conservation, Elizabeth Oakley, Supervisor, Media Management, Telephone: 416-274-2036, E-mail: eoakley@trca.on.ca

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