Transformation of Queens Quay Into World Class Waterfront Street Set To Begin

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - Ontario's Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen, has cleared the way for the revitalization of Queens Quay Boulevard to proceed. This formally concludes the planning and approval process for the Queens Quay Revitalization Environmental Assessment undertaken by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto.

Waterfront Toronto may now proceed with the transformation of Queens Quay from an uninviting traffic corridor into a beautiful, world-class street that links major destinations along the water's edge, creates pedestrian and cycling-friendly promenades and encourages an economically vibrant area for locals and visitors alike.

When complete, the revitalization of Queens Quay will see two lanes of traffic on the south side of the street replaced with a linear park. The park will feature a generous tree-lined granite pedestrian promenade as well as a continuous, off-street Martin Goodman Trail. A dedicated Light Rail Transit (LRT) line will run along the centre of the street with two lanes of east-west traffic north of the tracks. Landscaping and other improvements to the public space on the north side of the street will provide the kind of atmosphere conducive to economic vitality, ground floor retail activity and urban vibrancy.

"After more than two years of detailed planning, study and consultation, we now have the green light to turn the vision for Queens Quay into reality," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "It's time to act upon what we've heard from countless residents, businesses, civic leaders and the general public - that Queens Quay must live up to its remarkable potential."

Construction of the approximately three kilometre stretch of Queens Quay Boulevard will rollout in phases as funding permits. The first phase of work, which is funded in Waterfront Toronto's long term plan, includes schematic design from Spadina Ave. to Parliament St. and the construction of an 800-metre section of the street.

During schematic design which is now underway, a comprehensive layout of the street from end to end including traffic management and construction phasing strategies will be produced. The location of the first phase of construction will also be determined. Schematic design is expected to take about three months to complete and will be followed by detailed design for the first 800 metre section of the street.

Construction of the first 800 metre stretch of Queens Quay is expected to begin early next year and will take about 18 months to build. Phase one is budgeted at approximately $48 million.

Once schematic design is in place for the entire corridor, future phases of construction will move quickly as additional funding is secured.

As we move from planning into implementation, public consultation will continue to be an integral part of the project with opportunities for the public to be actively engaged in the process. Waterfront Toronto is currently working with key stakeholders to develop a public engagement strategy that will document appropriate opportunities to share information and seek public input throughout the process.

The Government of Canada, the Province of 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: For further information: Media contact: Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto, (416) 271-1316

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