Waterfront Toronto opens dramatic new wavedeck



    TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto, together with the Government
of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto, officially opened the
Simcoe WaveDeck, the second and most dramatic urban dock being built along
Toronto's central waterfront.
    The Simcoe WaveDeck, one of four uniquely Canadian wavedecks planned for
the area, is as artistic as it is functional. Located just west of Simcoe
Street at the water's edge, the wooden wavedeck features an informal public
amphitheatre-style space with impressive curves that soar as high as 2.6
metres above the lake.
    Inspired by the Canadian cottage experience and the shorelines of
Ontario's great lakes, the wavedeck is meant to give urban dwellers a feel for
life at the lake. Providing access to Lake Ontario is a key priority for
Waterfront Toronto and is an important public goal supported by all of our
government partners.
    "It is a pleasure to work with other levels of government to support the
projects initiated by Waterfront Toronto to improve access to Lake Ontario's
promenades, recreational facilities and parks," said Federal Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty. "The federal government is pleased to have contributed all of
the construction costs, in the amount of more than $5 million to make this
project a reality. Our government will continue to contribute to innovative
infrastructure projects such as the Simcoe WaveDeck, underlining our
commitment to the renewal of Toronto's waterfront."
    Built in less than eight months, the Simcoe WaveDeck joins the Spadina
WaveDeck which opened last year in creating more public space along one of the
most heavily used parts of the Toronto shoreline. Construction of the third
wavedeck at Rees Street is well underway and will open in August.
    "Our government is committed to creating waterfront community spaces such
as this one to improve the way Ontarians live, work and play," said George
Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
"Improved access to the waterfront means that residents and visitors alike
will be able to enjoy a stroll along the water's edge or use it as a place to
gather with family and friends."
    The wavedecks are just one part of Waterfront Toronto's award-winning
design for the central waterfront. The plan also includes a continuous water's
edge promenade and boardwalk; a series of pedestrian footbridges connecting
major attractions on the waterfront, and the transformation of Queens Quay
into a pedestrian-friendly, grand boulevard.
    "The completion of this project marks the ongoing transformation of our
waterfront into a series of beautiful and functional civic spaces," said
Toronto Mayor David Miller. "It provides a glimpse of things to come for the
many other projects along Toronto's waterfront that will be completed
shortly."
    The revitalization of Toronto's waterfront includes the creation of more
than 300 hectares of new and improved parks and public spaces - the equivalent
of 575 football fields.
    "Today's opening is another indication that waterfront revitalization is
in full swing," said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto. "Construction
projects are underway all along the waterfront as we work to create one of the
most beautiful and sustainable waterfronts in the world."
    In addition to the installation of the wavedeck at Simcoe Street,
construction activities included dockwall repairs, in-water fisheries habitat
construction and landscape improvements.
    Other parts of the revitalization of the central waterfront project are
also taking shape. Planning for the first of five pedestrian footbridges along
the waterfront is currently underway.
    Furthermore, after a two-year Environmental Assessment process,
Waterfront Toronto will present the technically recommended alternative for
revitalizing Queens Quay Blvd to City Council for approval in July followed by
the Minister of the Environment this fall. If approved, the plan will turn
Queens Quay into a grand lakefront boulevard with two lanes of traffic on the
north side of the street, streetcars in the middle, and a new tree-lined park
along the south side of the street with space for the Martin Goodman Trail for
pedestrians and cyclists.

    Waterfront Toronto

    Construction projects are currently underway to support new communities
in West Don Lands and East Bayfront. In addition, since 2005, Waterfront
Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects, including the
Western Beaches Watercourse, York and John Quay promenades, phase one of Port
Union and Mimico Waterfront Parks, Cherry Beach Sports Fields and the Marilyn
Bell Park promenade and trail.
    This summer, Waterfront Toronto will open the Rees WaveDeck and will
unveil an improved Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place. We will also begin
construction of Sherbourne Park and Sugar Beach - two signature parks in East
Bayfront.
    For a tour of the Central Waterfront with Adriaan Geuze, Principal, West
8 and Waterfront Toronto Vice-President of Planning and Design, Chris Glaisek,
log on to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hr-ujDmrMk.

    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.

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Samantha Gileno, Waterfront
Toronto, (416) 214-1344 x264 or (416) 271-1316; Chisholm Pothier, Finance
Canada, Office of the Minister of Finance, (613) 996-7861; Amy Tang, Ministry
of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747


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