Construction underway at Canada's Sugar Beach

TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto, together with the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto, officially broke ground today on Canada's Sugar Beach, a new park that is transforming a surface parking lot in a former industrial area into Toronto's second urban beach at the water's edge.

Located at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street adjacent the Redpath Sugar Factory, this 8500m(2) (2 acre) park will be the first public space visitors see as they travel along Queens Quay from the central waterfront. The park's brightly coloured pink beach umbrellas and iconic candy-striped rock outcroppings will welcome visitors to the new waterfront neighbourhood of East Bayfront.

"Federal Government funding is helping convert these industrial lands into beautiful parks and recreational spaces that can be enjoyed by the residents of Toronto and the people of Canada," said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "When Canada's Sugar Beach is completed our Government will have committed over 13 million in funding to convert this parking lot into a wonderful park for the residents of East Bayfront."

"Today's groundbreaking of Canada's Sugar Beach demonstrates the McGuinty government's continuing commitment to the redevelopment of Toronto's waterfront," said the Hon. George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "The construction of this new urban beach in East Bayfront will create jobs and help stimulate the economy. Next summer, residents, visitors and future employees working in East Bayfront will be able to gather, relax and enjoy this spectacular new waterfront destination park."

"We promised Torontonians we would have a waterfront promenade right at the water's edge from Parliament to Spadina which means kilometres of promenades with new wavedecks, bridges and beaches," said Mayor David Miller. "And today, we launch construction at Canada's Sugar Beach, the fifth new public space at the water's edge from Waterfront Toronto in 2009."

Canada's Sugar Beach is an important part of the revitalization of East Bayfront. The park, which opens next summer, will become an important neighbourhood amenity where festivals and other community events will be staged. As Toronto's second urban beach, it will also become a must-see destination for visitors to the waterfront. In addition, employees of Corus Entertainment, one of Canada's largest integrated media and entertainment companies will spill out into the park which is located next to its new headquarters.

The design of Canada's Sugar Beach, which includes a plaza, urban beach and tree-lined promenade, is like three parks in one. Its engaging plaza space features an oversized candy-striped granite rock outcropping and three large grassy mounds that create a colourful amphitheatre-style space. At the beach, white Muskoka-style chairs under bright pink umbrellas line the water's edge giving people a place to while away the afternoon. Its tree-lined promenade, running diagonally through the park, gives the public a seamless connection to East Bayfront's continuous kilometre-long water's edge promenade and boardwalk.

Designed by renowned Canadian landscape architects and urban designers Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes, in association with The Planning Partnership, Canada's Sugar Beach, builds upon the success of other parks and public spaces along the waterfront by introducing a second urban beach to the area and incorporating the tree-lined promenade in its design.

"By transforming this surface parking lot into a park, we are delivering on our promise to give this beautiful waterfront back to the people to whom it belongs," said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto. "Starting next summer, Canada's Sugar Beach will be one of Toronto's most unique places to play, gather and relax at the water's edge."

Construction starts on the western side of the park where the beach and promenade are located. Crews will begin by excavating the site and making repairs to the dockwall at the Jarvis Slip. Rock formations and umbrella footings will also be installed before the winter months set in.

The budget for Canada's Sugar Beach including site preparation costs (demolition and soil remediation) as well as design and construction costs is $14.3 million.

In addition to Canada's Sugar Beach, construction is underway throughout East Bayfront, the vibrant new waterfront community which runs from Jarvis to Parliament Streets and from the rail corridor to the lake. Work is well underway at Sherbourne Park, the majestic 1.5 hectare park at the heart of East Bayfront. Work is also nearing completion on East Bayfront's first commercial building, the new headquarters for Corus Entertainment. Municipal servicing infrastructure work for the area is ongoing and George Brown College plans to break ground on its new Health Sciences Campus in early November.

At full build-out, East Bayfront will be a thriving new community with 6,000 new residential units, jobs for 8,000 people, a dedicated public transit line and innovative storm water management facilities integrated into the area's parks and public spaces.

Waterfront Toronto

Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects. The Simcoe and Rees WaveDecks opened this summer, as well as a new and improved Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place. Last month, City Council approved Waterfront Toronto's plan to transform Queens Quay into a grand waterfront boulevard. Construction projects are also underway to support new communities in the West Don Lands.

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: For further information: Media Contacts: Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto, (416) 214-1344 x264 or (416) 271-1316; Chisholm Pothier, Press Secretary, Department of Finance Canada, Minister's Office, (613) 996-7861; Amy Tang, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747; Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, (416) 338-7119

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