TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto, together with our government partners, officially broke ground today on a major revitalization project that is transforming Toronto's main waterfront street into a world-class boulevard.
Construction along the 1.7 kilometre stretch of Queens Quay from just west of Lower Spadina Avenue to just east of Bay Street is completely rebuilding and revitalizing the area both above and below ground.
When complete in early 2015, Queens Quay will be a waterfront showpiece and a must-see Toronto destination. A generous granite pedestrian promenade and off-street Martin Goodman Trail will create much-needed public space by the lake. A new streetcar corridor and traffic lanes with improved turning lanes and signal timing will keep people moving. New granite sidewalks and landscaping improvements in front of storefronts will stimulate ground floor retail activity and urban vitality.
"This is the grand waterfront boulevard Toronto deserves," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, "today's official construction start brings Queens Quay a huge step closer to becoming one of the most beautiful waterfront streets in the world."
This important revitalization project is about much more than rebuilding the surface of the roadway. Waterfront Toronto is leading a coordinated construction effort that integrates improvements to the public realm with much needed infrastructure and utility upgrades. Coordinating these activities is ensuring that the project is streamlined and cost effective. It also avoids the need for more construction on Queens Quay in the near future.
When complete, Queens Quay will be both a beautiful and functional waterfront street. This work by West 8 + DTAH, is the product of a 2006 international design competition, extensive public input and a comprehensive environmental assessment.
"The Queens Quay revitalization project builds on the incredible transformation that continues to improve Toronto's Waterfront," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "The Harper Government is pleased to have contributed to this significant project, which will enhance the economic vibrancy of the area and create jobs and growth."
"The Ontario government is proud to be a partner in the revitalization of Queens Quay," said Dipika Damerla, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure. "Infrastructure investments like this strengthen our economy, create jobs, and build stronger communities."
"Toronto is fortunate to have a waterfront with such beauty and potential," said Toronto City Councillor Karen Stintz (Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence) and TTC Chair. "Our waterfront is a jewel which City Council agreed must be revitalized. On behalf of Mayor Rob Ford, I thank my Council colleagues, our government partners and local residents for their support of the Queens Quay Revitalization and for supporting Toronto, a city which became Canada's largest city by growing up and out from our waterfront."
Construction is unfolding in three stages and is being managed for Waterfront Toronto by Eastern Construction. During stage one, crews are upgrading all major utilities, building new storm and sanitary sewers and demolishing and rebuilding the TTC corridor and tracks. Stage two work, which begins in the summer of 2013, will build the new roadway and granite curbs and sidewalks on the north side including tree planting and finishes. By early 2014, stage three construction will move to the south side where the granite pedestrian promenade and new Martin Goodman Trail will be built.
Major works are expected to be complete in early 2015 with final tree planting on the south side in the spring of 2015.
Every effort has been made to ensure the waterfront remains open and accessible for residents and businesses during construction. Waterfront Toronto has worked closely with area stakeholders including The Waterfront BIA and local residents for almost two years to plan for construction.
During construction, there will be changes in how the street operates but access will be maintained to all businesses and residences at all times. Construction impacts such as noise, temporary one-way traffic alternating between the north and south sides of the street, and bus service while the TTC infrastructure is rebuilt will be communicated widely.
Waterfront Toronto's website www.waterfrontoronto.ca/constructingqq is the main hub for construction related information. Since the website launched in mid-June, more than a thousand people have subscribed for weekly construction notices.
The revitalization of Queens Quay is budgeted at approximately $110 million. The budget includes design, TTC corridor and track rebuild, hydro work, storm and sanitary upgrades, roadway, public realm improvements and other project related costs.
Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto initiated the Queens Quay Revitalization Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2007. The EA included public consultation, data collection and the identification and analysis of planning solutions and design concepts. In April 2010, Ontario's Ministry of the Environment concluded the EA process which cleared the way for the project to proceed.
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.
Image with caption: "From left to right: Dipika Damerla, MPP Mississauga East-Cooksville, Government of Ontario; Karen Stintz, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence) and TTC Chair; Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto; Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour, Government of Canada (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121116_C9030_PHOTO_EN_20853.jpg
SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto
For further information:
Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto 416.214.1344 x264 or 416.271.1316