TORONTO, June 19, 2015 /CNW/ - After three years of construction, Toronto's revitalized waterfront boulevard is open – on schedule, and in time for the Redpath Waterfront Festival and the upcoming Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Once a street that featured poor design, insufficient room for pedestrians, and ageing infrastructure, Queens Quay has been transformed into a beautiful boulevard that includes a separated TTC right-of-way, a new section of the Martin Goodman Trail that connects the Trail across the downtown waterfront, and an enlarged pedestrian promenade that reflects the central waterfront's importance as the second most-visited area of the city. Under the street, key infrastructure has been replaced or upgraded, including power, gas, water, sewage and telecommunications systems.
The design for the new Queens Quay was developed after an international design competition and extensive environmental assessment process that were aimed at enhancing the area's appeal as Toronto's prime waterfront destination. Years of public consultation resulted in a design that not only improved the street's condition, but directly reflected the needs and dreams of those who live, work and play here.
The new Queens Quay features improved facilities for:
- Pedestrians: A wide, red granite pedestrian promenade, comfortable benches and healthy trees planted using Silva Cells – all of which stitch the area together
- Cyclists: A separated bike path that provides the missing connection of the Martin Goodman Trail and that features dedicated bicycle signals
- Transit users: A new dedicated right-of-way, new, fully accessible platforms and shelters, prioritized signal system
- Motorists: Dedicated turning lanes and signals, lay-bys for car and bus passenger drop-offs
- Waterfront retailers and restaurants: New north-side sidewalks and landscaping that extend to the edge of storefronts will now stimulate ground floor retail activity and urban vitality
The Queens Quay revitalization project budget of $128.9 million was funded by the federal, provincial and city governments and through Waterfront Toronto:
This new street will link major destinations along the water's edge, create pedestrian and cycling-friendly promenades and encourage an economically vibrant area that serves as a destination for locals and visitors alike.
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.
Quotes: Opening the revitalized Queens Quay
"The revitalization of Queen's Quay, along with other key investments, have transformed Toronto's waterfront into a prime destination that rivals some of the great waterfronts in the world. These improvements are making this area an attractive place for tourists, attracting more private sector developments, creating good high-paying jobs and contributing to economic growth here in the city and across the GTA. I am proud of the Government of Canada's contribution to the modernization of this important area of the city."
Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the GTA
"The creation of a walkable, pedestrian-friendly waterfront will bring residents and visitors to our city closer to one of our province's most cherished natural assets, Lake Ontario. The Queens Quay revitalization is an instance of good city planning that brings us closer to a low carbon future."
Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
"The revitalization of our waterfront is one of Toronto's most exciting and challenging urban renewal projects. The new Queens Quay is the waterfront gateway that Toronto rightly deserves. From a tree-lined biking trail, to the dedicated streetcar lanes and pedestrian promenades, the boulevard is a destination Torontonians can take pride in."
John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
"Queens Quay belongs to everyone in this city; it's the city's urban cottage dock. Right here is where the city meets the waterfront – it's where this city began and where its heart resides. But it is more than that. It is our front door - our face to the world. Our global calling card."
Mark Wilson, Chair of the Waterfront Toronto Board of Directors
"This project was challenging, but the results speak for themselves. This is the waterfront street that this city deserves. Queens Quay is a now great waterfront boulevard that welcomes residents and visitors and tells them that they belong here. A better waterfront also helps make Toronto a more attractive city for the investment and talent that we need to make Toronto more economically competitive."
John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto
"From the first wave deck installed at Spadina to the grand opening of the new Queens Quay, the revitalization has been a solid collaboration between local business and Waterfront Toronto. The result is a main street that will foster economic vitality for our merchants and commercial tenants for years to come."
Kevin Currie, Chair of the Waterfront Business Improvement Area
"Waterfront residents have been invited to give their feedback on this project from the beginning -- selecting the designers, being consulted about transit and traffic, building materials, design of benches and every tiny part of this complicated project. The result is this exquisite boulevard that was made for people."
Ulla Colgrass, York Quay Neighbourhood Association
SOURCE Waterfront Toronto
For further information: Andrew Hilton, Director of Communications and Public Engagement, Waterfront Toronto, Telephone: 416-214-1344 x263, Mobile: 416-427-4613, E-mail: [email protected]