Waterfront Toronto Kick-starts Central Waterfront Revitalization

    Continuous waterfront access begins with construction of Spadina
    Head of Slip

    TORONTO, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Federal Environment Minister John Baird, Ontario
Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan, Toronto Mayor David
Miller and Waterfront Toronto Chair Mark Wilson today launched the start of
construction of Phase One revitalization of Toronto's central waterfront.
    Officials from three levels of government were joined by children from
the Waterfront School's grade five/six class at the Spadina Head of Slip to
mark the next stage of Waterfront Toronto's commitment to reclaim the water's
edge for Toronto residents and visitors. The first phase of revitalization of
the central waterfront is scheduled to be ready for public enjoyment by June
    Phase One revitalization will begin with the Spadina Head of Slip,
adjacent to the foot of Spadina Avenue and south of Queens Quay Boulevard
West. It will create a gateway to the waterfront at the foot of Spadina with
the building of a 620 square metred undulating wood pedestrian deck over
water, and will link the Music Garden and HtO Park. The construction will
entail hoarding fitted around the site and will involve dock-wall repairs,
in-water fisheries habitat construction, deck installation and landscape
    Phase One will also include the creation of publicly accessible space at
Portland, Rees and Simcoe Streets. The formation of a continuous water's edge
promenade and re-design of Queens Quay Boulevard between Bathurst and
Parliament Streets is a vital element of the design by West 8 + DTAH. Selected
during Waterfront Toronto's 2006 design competition, the design covers the
three-kilometre area between Bathurst Street and Parliament Street and will
create continuous public access from Bathurst to Parliament, establish
gateways at the heads of slips and complete the Martin Goodman Trail through
the central area.
    "Our Government believes in investing in the urban renewal of Toronto -
both traditional infrastructure and parks and green spaces," said Minister
Baird. "We support efforts to create more livable and sustainable cities such
as the work being done on Toronto's waterfront which will result in real
benefits for this city and will help ensure Canada's continued success in the
global economy."
    As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Waterfront
Toronto will work closely with the Toronto and Region Conservation during
Phase One construction to implement the Toronto Waterfront Aquatic Habitat
Restoration Strategy (TWAHRS). The goal of the strategy is to connect the
recovery of Toronto's waterfront with improvements in aquatic ecology. The
work will feature sustainability projects such as a new storm water management
system and pontoons for the floating piers designed to enhance fish habitat
and improve water quality.
    "Today marks the beginning of a new phase of redevelopment with the
construction of a new waterfront gateway, and the creation of an exciting new
publicly accessible space at the water's edge," said Minister of Public
Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan. "Together, we are creating a new public
space on the waterfront that continues the McGuinty government's plan to
re-invest in Toronto, to rebuild a healthier, stronger future for the city and
the province."
    At public meetings and through their voting during the design
competition, Torontonians showed their overwhelming support for the West 8
visionary plan, which modernizes the city's landscape by providing Toronto
with a waterfront that is functional and sustainable. The design shifts
traffic to the north side of the streetcar tracks leaving four metres on the
south side for the completion of the Martin Goodman Trail through the central
area along the waterfront. Two rows of large, native trees will frame the
trail and the promenade, creating a new "green foot" for Toronto along Queens
Quay Boulevard and beautifying the water's edge. The winning design is
currently the subject of a formal Environmental Assessment examining the
future redesign of Queens Quay Boulevard.
    "The Spadina Quay platform construction is the first of a series of heads
of slip enhancements aimed at widening and connecting the water's edge for the
enjoyment of all Torontonians," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "I am
delighted to see the vision of a connected promenade unfolding and look
forward to the day when Torontonians will be able to comfortably stroll along
the full stretch of the harbour's edge enjoying remnants of the City's
heritage, waterfront amenities and marine activities both on water and on
    Waterfront Toronto recently earned distinguished awards for its Central
Waterfront Master Plan at the 2007 Toronto Urban Design Awards. This in
addition to the very successful Central Waterfront Innovative Design
Competition affirms the importance of innovative and creative design on
Toronto's waterfront.
    "The transformation of the heads of slip, starting with Spadina, gives
the water's edge back to the people, and connects and beautifies the
waterfront for all Torontonians," said Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto.
"The efforts of many people have come together to make today's event
significant. From the children who are witnessing our commitment to their
future, to the politicians who are supporting this initiative, Toronto should
be proud and optimistic about their waterfront's future."
    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.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Tanya Bevington, Waterfront
Toronto, (416) 214-9042 ext. 239, tbevington@waterfrontoronto.ca; Eric Richer,
Office of the Minister, Environment Canada, (819) 997-1441; Amy Tang, Ontario
Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4048;
Don Wanagas, City of Toronto, Mayor's Office, (416) 338-7134

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