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Quayside, A New Community That Will Be A Testbed for Solutions to Pressing Urban Challenges

May 26, 2017

Artist rendering of Quayside, shown conceptually in the white massing,

Quayside, shown conceptually in the white massing, is an opportunity to showcase and validate advanced technologies, new building materials and solutions toward climate-positive urban development.

By: Carol Webb

As cities around the world face pressing challenges, such as the imperative to address climate change and the need to provide more inclusive and affordable housing, Waterfront Toronto is aiming to create a new precedent-setting community called Quayside that will transform how we approach urban development. Quayside will act as a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and partnership models that will address these common challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide. Quayside will demonstrate how to build the model urban community for the 21st Century.

Why Toronto? Why Quayside? Toronto is the fastest growing large metropolitan area in North America. As the downtown core experiences sustained population and job growth, demand for space continues to outpace supply. In response, the city’s post-industrial waterfront is transforming into a compelling destination with a number of high-quality residential and commercial developments, best-in-class technology infrastructure, and vibrant public spaces. Quayside presents an opportunity to build on these achievements and transform underutilized land into a new, highly sustainable complete community – testing and validating promising solutions in a meaningful way. 

On March 17th Waterfront Toronto issued an Request for Proposals (RFP) to the international market seeking an Innovation and Funding Partner (Partner) for the Quayside Development Opportunity – one of the key projects identified in our 2017/18 Corporate Plan. The aim of the RFP is to find a Partner that will work with Waterfront Toronto to create and realize an unparalleled vision for Quayside and materially contribute to project funding. In essence, a Partner that will help us think, plan, engage, test and build a community that will produce new regional, national and global city-building models. 

A view of the downtown Toronto skyline from Corktown Common in the West Don Lands.

Like the development of the West Don Lands, we’re aiming to create precedent-setting, dynamic mixed-use neighbourhoods that raise the bar on sustainability, inclusivity, urban design and innovation.

The Partner is being selected through a competitive process, which is guided by a Fairness Advisor and supported by external subject matter experts. The April submission deadline has passed and the Evaluation Team is following the process outlined in the RFP to select the Partner. Once selected, contract negotiations with that Partner will begin.
Selecting the right partner takes time and it will likely be mid-autumn before a public announcement is made about the successful proponent. 

What are the high-level objectives for Quayside?

  • Sustainability, Resiliency and Urban Innovation: Create a globally significant demonstration project that advances a new market model for climate-positive urban developments. Pilot, on a large scale, leading sustainability and resiliency practices that address local, national and global carbon emission reduction targets. Incorporate technology advancements that enhance efficiencies and improve the overall quality of life for citizens, employees, students and visitors to the area; 
  • Complete Communities: Establish a complete community that emphasizes quality of place, and  provides a range of housing types for families of all sizes and income levels within a robust mix of uses, including public open space, culture, recreation, retail, education-related activities and offices; 
  • Economic Development and Prosperity: Provide a testbed for Canada’s cleantech, building materials and broader innovation-driven sectors to support their growth and competitiveness in global markets; and
  • Partnership and Investment: Develop a new partnership model that ensures a solid financial foundation, manages financial risk and secures revenue. 

Where is Quayside?

An aerial map of the revitalizated waterfront, with Quayside highlighted in red in the East Bayfront neighbourhood.

Quayside (highlighted in pink above) is located at the eastern end of Queens Quay and also includes land on the east side of the Parliament Street Slip. 

To learn more, please visit www.quaysideto.ca


post contributor

  • Carol Webb

    Carol Webb is a Senior Manager, Communications and Public Engagement with Waterfront Toronto.