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Revitalizing Toronto’s Waterfront is a Complex Balancing Act

Mar 4, 2014

A view of the Simcoe WaveDeck at night

Toronto’s waterfront is being transformed from derelict industrial lands into dynamic new mixed-use neighbourhoods that reconnect us with our waterfront through truly inspiring parks and public spaces. But it’s no easy feat – this transformation requires a delicate balancing act that makes sure that no single way that we use the waterfront overpowers all the others.

By Andrew Hilton

There have been many questions recently about Toronto’s waterfront and how it is being transformed. Many of these questions centre on what we want the waterfront to be, now and in the future. And just as many of these questions arise from the civic conversation over the proposed expansion of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Waterfront Toronto’s board has made public its position on the issue, and has expressed its concern over the scale of the proposed expansion and its potential impact on the balance of the uses (residential, commercial, employment, recreation and tourism) being delivered on our waterfront.

What we’d like to show you, simply, is what those uses look like. We think it’s important that you understand the overall vision we are realizing for the public realm and the important role we believe this plays in revitalizing our waterfront.

Look again at some of the new parks, public spaces and other areas of your waterfront – some built, some under construction and some that we’ll build in the future. While we are engaging in these important debates about major issues of civic import – which involve decisions that will have impacts that last generations – it is helpful to remind ourselves about the vision for Toronto’s waterfront revitalization and what it looks like. Whether it is the expansion of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport or the future of the Gardiner Expressway, we must always keep in perspective the  the public discussion continues, let’s look at what is happening on the waterfront and participate in a fact-based conversation about the space that we share. This photo gallery moves from west to east along the water's edge, showing you what has already been transformed and what soon will be.

Waterfront Toronto has already invested over $1 billion in revitalization to date, so it’s also important for you to see what we’ve managed to accomplish with our waterfront and what is yet to come. 

 

 

post contributor

  • Andrew Hilton

    Andrew Hilton was previously the director of communications and marketing at Waterfront Toronto.