East Bayfront is one of the first new neighbourhoods to be developed on Toronto’s waterfront. Its proximity to downtown Toronto and location directly on Lake Ontario will make East Bayfront a significant waterfront community.
For years, the 23 hectare (55 acre) East Bayfront site which extends from Lower Jarvis Street east to Parliament Street and from Lake Shore Boulevard south to the water’s edge has been a reminder of Toronto’s industrial past. Now, after years of planning and public consultation the transformation of this underutilized area is well underway. The revitalization of this mostly City-owned land will unfold in phases over the next 10-15 years.
parks and public space
Life in East Bayfront will be defined by the lake and the parks and public spaces surrounding it. Two signature parks, Sherbourne Common and Canada’s Sugar Beach, and a kilometre-long continuous Water’s Edge Promenade and Boardwalk make up a quarter of the community. The community’s residential, retail and commercial developments are being intertwined with these inviting parks and public spaces.
The community’s main waterfront street, Queens Quay, will be pedestrian, transit and cyclist-friendly.
East Bayfront will feature 6,000 residential units, including 1,200 affordable residences, and millions of square feet of employment space able to accommodate 8,000 jobs. The area will also be a hub for retail, entertainment and cultural amenities and will be easily accessible by public transportation.
East Bayfront also sets the standard for sustainable neighbourhoods and has already achieved Stage 1 LEED ND Gold certification.
Supported by state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, East Bayfront will be an intelligent community that will attract pre-eminent organizations from knowledge and creative-based industries. Leading-edge companies and organizations already call it home. There’s Corus Quay, the corporate headquarters of Corus Entertainment, one of Canada’s largest media and entertainment companies and The George Brown College Waterfront Campus, which currently brings more than 3,500 full-time students to the area.
private sector developments
Located just north of Queens Quay, next to Sherbourne Common, Monde is a mixed-use development with impressive views of Toronto’s skyline and Lake Ontario. Developed by Great Gulf and designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, Monde was Waterfront Toronto’s first private sector development announced for East Bayfront.
The largest development parcel in East Bayfront, Bayside is comprised of 5.6 hectares (13 acres) and has a prominent waterfront location with extended frontage on the lake. Developed by Hines with its residential partner, Tridel, Bayside has two million square feet of residential and commercial development space. It will become a new urban waterfront district featuring employment, residential, cultural and retail uses, vibrant public spaces and exceptional architecture.
The Waterfront Innovation Centre, a privately-funded development by Menkes Developments Inc., will be located on Queens Quay next to Sugar Beach. This anchor development will be a brand new, purpose-built workplace that will reinvent how employees work together in Toronto’s rapidly evolving creative technology sectors.
planning east bayfront
While early planning efforts for East Bayfront can be tracked back to the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Taskforce (2000) and the City of Toronto’s Central Waterfront Secondary Plan (2001) planning began in earnest in 2003. At that time, Waterfront Toronto began two key initiatives – the precinct planning process and Class Environmental Assessment Master Plan for East Bayfront. The precinct plan illustrates the comprehensive vision for the design and development of the community. Locations for streets, public open space and built form guidelines are also identified in the plan. The Class EA Master Plan addressed water, sanitary servicing, stormwater, a utility corridor, and transportation alternatives.
Once the East Bayfront Precinct Plan was finalized in November 2005 and the Class EA Master Plan in February 2006, work could begin on amending the zoning by-law which up until that time had designated the area for industrial use. The new Zoning By-Law for East Bayfront was approved in September 2006 and is consistent with the principles outlined in the Precinct Plan.
Waterfront Toronto is also required to submit a Plan of Subdivision for large developments within East Bayfront. Plans of subdivision are used to divide larger parcels of lands into development blocks, streets and parks. The Plan of Subdivision and accompanying agreement regulates the orderly development of land in accordance with the appropriate municipal regulations and standards for new municipal infrastructure (i.e., water, stormwater and sewer servicing and new roads), parks, school sites if necessary, utilities, road layout and design, and construction.
The first phase Plan of Subdivision for the southwestern part of East Bayfront, known as Dockside, was registered in 2010. The first phase Plan of Subdivision for Bayside was registered in 2013.
In addition to the precinct plan, Waterfront Toronto established draft Urban Design Guidelines for East Bayfront in 2007. These draft guidelines illustrate and elaborate on the design principles for the area and while not mandatory, the guidelines offer guidance to developers, designers and reviewers to ensure that any development in the area contributes to its long term sustainability and the vitality, attractiveness and comfort of the public realm. A Ground Floor Retail Strategy and Cultural Strategy were also developed to make East Bayfront a lively place to live, work, play and learn.
The East Bayfront precinct plan has received several prestigious awards, including one from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
engaging the community
The development of the East Bayfront Precinct Plan and the Class EA Master Plan was a collaborative effort with the City of Toronto (and its agencies), community stakeholder groups, the general public, private landowners and the school boards. During the process, the team presented information and designs and sought feedback at many stakeholder and public meetings. Input from all groups was instrumental throughout the process and ensured that the plan evolved and changed in ways that best support waterfront revitalization.
Boundaries: From Lower Jarvis Street to Parliament Street, Lake Shore Boulevard to Lake Ontario
- 23 hectares (55 acres)
- 6,000 new residential units
- 3 million square feet of commercial space
- 8,000 new jobs
- 5.5 hectares of parks and public spaces
- 1 km continuous water’s edge promenade
Proximity: 10 minute walk to Union Station
Design Team: Koetter Kim & Associates, Precinct Plan Lead