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waterfront toronto’s lower don lands wins prestigious planning award

Waterfront Toronto’s Lower Don Lands Framework Plan/Keating Channel Precinct Plan has won a 2011 Excellence in Planning Award from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI).

OPPI’s annual Excellence in Planning Awards Program recognizes excellence in all aspects of the planning profession.  Waterfront Toronto’s Lower Don Lands Plan won in the Urban/Community Design category which acknowledges planners’ contributions to the built form within our communities and recognizes planned, newly constructed or renovated sites or areas.

?We are honoured that the Lower Don Lands has been recognized as a model of excellence by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute,” said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “The Lower Don Lands is an incredibly complicated yet integral piece of the waterfront puzzle and one that is essential to get right.”

Located in the flood plain of the Don River, The Lower Don Lands is a 110 hectare (272 acre) brownfield site at the eastern end of Toronto’s harbour. The site is at the junction of two new waterfront communities already under construction, and it is the gateway to the larger Port Lands area and the first stage of the Port Lands that will be developed. Planning for the area had to address a myriad of requirements and challenges including flood protection, infrastructure, urban design, transportation and contaminated soil and groundwater.

Waterfront Toronto’s plan for the Lower Don Lands, created by a team lead by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., reroutes the mouth of the Don River through the area and creates vibrant mixed-use communities around the new river mouth. The plan enables the development of 13,000 new homes, 3,000,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, plus 53 hectares (130 acres) of parks and public space. The plan also protects more than 230 hectares (568 acres) of land currently at risk due to flooding.

The Lower Don Lands plan has been recognized as an exceptional model of sustainable urban development, and has won numerous local and international awards. The Lower Don Lands project is one of 16 founding projects of The Climate Positive Development Program: a partnership between the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), and the U.S. Green Building Council.


OPPI’s Awards Program acknowledges the significant contribution that professional planners make in their communities, and helps to build awareness of the planning profession among related professions, government, the private sector, and the general public.

OPPI is the recognized voice of the Province’s planning profession. Its more than 3,500 members work in government, private practice, universities, and non-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, urban design, environmental planning, transportation, health and social services, heritage conservation, housing, and economic development.

Waterfront Toronto

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.

Media Contact:

Tari Stork, Manager, Project Communications, Waterfront Toronto
T: 416-214-1344 x 279 / C: 416-414-1577 / tstork@waterfrontoronto.ca

Loretta Ryan, MCIP, RPP, CAE, Director, Public Affairs, Ontario Professional Planners Institute
C: 416-668-8469 / policy@ontarioplanners.on.ca

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