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waterfront toronto receives prestigious leadership award for sustainable community development

Corktown Common, Waterfront Toronto’s signature new park in the emerging West Don Lands, has been awarded the 2014 FCM Sustainable Communities Award in the neighbourhood development category. The award recognizes Corktown Common for its innovation and contribution to sustainable community development.

Corktown Common, a year-round dynamic, naturalized public park, has transformed an abandoned post-industrial site into a must-see destination and the heart of the new West Don Lands community. The park protects 210 hectares (518 acres) of downtown Toronto from flooding, as it is innovatively positioned atop the flood protection landform. The combination of flood protection and park demonstrates a creative and sustainable use of critical infrastructure and another example of Waterfront Toronto’s approach to revitalization.

The FCM Sustainable Communities Awards are awarded annually and offer national recognition for projects that demonstrate environmental responsibility and excellence. The Awards are open to all municipal governments and their private-sector partners. The 2014 winners were announced at FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade Show, February 11-13 in Charlottetown, PEI.

“We are very honoured for Corktown Common to have been chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for leadership in sustainable community development,” said Mark Wilson, Chair of the Board of Waterfront Toronto. “The Sustainable Communities Award is recognition that we are delivering on our mandate to transform underutilized brownfields into beautiful new waterfront neighbourhoods that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits and position the City of Toronto as a world leader in creating sustainable communities.”

Corktown Common is a beautiful new park that serves as both a strategic piece of Toronto’s flood protection infrastructure and as a multi-use urban green space. At 7.3 hectares (18 acres), it is the largest park in the West Don Lands and one of the largest parks being built as part of waterfront revitalization. Opened in summer 2013, Corktown Common offers a range of leisure and recreational features and spectacular views of Toronto’s skyline.

With a closed-loop stormwater recycling system, photovoltaics, over 700 trees and 1,110 m2 of aquatic habitat, Corktown Common is an extraordinary example of sustainability and the innovative and efficient use of critical infrastructure. This exceptional new public space has been a catalyst for neighbourhood regeneration and economic development, helping to transform a former brownfield site into a vibrant residential and commercial neighbourhood.

Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has received numerous awards for its sustainability achievements and leadership. Waterfront Toronto released its first Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report in 2013 which reports on the corporation’s progress in delivering a revitalized waterfront using a balanced triple bottom line approach. The report quantifies success not by economics alone, but also through measurable environmental and social improvements.

Our sustainable development approach is guided by a comprehensive Sustainability Framework, which serves as a roadmap to ensure that consistent principles are woven into every facet of operations and decision making. By employing global best practises, Waterfront Toronto is ensuring the city’s new waterfront communities will protect and enhance our natural environment and establish themselves as global models for sustainability.

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