Toronto, September 12, 2008 - Waterfront Toronto, together with the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto, officially opened the Spadina WaveDeck, the first of a series of spectacular new public spaces being built along Toronto’s central waterfront.
Located at the foot of Spadina Avenue, the 630 square-metre wooden wavedeck offers Torontonians a new waterside gathering place in an area that was formerly a narrow sidewalk and lacked public access to the lake. Built in less than 10 months, the Spadina WaveDeck creates more public space along one of the most heavily used parts of the Toronto shoreline.
“I am thrilled to see our federal investment come to life in this way,” said Canada's Environment Minister John Baird. “By enhancing public access, more people will be able to truly appreciate the natural beauty of Lake Ontario. We look forward to helping create even more success stories as Toronto's waterfront is revitalized.”
“Today we celebrate a new public gateway to the waterfront with the creation of this exciting and innovative space at the water’s edge,” said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “This is an example of the Ontario government’s commitment to reclaim, rebuild and revitalize the city’s waterfront for people to visit and to live, work and play.”
Providing continuous public access across the central waterfront is a key priority for Waterfront Toronto, which held a design competition in 2006 seeking a bold new vision and unified design for the 3.5 km central waterfront that spans from Bathurst Street to Parliament Street.
The Spadina WaveDeck is part of Waterfront Toronto’s award-winning central waterfront design, which includes new wavedecks at the foot of major waterfront streets; a continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk; a series of pedestrian bridges connecting the waterside boardwalk, as well as the transformation of Queens Quay into a pedestrian-friendly, grand boulevard.
“The Spadina WaveDeck is another step in our ongoing efforts to return Toronto's waterfront to the people,” said Mayor David Miller. “Our waterfront is a magnificent gem of a public asset and residents and visitors alike should be able to access it from the eastern end of Scarborough to the western edge of Etobicoke and all points in between.”
The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront includes the creation of more than 300 hectares of new and improved parks and public spaces – the equivalent of 750 football fields.
“The opening of the Spadina WaveDeck is another milestone for Waterfront Toronto,” said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto. “Today’s opening further demonstrates our commitment to lead waterfront revitalization efforts with the creation of new, accessible parks and public spaces.”
In addition to the installation of the wooden wavedeck at the foot of Spadina Avenue, construction activities also included dockwall repairs, in-water fisheries habitat construction and landscape improvements totaling $4.1 million.
Later this fall, construction will be underway on wavedecks at Rees and Simcoe Streets and bridge construction will begin at Spadina in spring 2009. Phase one revitalization of the central waterfront focuses on the area between Bathurst and York Streets and includes the new water’s edge promenade and boardwalk, bridges, wavedecks and the transformation of Queens Quay Boulevard. Phase one will take approximately 5-8 years for full build-out and will cost $219 million.
Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects, including the Western Beaches Watercourse, York and John Quay promenades, phase one of Port Union and Mimico Waterfront Parks, Cherry Beach improvements and the Marilyn Bell Park promenade and trail. Later this month, Waterfront Toronto will open the new Cherry Beach Sports Fields and begin construction on Martin Goodman Trail improvements at Ontario Place.
The Government of Canada, the Province of 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.
Tanya Bevington, Waterfront Toronto 416-214-1344 x239 or 647-267-5511
Courtney Payne, Office of the Minister, Environment Canada 819-997-1441
Amy Tang, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister’s Office 416-327-6747
Don Wanagas, City of Toronto, Mayor's Office 416-338-7134