Toronto, July 23, 2009 – Waterfront Toronto, together with the Governments of Canada and Ontario and City of Toronto, officially broke ground today on Sherbourne Park, a spectacular new waterfront park that will transform a formerly industrial area into much needed public greenspace on the lake.
Located just east of Lower Sherbourne Street, this 1.5 hectare park spans more than two city blocks, from Lake Ontario in the south to Lake Shore Blvd. in the north, on both sides of Queens Quay.
Designed by renowned landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg in association with The Planning Partnership, and inspired by the iconic Canadian lakeside experience, this year-round park is scheduled to open next summer.
“Our Government is pleased to provide more than $20.8 million in funding for this project, as part of the continuing renewal of Toronto’s waterfront,” said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “We are committed to helping transform this part of Toronto’s industrial past into a beautiful and sustainable public space. I look forward to seeing Sherbourne Park become a year-round destination of choice for those living in and visiting this city.”
Sherbourne Park will become the new heart of East Bayfront bringing a feeling of life at the lake to the area. To bring the lakeside experience to life, the park features three key elements in its design: woods, water and wide open greenspace.
The north part of the park features a grove of pacific sunset maple trees, benches and play structures creating an outdoor living room for East Bayfront residents. Wide open greenspace on the south side of the park provides ample space for festivals, concerts and other city-wide events overlooking Lake Ontario. In total, the park includes 182 new trees, 26 play structures and 49 benches.
“Today’s Sherbourne Park groundbreaking marks a new milestone for the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront,” said George Smitherman, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “The construction of Sherbourne Park will create jobs and help stimulate the local economy. And, by next summer, residents and visitors will be able use this park year-round as a place to relax, a place to play and a place to gather – right on the water’s edge.”
Sustainability plays an important role in Sherbourne Park, where key components of East Bayfront’s stormwater management system is integrated into the park’s design, allowing this required infrastructure to be both beautiful and functional.
A stunning 240 metre long Water Channel running along the east side of the park is part of the community’s innovative stormwater management system. The Water Channel features three dramatic art sculptures that rise almost nine metres from the ground, elegantly lifting water toward the sky and back down as a textured veil of water. Clean water is discharged from the base of the channel back into Lake Ontario.
"It is especially important during challenging economic times for all governments to invest in the public realm," said Mayor David Miller. "Sherbourne Park joins significant investment in public infrastructure to get our waterfront ready for new tenants such as Corus Entertainment and George Brown College by cleaning the soil, building waterfront transit, and creating spectacular boardwalks, wavedecks, and a rejuvenated Queen's Quay Boulevard from Bathurst to Parliament."
Park construction is beginning on the south side of Queens Quay where the Sherbourne Park Pavillion will be located. This 144m2 zinc clad and glass structure will house a café and facilities designed to animate the park year-round. Surrounding the Pavillion is a 920 m2 pond that will be frozen in the winter for a skating rink and act as a splash pad in the summer for waterplay.
The Pavillion is also an integral part of the stormwater management system, as the UV Purification Facility is located in its basement.
“This is the waterfront park that everyone has been waiting for,” said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “It transforms an under-used, mostly industrial site into a sustainable neighbourhood park for those living and working in East Bayfront and it creates a must-see destination for the rest of the city.”
The budget for Sherbourne Park including site preparation costs (demolition and soil remediation) as well as design and construction costs for the park, Water Channel and UV Purification Facility is $28.7 million.
In addition to Sherbourne Park, construction is underway throughout East Bayfront, the vibrant new waterfront community which runs from Jarvis to Parliament Streets and from the rail corridor to the lake. Work is nearing completion on East Bayfront’s first commercial building, the new headquarters for Corus Entertainment. Municipal servicing infrastructure work for the area is ongoing and George Brown College plans to open its new Health Sciences Centre on the waterfront in 2012.
The construction of Canada’s Sugar Beach, Toronto’s second urban beach will also begin later this summer at the Jarvis Slip.
At full build-out, East Bayfront will be a thriving new community with 6,000 new residential units, jobs for 8,000 people and innovative storm water management facilities integrated into the area’s parks and public spaces.
Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects. The Simcoe WaveDeck opened in June and plans are underway to open the Rees WaveDeck later this summer. Improvements to the Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place will also open this summer. Construction projects are also underway to support new communities in the West Don Lands.
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 Contacts: Samantha Gileno, Waterfront Toronto 416-214-1344 x264 or 416-271-1316
Mike Storeshaw, Director of Communications, Department of Finance Canada, Minister’s Office 613-996-7861
Amy Tang, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister’s Office 416-327-6747
Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor 416-338-7119