Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), together with the Governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto officially opened the second and final phase of Mimico Waterfront Park today.
Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Etobicoke, Mimico Waterfront Park connects people to the water across a lakefront area that historically lacked public access to the waterfront. The final phase of the park has transformed the shoreline east of Superior Avenue and created an additional 500 metres of park space. The park now provides 1.1 kilometres of continuous waterfront park between Norris Crescent Parkette and Humber Bay Park West.
Waterfront Toronto opened the first 600 metre western portion of the park in 2008. This final section of new park enables Torontonians to enjoy the lakefront west of Humber Bay Park for the first time and provides the missing link in the city’s waterfront trail system.
“The Harper Government is pleased to be part of the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront by providing $5.5 million in helping transform this part of Toronto’s industrial past into a beautiful park,” said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. “Public spaces strengthen and bind this country by building a healthier environment for all Canadians.”
“We are proud to be part of the transformation of Mimico Waterfront Park,” said Laurel Broten, Member of Provincial Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. “The park is a vibrant addition to the community and will benefit both local residents and visitors, while supporting the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.”
“We are very pleased to have this addition to our waterfront parks, which are the heart of revitalization in our community,” said Mark Grimes, Councillor for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. “Toronto and Region Conservation has done an outstanding job on the design. We look forward to the continued growth of the park as we look at new ways to open up the waterfront for everyone.”
Mimico Waterfront Park is an important asset that has enhanced and strengthened the local community. This community has been targeted for revitalization by the City of Toronto; creating more and better waterfront park space is one of the strategies the City identified to help attract investment in the area.
“Waterfront revitalization is about connecting the people of Toronto to their waterfront and leveraging our investment in parks and public spaces to deliver key economic and social benefits,” said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto. “Mimico Waterfront Park has delivered much needed waterfront public space, and is acting as an economic catalyst, helping to draw investment to the area.”
TRCA is an integral partner in the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront and was responsible for the planning and construction of the park.
“Mimico Waterfront Park is a culmination of an extensive public consultation process that began in 1999,” said Chair, Gerri Lynn O’Connor, Toronto and Region Conservation. “The park you see today reflects the vision of the community that will enjoy it for years to come. Toronto and Region Conservation is extremely proud to have partnered with Waterfront Toronto to make this vision a reality.”
As with all Waterfront Toronto projects, sustainability is a key feature of Mimico Waterfront Park. The park was designed to support the native ecology of the area, and includes features that benefit residents as well as improve the local aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
The park was constructed through a lakefilling process along a narrow section of the existing shoreline. Beginning at Superior Avenue in the west the second phase extends the waterfront trail and public waterfront access to Humber Bay Park West in the east. Features of this final phase include an additional 500 metres of waterfront trail, three sections of cantilevered pedestrian boardwalk, a separate multi-use trail located along the backshore that provides cycling and in-line skating access adjacent to the boardwalk, small pockets of wetland habitat, landscaping and park lighting.
The total project budget for Mimico Waterfront Park, phases one and two, was $18.2 million dollars of which $6.5 million was contributed by the City of Toronto, $6.2 million by the Province of Ontario and $5.5 million by the Government of Canada. Roughly half, $9.2 million, was the budget for the second phase of the project.
Designed and built as part of the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront, ownership of Mimico Waterfront Park has been transferred to the City of Toronto. The park will be operated and maintained by Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation.
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.
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