Big things are happening at Toronto’s waterfront. From nature escapes to a floating restaurant to a first-in-Canada “destination playground,” it’s clear that the folks at Waterfront Toronto have ambitious goals for the city’s shorelines, to build a vibrant, connected waterfront that “make people’s lives better.”
Waterfront Toronto has released a five-year strategic plan that outlines all of the exciting initiatives taking shape on the city’s shorelines.
One of the standout projects includes a massive Destination Playground, which will occupy 25 acres on the Don River Valley. The playground is described as a “major free attraction featuring leading-edge playground design and nature play,” says Waterfront Toronto. The playground is apparently one of a handful of such playgrounds in the world and the first in Canada.
Villiers Island is one of the premier redevelopment sites along the waterfront. Described as a “stunning new waterfront community,” Villiers Island has been in the works for several years now.
It will occupy 88 acres of land, 34 of which will consist of water’s edge parks and public spaces. It’ll be a climate positive community with incredible views of the city and incredible nature, slated for completion in 2024.
There’s also the major revitalization of the Parliament Slip. Plans for the new destination include incredible amenities like kayak and canoe launches, lakeside pools, open water swimming opportunities, a marina, a waterfront amphitheater, and even a floating restaurant. However, the project is a long way from completion — designs won’t even be finalized until 2023.
Meanwhilem a unique outdoor destination by the water is well on its way to completion. Toronto’s Love Park is finally starting to take shape at the southern end of York St and Queen’s Quay and its main attraction, the bright heart-shaped pond, is getting installed.
A main priority for the waterfront is accessibility and connecting all of the city’s shoreline destinations through a network of paths and trails. A waterfront walk is in the works that will link together new and existing promenades from Bathurst Quay all the way to Parliament Street. This seamless stroll along the shore will feature boardwalks, bridges, and pathways that millions can enjoy.
You can also expect to see more outdoor art exhibits along Toronto’s shorelines. An art trail will even be created that will cut through Villiers Island, showcasing the work of local, national and international artists.
When it’s complete, the pond will be surrounded by walking paths, seating areas, trees, and green hills for people to relax on and enjoy the view.
Finally, there are all of the plans for the new and improved Ontario Place, which include incredible attractions like public pools, waterslides, botanical gardens, and sports facilities, as well as the revamped Budweiser Stage and massive new e-sports performance venue.