Iconic waterfront boulevard reopens to public after ultramodern facelift
TORONTO – Spanning a stretch of prime lakeside land that includes the Harbourfront Centre, National Ballet of Canada, the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, and George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus, Queen’s Quay is arguably one of the most important streetscapes in Toronto’s bustling South Core neighbourhood.
Now, the growing population of the mid- and high-rise condo buildings located along Queen’s Quay – an impressive assortment that includes Aqualina and Aquavista at Bayside as well as the recently-completed Pier 27 phases 1 and 2 – can enjoy interacting with that streetscape in a number of different ways, thanks to an expansive $128.9-million revitalization that concluded in mid-June.
Designed with eco-friendly Torontonians in mind, the new boulevard features comprehensive options for alternative commuters as well as motorists, including:
- A broad, red-granite pedestrian promenade, complete with comfortable benches and trees for shade.
- A separated bike path, complete with dedicated bicycle signals.
- A transit right-of-way for TTC users, complemented by new, fully-accessible platforms and shelters.
Meanwhile, new lay-bys for car and bus passenger drop-offs will make things easier for motorists. The new boulevard plan also includes broadened north-side sidewalks that extend right to the edge of storefronts, with the intent of stimulating ground-floor retail activity.
The redesigned boulevard was officially unveiled to the public on June 19, at a ceremony attended by dignitaries and stakeholders such as Mayor John Tory, MPP Glen Murray (Minister of the Environment and Climate Change), and MP Joe Oliver (Minister of Finance).
“The revitalization of our waterfront is one of Toronto’s most exciting and challenging urban renewal projects,” said Mayor Tory at the unveiling.
“The new Queens Quay is the waterfront gateway that Toronto rightly deserves. From a tree-lined biking trail, to the dedicated streetcar lanes and pedestrian promenades, the boulevard is a destination Torontonians can take pride in.”
Taking place over about three years, the revitalization process was funded by all three levels of government as well as Waterfront Toronto, a public agency created to oversee renewal efforts along downtown Toronto’s lakeshore.