New development project for Quayside District

Waterfront Toronto announced Tuesday that it will enter negotiations with a team called Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, made up of Dream Unlimited and the Great Gulf Group, to develop and build the Quayside District, a 12-acre strip along Queens Quay East, near Parliament Street. There will be five buildings and a solid wood building and 40% of the developable land is for public spaces.

There will be approximately 4,300 units, 50% of which will consist of two, three or four bedrooms to cater to families.says Jorge Zygarak, president and CEO of Waterfront Toronto.

This aspect is quite innovative, says Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at the University of Waterloo, Pierre Fillon. Family housing is almost non-existent in apartments in Toronto, and it is almost an innovationHe said.

The rendering of a wooden building. Architect: Adjaye Associates

Photo: Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Affordable housing

One promise is to quickly build 800 affordable housing units to meet an urgent need in the heart of downtown Ontario. The goal is to achieve 30% total affordable housingWaterfront Toronto City Council member and board member Joe Creasy said.

He hopes that this building model, which combines residential and commercial, will be very popular. Our goal is really to build a livable, affordable and sustainable neighborhood, He says. So the accommodations will be more designed to accommodate families.

« The affordable condominiums will be owned by the City of Toronto and operated by a not-for-profit partner, so they will be affordable forever. These will be high quality, affordable housing. »

Quote from Joe Cressi, Spadina-Fort York Council Member
View of the West Curve Building.  Architect: Alison Brooks Architect.Zoom in the image (A new window)

View of the West Curve Building. Architect: Alison Brooks Architect

Photo: Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

The consultant explained that affordable housing will be distributed in the various residential towers. It is a matter of incorporating these facilities into each building. When you enter an elevator, you don’t know if your neighbor lives in subsidized accommodation or notHe said.

This is an important step forward for the future of our waterfront and a critical step in Toronto’s economic recovery.Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement after Tuesday’s announcement.

Green spaces

On the ecological side, a two-acre wooded green space will be developed, as well as an urban farm atop a hardwood apartment building. This will be accessible to the public. We want to make sure this community is carbon neutral, with buildings geothermal heating and cooling and wastewater heat extractionAs Georges Zygarak says.

« I think over the last couple of years, we’ve come to realize that the priorities have been affordable housing and climate change. We’re trying to build a model community that can be replicated in Ontario and elsewhere in the future. »

Quote from Georges Zigarac, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto
View of the public space of the community forest.  Landscape Architect: SLA

View of the public space of the community forest. Landscape Architect: SLA

Photo: Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

Pierre Fillon recalls, however, that this project is very similar to its predecessor. With wood being used for apartment buildings, carbon neutral with all the electricity, it’s all very reminiscent of what Sidewalk Labs is all about.He said

« It will be interesting to see if there are measures to ensure water quality, as this is a project on the shores of Lake Ontario. If Lake Ontario levels rise, this project is on the shores, what will happen? There must be plans for that. »

Quote from Pierre Fillon, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, University of Waterloo

The previous project of Sidewalk Labs, an American urban planning and infrastructure company, which is a sister company to Google, came under fire two years ago. Technology, privacy and business experts across the country have expressed concern about the potential use of data and the demands this project could place on the city and government.

A display showing urban farming on rooftops, parks and greenhouses.  Community Forest, by SLA Landscape Architects.

A display showing urban farming on rooftops, parks and greenhouses. Community Forest, by SLA Landscape Architects

Photo: Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

The need for public transportation

Extension of the Waterfront East LRT Light Railroad should be a priority to serve the waterfront community. It’s a project over a mile from downtown Toronto so having a tram will help things out a lotMr. Fillion thought.

The city planner adds that the location is ideal: between downtown Toronto and the secondary city center, a project for investment firm Cadillac Fairview at the mouth of the Don River.

Mr. Zygarac explains that the construction of this public transport line will be discussed with various levels of government. There is no point in building affordable housing if people do not have access to it. We also have economic development goals, with companies that want to settle hereHe said.

This is a priority transit project, we will have a big decision in a few months in terms of funding. But these two projects go hand in hand, public transportation is essential to the success of this project.says Joe Cressey.

Quayside Impact Limited Partnership Concept Plan.

Quayside Impact Limited Partnership Concept Plan

Photo: Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

The project also aims to showcase Queen City’s cultural landscape, with a cultural center that will serve as a multi-purpose hall for Aboriginal-focused arts and cultural celebrations and flexible educational spaces.

Negotiations between Waterfront Toronto and the group are expected to be completed by the fall of this year. After that, the two parties finalize the development plans and then obtain the necessary municipal approvals and licenses, particularly with regard to zoning rules.

A general consultation will also be conducted. If approved for the residential and commercial project, construction should begin in 2025 and be completed around 2030.

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