The Pan American Games will be taking place in Toronto in the year 2015, and the city is jumping on the opportunity to turn the Toronto waterfront into a more bustling living area.
Soon, the piles of dirt and large mud puddles that currently dot the West Don Lands will be transformed into a neighbourhood fit for 12,000 people that will house the athletes for the Pan Am Games. Later, they’ll be transformed into luxury condominium residences and affordable social housing developments that are complete with an urban park and meadow.
Woonerfs are also planned for the West Don Lands and Queen’s Quay. Woonerfs, never seen before in Toronto, are common in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. They’re narrow roads with no sidewalks or curbs that are shared by both pedestrians and motorists and use interlocking brick instead of asphalt. They provide an emphasis on safety with lower speed limits (seven km/h in Germany, for example) and children are usually permitted to play in woonerfs while pedestrians can take up the whole street if they choose.
An urban park is also proposed for under the highway off-ramps near the waterfront with the development of Underpass Park, which will turn the dark and derelict areas into a 2.5 acre space with athletic courts, green areas, community gathering space with plenty of safe and inviting lighting. There are also plans to remediate the soil, which is toxic after years of industrial use.
A public consultation period also ends on April 26th with regards to redeveloping Queen’s Quay with expanded public space including a public promenade and a bike and running path. Further redevelopment also includes a dedicate, faster streetcar line from Bay Street to Union Station and Parliament Street that will only have to stop at intersections as well as condensed traffic lanes.
Regent Park, the Etobicoke motel strip and the railway lands will also be facing proposed redevelopments.