Neighbourhood: Waterfront Communities – The Island Walkscore: 93
It is often said that Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. And East Bayside is a wonderful reminder of this truism.
This neighbourhood has a distinct flavour, like Yorkville or King West, with small shopping enclaves such as the famous Toronto landmark St. Lawrence Market (now over 200 years old) and the Historic Victorian-era Distillery District, that encourage you to sit and enjoy a latte, while appreciating the contrasting views of the sweeping modern architecture of the new developments surrounding them.
Minutes away, the relatively new Sherbourne Common has quickly established itself as a community ‘draw’, where area residents can enjoy the waterfront view and the expansive glass facades of the George Brown College and Corus buildings, complete with a pedestrian promenade and waters edge cafe on the Corus Quay. On a sunny day, the waters of Toronto harbour gleam a rich blue and sailing ships glide by. Stroll west on the promenade and you’ll find Sugar Beach, Toronto’s newest lakefront beach park, with its distinct pink umbrellas, soft white sand, and a view of the Toronto Islands. It’s easy to see why this neighbourhood is considered a “Walker’s Paradise”.
But what makes East Bayfront and the wider waterfront the city’s next great neighbourhood is the Waterfront Toronto vision for revitalization, using undeveloped land in the area and transforming East Bayfront into a vibrant community.
Underpass Park is just one example of this vision becoming a reality. Previously an unused patch of land beneath the elevated Gardiner Expressway, Underpass park has been become an innovative urban playground. LED panels that hide the underside of the elevated highway are artistic yet functional. The addition of a climbing gym, benches and a basketball area complete the picture.
Waterfront Toronto also took an innovative approach with infrastructure, including a commitment to build Canada’s first open-access, ultra-high-speed broadband community network. Essentially, this means the new community will be equipped with state-of-the-art fibre-optic technology that will provide super fast, unlimited internet access to both residents and area businesses.
On top of this already ambitious plan, Waterfront Toronto also established the “Minimum Green Building Requirements or MGBR, over and above the International Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( or LEED (R)) Green Building Rating System. The goal of the MGBR is to ensure that the building projects within Waterfront Toronto not only meet LEED(R) Gold standards but exceed it.
But in my opinion, the real achievement of this revitalization is that it will connect East Bayfront to the surrounding neighbourhoods, with pedestrian walkways, cycling trails, entertainment venues, shopping and dining. It connects the waterfront to Toronto again.
Registration for Aquavista at Bayside is now open.