Waterfront Toronto Seeking New Partner for Quayside Lands

Waterfront Toronto, after having parted ways with Sidewalk Labs in June, 2020 to redevelop land that it oversees in the East Bayfront area of the city, has launched a new international competition to secure a development partner for the 4.9 hectare Quayside lands at the foot of Parliament Street. At this early stage, Waterfront Toronto has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to find potential teams with development experience, solid design portfolio, and the financial resources to pull off the makeover of the parcel. They will also have to convince the agency that they share the “vision necessary to bring Quayside to reality.”  

Quayside on Toronto Harbour, by Waterfront TorontoLocation of Quayside on Toronto Harbour, by Waterfront Toronto

Stephen Diamond, Chair of the Board for Waterfront Toronto, issued the following statement in regards to the competition launch, “The people of Toronto have told us that they want to see a bold vision realized on the waterfront that reflects the confident, welcoming, and imaginative civic spirit of our city. We are looking for leaders in the development field that will share our ambition to create a place that fuses Quayside to the water, and provides more beauty, utility, and originality than previously imagined. We want Quayside to be timeless, adaptive, and to propel us into our rightful place among the great waterfronts of the world.” 

Quayside, Block Plan by Waterfront TorontoQuayside, Block Plan by Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto is seeking a landmark-quality redevelopment of the site, goals for which that it will be “a sustainable community for people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and incomes.” Potential development partners will need include both market and affordable housing types for individuals and families, and allow for aging in place for those who lead long lives in the community, including “the supports and amenities that will allow seniors to live independently.”

Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO, University Health Network stated in regard to aging-in-place plans, “UHN applauds Waterfront Toronto’s vision of supporting a continuum of care including Long Term Care to help address a backlog of over 5,700 people on waiting lists in the Central Toronto area.  It has never been more important to support new models of care for our aging populations.”

Quayside, Vision rendering by Standard Practice for Waterfront TorontoLooking northwest towards Quayside, Vision rendering by Standard Practice for Waterfront Toronto

George Zegarac, CEO for Waterfront Toronto, weighed in on the agency’s vision for employment space in the neighbourhood, saying “Quayside is an opportunity to reimagine a stronger economic future and create a post-pandemic landmark community that addresses many of the vulnerabilities that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed. The past year has driven people apart, when they’d rather be together. We’ll know we have been successful when anyone who’s ever thought about moving away from the city looks at Quayside and remembers every reason they wanted to live in Toronto in the first place.” Commercial office and retail space will need to go beyond the ordinary, including “economic development opportunities” in spaces conducive for business owners who reflect Toronto’s diversity to create jobs.  

Quayside, Vision rendering by Standard Practice for Waterfront TorontoLooking northwest through Quayside, Vision rendering by Standard Practice for Waterfront Toronto

As reported earlier this week, Waterfront Toronto also released a vision for the Parliament Slip which Quayside will nestle beside. The slip, a projection of Toronto Harbour into the site, is meant to be a signature piece of the project, and potential teams will be required to integrate plans for recreation facilities on the slip into their plans. To the east of the slip, a block of land is reserved for a half-hectare park and a cultural centre (on Block 5, as per three images above), the uses of which are still to be determined, to further enhance the community on a year-round basis. An international design competition may be held to seek a design for the facility.

Parliament Slip, Quayside, designed by West 8 and DTAH for Waterfront TorontoLooking northwest to Parliament Slip at Quayside, designed by West 8 and DTAH for Waterfront Toronto

All renderings provided at this point by Waterfront Toronto reflect a vision for the area, and not finalized plans. Final buildings and landscape detail plans are likely to differ.

Potential proponent teams and any interested parties can view the RFQ at https://waterfrontoronto.bonfirehub.ca/. The RFQ Submission deadline is May 12, 2021, with the selection of a winning proponent anticipated before the end of 2021. 

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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