Ontario Construction News staff writer
The development at Queens Quay East and Parliament Street will be a destination for swimming, kayaking, boating, entertainment, and dining. The design is by the team of West 8 and DTAH, who have collaborated together to design previous Waterfront Toronto projects including the iconic WaveDecks
“Parliament Slip is our chance to create an exciting experience on the water for all types of marine activity,” said Waterfront Toronto CEO George Zegarac. “Our plan promises to deliver new kayak and canoe launches, lakeside pools and open water swimming opportunities, a floating restaurant, new mooring facilities with charging stations for electric marine craft, and a waterfront amphitheatre for people to enjoy views of the harbour activity.
“Toronto was born on the waterfront but industry forced it to turn its back from the lake. With today’s announcement we are fulfilling our promise to reorient the city back to the water,” Zegarac said.
Plans include a new pedestrian bridge, waterfront amphitheatre, floating pier with a restaurant, canoe/kayak launch area, water transportation hub, and a dock with concessions. At the north end of the slip along Queen’s Quay East and adjacent to the amphitheatre, a public swimming pool would be built within a variation of the WaveDecks.
The Parliament Slip vision came from Waterfront Toronto’s 2020 Marine Use Strategy update—a plan to create an active, safe and accessible harbour. The strategy provides a complete view of harbour activities, with recommendations that encompass the movement of people onto and around the water, mooring opportunities for recreational and commercial vessels, and management that will meet the needs of all users.
“Great waterfronts around the world have distinct defining features. Memorable design, welcoming public spaces, the ability to serve recreational and transportation needs, waterfront dining and retail options, and cultural attractions,” said Chris Glaisek, Chief Planning and Design Officer for Waterfront Toronto.
“Parliament Slip is where we can bring all of these features to life, create a more active and inclusive destination for everyone, and build a lasting connection between Toronto and the waterfront that we can showcase to the world,” Glaisek said.
In June 2019, Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with City of Toronto, PortsToronto, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, began the work which resulted in the 2020 Marine Use Strategy update.
Waterfront Toronto will continue to work with residents, business owners, Toronto’s Indigenous community, as well as environmental and recreational groups to implement the strategy’s recommendations.
“The Marine Use Strategy provides an excellent framework for future development and uses associated with Toronto’s world-class waterfront and represents a collaborative effort on the part of many waterfront stakeholders to develop a strategy that is inclusive of various perspectives and uses,” said Chris Sawicki, vice-president of infrastructure, planning and environmental services at PortsToronto.