East Bayfront Water's Edge Promenade & Boardwalk
2007-2010 Phase 1, Toronto, Canada

In 2006 West 8 + DTAH won the Central Waterfront Innovation Design Competition with a mandate to transform Toronto’s waterfront to a world-class destination celebrating Canada’s lakefront experience. Central to the award winning master plan is a 3km long promenade at the water’s edge, which creates a continuous public open space between buildings and the Lake. Completed in July 2010, East Bayfront Water’s Edge Promenade, extending from Canada’s Sugar Beach to Sherbourne Common is the first phase of the promenade. As lead consultants, West 8 + DTAH were responsible for coordination of sub-consultants, design development, working drawings and contract administration.

The promenade, which consists of a mosaic of granite pavers with a double row of Maple trees and a suite of custom designed furniture is 925m long and 9.4m wide. An additional 9m wide pedestrian zone composed of concrete unit pavers also runs parallel to the promenade. Creating a combined width of 18.4m of new public space between the buildings and the Lake. Patio seating spills across the pedestrian zone from George Brown College with commercial activity transitioning onto the promenade.

The promenade is an active civic space, and an integral part of the growing waterfront network. Flanked by two parks, the promenade functions as a pedestrian and cycle route, as well as a year-round venue for a variety of public events. The promenade design is an elegant interpretation of a Canadian themed public space at the water’s edge.

Unique to the project are high quality, custom designed mosaic paving, furniture and tree planting details all inspired by the Canadian iconic maple leaf. The project also involved extensive underground work, including soil cells, passive irrigation, and root aeration technology in combination with utility trenches and dock wall reinforcement.

West 8 + DTAH closely worked with the contractors on site, collaborating on pavement mock-ups and fabrication of benches and lights. As a result, East Bayfront Water’s Edge Promenade is a successful precedent project for future development along Toronto’s waterfront.

In the future, as the community develops, a slightly lowered 8m wide wooden boardwalk will be built alongside the promenade giving people another opportunity to engage with the lake. The boardwalk will be cantilevered out over the water on top of the stormwater storage tanks for the new community.

The promenade and boardwalk offer a generous amount of space along the lakefront. In addition to providing public access to the water’s edge, the boardwalk will also serve as an important part of the integrated stormwater management system in East Bayfront. This integrated approach allows required stormwater infrastructure to be beautiful, functional, sustainable and cost-effective.

Waterfront Toronto
The Municipal Infrastructure Group
CSLA National Merit Award, 2014; The Willis Chipman Award at the Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards for the East Bayfront stormwater management system;
Adriaan Geuze, Jelle Therry, Maarten Buijs, Christian Gausepohl, Ela Chojecka, Fanny Guilmet, Juan Figueroa Calero, Lynnette Postuma, Marc Ryan, Shachar Zur