Waterfront Toronto opens another new park

Sherbourne Common, the third and largest new public space opened by Waterfront Toronto and its government partners since August in Toronto’s downtown waterfront area, will clean stormwater in its Pavilion and public art installations and release the treated water back into Lake Ontario. 

Located in the heart of the new East Bayfront neighbourhood, the south side of Sherbourne Common stretches more than a hectare from Lake Ontario to Queens Quay. When the north side of the park opens later this fall, the 1.5 hectare park will cover two city blocks from the water’s edge to Lake Shore Boulevard.

With development growing all around it, including George Brown College on its western edge, the newly approved Hines Bayside development to its east and flanked by Great Gulf’s Parkside development to the north, Sherbourne Common will become the heart of this new community and a major civic destination.

More than just a beautiful public space, Sherbourne Common is also the first park in Canada to integrate an ultraviolet (UV) treatment facility for neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment into its design. Collected stormwater is treated in a UV Facility located in the basement of the park’s Pavilion and released from three dramatic art features into a 240-metre long water channel – or urban river – and back out to Lake Ontario.

Designed by Canadian landscape architect Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg to be both a city-wide destination and neighbourhood amenity, Sherbourne Common features wide open greenspace on the south side of the park providing ample space for festivals, concerts and other city-wide events overlooking Lake Ontario.

In addition to the urban river that runs the length of the park, a 920m2 pond will be frozen for a winter skating rink and act as a splash pad for summer waterplay. Surrounding the pond, a zinc-clad, architecturally award-winning Pavilion offers restrooms and will house a café as the neighbourhood develops. Teeple Architects Inc. designed the Pavilion, Jill Anholt is the public artist and The Municipal Infrastructure Group engineered the park’s UV Facility. The local consultant is The Planning Partnership.

The budget for Sherbourne Common – both the north and south sides of the park – including site preparation costs (demolition and soil remediation) and design and construction costs for the park, water channel and UV Facility is $28.7 million plus an additional $1.9 million for the public art features.

Revitalization efforts are well underway across the waterfront.

  • In East Bayfront Canada’s Sugar Beach, the first phase of water’s edge promenade and the new headquarters for Corus Entertainment are now open. Construction continues on the George Brown College Waterfront Campus which will welcome students in September 2012 and in August, Toronto City Council overwhelmingly approved Waterfront Toronto’s development agreement with Hines for Bayside – an $800 million private sector investment on the waterfront.
  • In the West Don Lands, Toronto Community Housing has begun construction on the area’s first affordable housing complex, and construction is underway on Don River Park.

Plans for the Lower Don Lands were endorsed by Toronto City Council this summer and In the Central Waterfront, the first phase of construction to revitalize Queens Quay will begin next year.

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