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April 19, 2007

The view from the port is submitted by Weiss/Manfredi, New York, and du Toit Allsopp Hillier, Toronto.

Redevelopment

Lower Don Lands designs are 'bold and compelling'

TORONTO

The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) is gearing up to announce the winner of its ambitious Lower Don Lands design competition following the public unveiling Monday of final submissions.

The design competition is to produce “a bold and compelling” concept for the area with the river as a central feature incorporating new development and new linkages with the rest of the city.

“We are very impressed and excited by the quality of the submissions,” said John Campbell, TWRC’s president and CEO.

“The Lower Don Lands design competition has clearly generated a number of new possibilities for this unique and special part of the waterfront.”

The winner is to be announced in mid-May.

The competing teams are:

Stoss, Boston, Brown + Storey Architects, Toronto, Zas Architects, Toronto.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, New York, Behnisch Architects, Los Angeles, Greenberg Consultants, Toronto.

A park meadow is the vision presented by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, New York, Behnisch Architects, Los Angeles and Greenberg Consultants, Toronto.

• Weiss/Manfredi, New York, du Toit Allsopp Hillier, Toronto.

Atelier Girot, Zurich, Office of Landscape Morphology, Paris ReK Productions, Toronto.

The finalists are vying to produce an overall vision for the area that runs from the Parliament Street slip east to the Don roadway and from the rail corridor south to Commissioners Street, including the Don greenway, in the Port Lands.

The Lower Don Lands area provides a critical connection between the three emerging waterfront communities in the East Bayfront, West Don Lands and the Port Lands.

TWRC said there are a number of infrastructure, urban design and transportation initiatives in this area required for waterfront revitalization.

Some of those initiatives would have to include the naturalization of the mouth of the Don River, flood protection for the Port Lands, precinct planning for the area between Parliament Street and Cherry Street and extending Queens Quay Boulevard from Parliament Street to Cherry Street.

“Until now, there has not been a comprehensive process to produce an overall vision for integrating these various waterfront revitalization projects and addressing the complicated infrastructure challenges this area presents,” the TWRC said.

The design competition was launched in February. Objectives include:

Promoting sustainable development.

Naturalizing the mouth of the Don River.

Creating a continuous riverfront park system.

Enhancing the Martin Goodman Trail.

Providing for harmonious new development.

Developing a gateway into the ports land.

TWRC spokesperson Kristen Jenkins told Daily Commercial News that the overall cost of the Lower Don Lands development has not been estimated.

But naturalization of the mouth of the Don River alone will cost approximately $80 million, she said.

The winning design will be chosen by a jury that includes architect Bruce Kuwabara, chair of TWRC’s design review panel, photographer Ed Burtynsky, architect Renee Daoust, structural engineer Morden Yolles, and architect Charles Waldheim.

A public exhibition runs until April 24 at the BCE Place Allen Lambert Galleria at 181 Bay Street.

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