Canadian Architect


Waterfront Corporation officially launches international design competition for Lower Don Lands

February 8, 2007
by Canadian Architect

The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation announced the names of teams that will be competing in the design competition for the Lower Don Lands, a 40-hectare area located at the mouth of the Don River and the entrance to the Port Lands.

The teams are:
Stoss, Boston; Brown + Storey Architects, Toronto; Zas Architects, Toronto
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, New York; Behnisch Architects, Los Angeles;Greenberg Consultants, Toronto; Great Eastern Ecology, New York
Weiss/Manfredi, New York; du Toit Allsopp Hillier, Toronto
Atelier Girot, Zurich; Office of Landscape Morphology, Paris; ReK Productions, Toronto
Hargreaves Associates, New York; Polshek Partnership, New York; ENVision TheHough Group, Toronto; Dillon Consulting Ltd., Toronto

“The quality of the teams is outstanding,” said John Campbell, TWRC’s President and CEO. “The Lower Don Lands is a complex ecological, urban area and we are confident that each of the teams has the expertise and the experience to create something truly magnificent.”

The Lower Don Lands area, which runs from the Parliament Street Slip east to the Don Roadway and from the rail corridor south to Commissioners Street, is a critical connection between the three emerging waterfront communities in the East Bayfront, West Don Lands and the Port Lands.

There are a number of infrastructure, urban design and transportation initiatives in this area that are required for waterfront revitalizationthe 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 from Parliament to Cherry.

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 goal of the Innovative Design Competition is to produce a unifying and inspiring concept for this long-neglected area that can provide common ground for three concurrent Environmental Assessments (EA’s), including the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection EA; the Queens Quay Boulevard Extension EA; and the Lower Don Transportation Infrastructure EA.

The intent is to produce a bold and compelling concept for the Lower Don Lands that makes the river a central feature while at the same time providing for new development and new linkages to the rest of the city.

The objectives of the design competition 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 making transit a priority
developing a gateway into the Port Lands

Following an on-site briefing on February 9, the teams will have eight weeks to complete their designs. At the February briefing, the teams will receive input from a number of stakeholders including the Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), City of Toronto planning, parks and transportation staff, the Toronto Port Authority and a community advisory committee established by TWRC specifically for the competition.

The final designs will be on display from April 16 24, 2007 at the BCE Place Galleria. A jury to be appointed by TWRC will select the winning design. TWRC will announce the winner in early May.

TWRC was created by the federal and provincial governments and the City of Toronto to lead the $17 billion renewal of Toronto’s Central Waterfront. The development of the first new waterfront community, West Don Lands, is scheduled to start in 2007.

For more information on the Lower Don Lands Design Competition, please visit

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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