Here are some of the coolest new additions coming to Toronto
Toronto is nothing if not constantly under construction, but some of the upcoming new additions planned for the city can’t come soon enough.
From a waterfront pool and floating restaurant to new skyscrapers, parks, and even a massive esports complex, large swaths of the Toronto landscape are about to look very different thanks to these new additions.
In preparation for the big changes that lay ahead, here are some of the most exciting new additions that will be making an appearance in Toronto soon.
Waterfront pool and floating restaurant
Toronto’s Parliament Slip, located on the waterfront just south of the Distillery District, is getting a total redesign thanks to Waterfront Toronto.
Recently revealed plans call for several new additions to the Toronto waterfront space, including a public swimming pool, water amphitheatre, boardwalk, floating dock with concessions, and floating restaurant. No timeline on construction has been revealed yet.
Massive five-tower development at Yonge and Eglinton
Developers Oxford Properties have their sights set on building a massive five-tower development that could reach 70-storeys and contain 2,701 residential units.
They’re still awaiting zoning approval but if the project goes through, it would also contain a massive new public park.
A new Mirvish Theatre inside Frank Ghery’s skyscrapers on King West
Famed Canadian Architect Frank Ghery has designed two asymmetrical skyscrapers for King Street West that will reach 91 and 81 storeys.
They’ll occupy the space where the Mirvish Princess of Wales Theatre currently sits but will incorporate a new theatre into their design.
A pedestrian-friendly Yonge Street
In February, City Council voted to approve the YongeTOmorrow plan, which would see a pedestrian-friendly transformation of Yonge Street, including more patios and green space. Starting at Queen Street and stretching north to College Street, there would be reduced lanes of traffic, pedestrian-only zones, protected bike lanes, and more sidewalk space for patios and greenery.
The YongeTOmorrow plan will continue to undergo further consultation and refinement before beginning construction, which is expected to start in 2023 and finish in 2025.
Massive 520-acre redevelopment in Downsview
Although plans are not yet finalized, the stage has been set for an extensive redevelopment of 520-acres of Downsview land.
The proposed development will see a total transformation of the area that will “re-imagine these lands and build resilient, sustainable, vibrant, healthy, and complete communities,” according to developer Northcrest’s website. There will be office space, parks, affordable housing, and schools.
One of the development’s central ideas is that the area will comprise “15-minute neighbourhoods,” “where people live, work, shop, learn, and play within a 15-min walk or bike ride.”
A new beach and park at Leslie Slip
CreateTO has plans for an expansive new park at Leslie Slip, located on the Martin Goodman Trail at the entrance to Tommy Thompson Park. The park will include a public beach and forested dunes that will create a new multi-use community destination in Toronto’s east end.
But the centrepiece of the park is a 1.9-acre open space at 12 Leslie Street connecting the public to the waterfront with views of the entire length of the Ship Channel. The open space will also include a viewing platform to provide the public with an elevated look at the Toronto skyline.
Public consultations for the project began in February, and no construction timeline has yet been set.
$500M esports centre and entertainment complex coming to Exhibition Place
OverActive Media announced plans to build a 7,000-seat esports and entertainment complex on the Exhibition Place grounds. The near $500 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2025 and includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex.
The facility will host 200+ events a year, including city-wide conventions, corporate events, product launches, awards shows, and a full slate of esports events increasing over time.
A hotel, museum, and condos coming to two downtown towers
The nearly complete King Blue development towers — 44 and 48 storeys in height — won’t just be filled with condos — they’ll have a hotel and museum, too.
In addition to having 910 condo units, seven stories of the development will be dedicated to the Qube Hotel, which will have 120 rooms. The towers will also house a new 10,000 sq ft space for the Theatre Museum of Canada to house all of its exhibits on the history of Canadian Theatre.
Downtown Toronto is finally getting an IKEA
Toronto IKEA lovers soon won’t have to travel far to get their fix of flat-pack furniture. The Swedish company is planning to open its first-ever downtown Toronto store in late 2021/early 2022. It will be located at 382 Yonge Street, near the corner of Gerard Street West, in the Shops at Aura shopping centre.
The new IKEA will be a smaller-format store. More than 2,000 IKEA products will be available for purchase, but there will be no self-serve furniture available at the downtown location, so larger furniture items will be on display but only available for home delivery.
An opening date has not yet been announced.
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A loved-up park coming to York Street and Queens Quay West
A new park planned for Toronto is taking its name — Love Park — and really running with it.
The park, to be located on the northeast corner of York Street and Queens Quay West, will be oozing with symbols of love, including a large heart-shaped pond in the middle of the park.
Inside the pond will be a Northern Catalpa tree sitting on its own island surrounded by bright pink heart-shaped flowers. And right above the water will be a pink glowing heart designed so that it looks like it’s floating in the air. There will also be a dog park and plenty of sitting areas.
Construction on the park is expected to begin in the first half of this year and will finish up in 2022.
A new river is coming to downtown Toronto
Construction is underway on a new river that is being built downtown, connecting the Don River to Lake Ontario. It’s creating a new mouth for the Don River, which sadly has had its natural mouth gradually filled in since the 1800s as developers wanted more land space for industrial development.
Plans for the new river focus on naturalizing the space by creating a sloping channel with flood plane wetlands along the riverbank so that when a flood does occur, it will be contained in the wetlands.
Construction is expected to wrap up in 2024.
Part of Nathan Phillips Square is becoming an Indigenous Spirit Garden
The western side of Nathan Phillips Square is set to be transformed into an Indigenous Spirit Garden as part of the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Restoration of Identity Project.
The new expansive garden, which will honour both the survivors of Canada’s residential schools and the children who were lost, will feature several new additions to the Toronto square. The focal point will be a two-metre tall sculpture of a turtle on a platform bearing the names of the 17 residential schools that once operated in Ontario. Radiating out from the sculpture is a teaching lodge, an amphitheatre, a Three Sisters teaching garden, a voyageur canoe, and an inuksuk.
According to the City, the garden is expected to be substantially complete by late 2023.