You’ve likely driven by it, coming from the DVP to the Gardner, or the Eastern street overpass, or while getting to the Distillery District. Acres of land–a former industrial area–sitting vacant in downtown Toronto, next to some of Toronto’s most vibrant areas: South Riverdale, Leslieville, Cherry Beach, the Distillery District, Cabbagetown and St Lawrence Market. The West Don Lands.
In 2015 the Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto, and with it the redevelopment of the West Don Lands and Toronto’s eastern waterfront. Under the guidance of Waterfront Toronto, an entire area is being conceived. A completely new neighbourhood, built from scratch. It kind of reminds me of what Liberty Village was 10 years ago, except much better planned and more central to downtown.
The area has spawned a number of new developments, including River City and Canary District. River City is perhaps the crown jewel of the new lands, a multi-phase development that won Best High Rise Building Design award from BILD in 2010 for its phase one design. And if phase one impressed, phase two is sure to wow. It’s comprised of three side-by-side white glass mini-towers, each 12-stories, that are connected by glass bridges. The 12 penthouses each have a private rooftop garden, some over 1,000 square feet, which include a green roof feature. Cool stuff.
When the 2015 Pan Am games hit, this area is going to be an amazing example of urban planning, with all the amenitites and access that downtown provides…without being right downtown.