Waterfront Toronto celebrates design excellence with first ever Waterfront Design Review Panel Awards

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2022 /CNW/ – Waterfront Toronto is thrilled to announce the recipients of its inaugural Design Review Panel Awards. The awards recognize ten visionary projects across seven categories, and were presented in a ceremony at Waterfront Toronto’s lakeside offices yesterday.

Cherry Street Stormwater Management Facility, gh3* / Waterfront Toronto (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)

Cherry Street Stormwater Management Facility, gh3* / Waterfront Toronto (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)

The Waterfront Design Review Panel (WDRP) is composed of cross-disciplinary experts who review waterfront project proposals and offer advice about design excellence, environmental performance, and delivering a cohesive approach to waterfront revitalization. The panel’s feedback has been vital in delivering numerous iconic projects along Toronto’s waterfront, including those receiving this year’s awards.

“These awards are a chance to recognize the incredible, collaborative work of the DRP and the teams behind each of these projects,” said George Zegarac, CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “All of the projects nominated completed the DRP process and each project emerged the better for it. Congratulations to all.”

“On behalf of the WDRP, I want to congratulate all of today’s nominees and award recipients. In launching these awards, it was clear how much talent, effort, and vision goes into every project,” said Paul Bedford, chair of the WDRP. “We are pleased to recognize how these projects help to make Toronto’s waterfront a special place that belongs to everyone.”

In order to qualify, projects must have completed the design review process or completed construction between 2019-2021. Hall of Fame Awards recognize the buildings or projects built for at least five years that have had a lasting impact on the waterfront. In future, the Waterfront Design Review Panel Awards will be hosted on a bi-annual basis.

Award Recipients

Category: Excellence in Residential Design
Criteria: For a market condominium, rental or affordable housing building.
Recipient: Canary Landing, 125 Mill Street
Citation: Canary Landing’s design, particularly the use of refined cladding and contrasting treatment of the lower and upper floors, successfully references the heritage aspects of the precinct in a contemporary way. The gently curving precast cladding on the upper volumes echoes the grain silos that once dotted the waterfront, and the detailed brick work on the lower volumes and in the public realm tie the site into the historic Distillery District across the street. Canary Landing is a remarkable and sophisticated project that raises the bar for residential design.

Category: Excellence in Commercial or Institutional Design
Criteria: For a non-residential use building, such as commercial, institutional, or infrastructural.
Recipient: T3 Bayside (Phase 1), 251 Queens Quay East
Citation: T3 Bayside’s design represents an exceptionally ambitious and provocative commercial building. The project’s use of mass timber is elegantly supported by its simple massing, punctuated by a string of double-height social spaces skillfully woven through the office floors. The innovation in mass timber is much needed as we grapple with the economic and environmental impacts of traditional construction methods. This building is a seminal project for the Toronto waterfront that sets a clear pathway for future high-quality commercial buildings in Canada.

Category: Excellence in Public Landscape Design
Criteria: For a park, streetscape, or other public open space project.
Recipient: Port Lands Flood Protection Project, River and Parks
Citation: The new river and parks in the Port Lands Flood Protection (PLFP) project represent the realization of a fifty-year dream to reclaim the mouth of the Don River. The design sets a global precedent for the transformation of flood-prone, post-industrial waterfronts into climate resilient, ecologically rich, and socially inclusive urban districts. The design of the new river channel successfully references the dynamic and complex estuary systems found on the Great Lakes, and the design of the parks skillfully integrates a diverse recreational program with a forested buffer to create what will be one of the most significant new park system in Toronto’s history.

Category: Excellence in Planning and Urban Design
Criteria: For a precinct plan, master plan, public open space plan, or development plan.
Recipient: Gardiner and Lake Shore Boulevard East Public Realm
Citation: The design of the Lake Shore Boulevard East public realm sets a new precedent for human-scale, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. By creating a network of green linkages along the corridor, a vibrant public realm will emerge in a formerly desolate area. This project exemplifies how novel forms of public open space can be developed out of idiosyncratic, residual, and contested spaces. The design successfully blurs park and infrastructure, a truly innovative and critical initiative that will facilitate re-calibrating the relationship that citizens of the city have to this area.

Category: Excellence in Design Innovation
Criteria: For a project that addresses environmental, social, or other contemporary issues through design and research.
Recipient: Limberlost Place at George Brown College, 185 Queens Quay East
Citation: The design of George Brown College’s Limberlost Place features innovation throughout. A combination of elements including solar chimneys, rooftop photo-voltaic panels, a de-centralized mechanical system, vented hallways, and operable windows allows the building to have net zero carbon emissions. The “passive ventilation mode” allows the building to operate passively 50 per cent of the year. The team is also to be commended for their willingness to leverage the project for market transformation, pushing policy and sharing lessons learned to build industry capacity. This project will be an exemplar for all institutional projects.

Category: Excellence in Built Work
: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, or neighborhood that delivers on the original design intent.
Recipient: Cherry Street Stormwater Management Facility, 480 Lake Shore Boulevard East
Citation: The design of the Stormwater Management Facility celebrates the legacy of exceptional municipal architecture like the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plan. It is an elegant, beautifully detailed sculptural work, that will engage and delight the public and prove that beautifully designed infrastructure buildings are an essential aspect of city building. The Stormwater Management Facility is a true model of multi-beneficial infrastructure, and the waterfront will be a more delightful place with city infrastructure treated with this level of design and craft.

Category: Excellence in Built Work
Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, or neighborhood that delivers on the original design intent.
Recipient: River City RC3 + RC4 , 170 Bayview Avenue and 21 Lawren Harris Square
Citation: The completed River City Phases 3 + 4 represent a sophisticated, well-detailed, and elegantly proportioned set of residential towers. The unique aesthetic contribution to the urban fabric of West Don Lands has been transformative, setting a new bar for the design and execution of multi-residential buildings. The exterior demonstrates a high degree of resolution in material selection and detailing, successfully delivering an ambitious design that elevates the relationship between the project and users. River City Phases 3 + 4 is a triumphant completion of a brilliant ensemble of residential buildings.

Category: Hall of Fame
Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring.
Recipient: WaveDecks: Spadina WaveDeck, Rees WaveDeck, Simcoe WaveDeck
Citation: When they first opened, the WaveDecks captured the world’s attention and imagination, becoming part of the iconic landscape of the nascent revitalization project led by Waterfront Toronto. The creative use of form and materiality, along with the emphasis on connecting people to the Lake, established a unique design language for the water’s edge. The Simcoe WaveDeck, with its deeply undulating curves, has become a “must see” destination on the waterfront, and the triptych provide a truly unique palette that calls for extension to the remaining slips. The WaveDecks are bold, inspirational designs that represent a legacy for Toronto.

Category: Hall of Fame
Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring.
Recipient: Canada’s Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive
Citation: Canada’s Sugar Beach is a special, transformative project that is well used year-round. The iconic and playful pink umbrellas, willows, pines, and white sand juxtaposed with massive cargo ships offloading at the Redpath Sugar Plant create moments that are unique to our waterfront and undoubtedly, Toronto. The park’s weaving together of thoughtful public space principals and sophisticated branding landed it in the eye and heart of visitors, designers, and civic leaders alike, remains as one of the most fun public spaces in Canada. The creativity and imagination displayed by the project and design team is highly commended.

Category: Hall of Fame
Criteria: For a completed building, landscape, infrastructure, neighborhood, or master plan whose contributions to the waterfront have been significant, catalytic, and enduring.
Recipient: Corktown Common, 155 Bayview Avenue
Citation: Corktown Common was designed to couple critical flood protection infrastructure with social and civic programming. In doing, so it helped regenerate the ecological and environmental health of the area, enabling the construction of the Canary District and a new park, rich in experience and amenity. It demonstrates that parks can offer a range of activities for multi-generational enjoyment, and whose hard urban boundaries are eased by an expertly designed landscape edge.  This project helped launched the redeveloped of the West Don Lands, and is now the public heart of the entire precinct.

Additional Assets: Please visit Waterfront Toronto’s newsroom for a complete list of nominees and images of the nominated projects.

About Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto was established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of the city’s waterfront. It is mandated to deliver a revitalized waterfront that brings together the most innovative approaches to sustainable urban development, excellence in urban design, real estate development, and leading technology infrastructure.

Working with the community, and with public and private-sector partners, Waterfront Toronto creates complete neighbourhoods anchored by parks and public spaces, and diverse, sustainable, mixed-use communities that offer a high quality of life for residents, employees, and visitors alike. We are transforming the waterfront for the use and enjoyment of the people of Toronto, Ontario and Canada, to foster economic growth and to redefine how the city, province and country are perceived by the world.

SOURCE Waterfront Toronto



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