photos
December 13th, 2017
Parkland Gems Naturalizing

Parkland Gems Naturalizing – Naturalizing the Waterfront



Parkland Gems Naturalizing

Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common,two new lake side parks east of Jarvis Street,give us a hint of what Toronto’s revitalized waterfront will be. They are gems of city and nature weaving together and creating a “water play” for all ages.

Live & Play

Sugar Beach is largely artifice. But it provides a delightful beach experience where sunbathers can watch cargo ships unload in an active port. The Redpath Sugar factory sits across the water of Jarvis Street Slip. It’s a constantly changing hub of docking and unloading bulk sugar and molasses for processing and distribution. Beach-goers can also watch pleasure craft,ferries and sea birds flitting across Toronto Harbour.

Work & Learn

Strolling east along a generous waterside promenade, we pass the activity hubs at Corus Quay and the George Brown College Centre for Health Sciences. These new buildings bring people to the water’s edge to work and learn, not only to live and play. They will help to make the East Bayfront, as this area has been named, a complete community, not just a bedroom hub.

It will truly blend diverse communities, as we expect, in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

Gems on the Edge

The Waterfront

Next going east, we come to Sherbourne Common, a very uncommon park in spite of its name. There’s a pavilion and water play area that transforms to an outdoor skating rink in winter. But the water features in the park, both south and north of Queen’s Quay, particularly draw the eye. These beautifully designed features cleanse stormwater runoff from asphalt surfaces of the area and return it pure to the lake.

The Urban Edge Meets Water and Nature

Runoff will be directed to an underground ultraviolet treatment tank, below the pavilion, that mimics the sun’s cleansing effect on water. Then the water is pumped through the artistic fountains called “Light Showers”, by Jill Anholt, that sprinkle the water into a channel of biofiltration beds. Here the water is further purified by wetland plant action before it is discharged back to the lake.

It’s a very beautiful, very civilized way to integrate natural functions back into the urban landscape. And it’s just the beginning. As the waterfront continues to change, great swaths of land to the east will also undergo naturalization

Looking east at the water’s edge, there are more port activities,including docked shipping vessels, that capture the eye. This will become the centrepiece of the waterfront – the naturalized mouth of the Don River. Now the river is not recognizable. It flows in a concrete channel under a bridge on Cherry Street. But the visionary Lower Don Lands plan developed by Toronto, Waterfront Toronto and Toronto & Region Conservation will change that.

Featured Beaches
History & Landmarks
In Published Issues:


FALL & WINTER 2017/18


Spring & Summer 2017


Fall & Winter 2016/2017


Spring & Summer 2016


Fall & Winter 2016


Spring & Summer 2015


Fall & Winter 2014/2015


SPRING & SUMMER 2015


FALL & WINTER 2013/14


SPRING & SUMMER 2013


FALL & WINTER 2012


SPRING & SUMMER 2012


FALL & WINTER 2011


SPRING & SUMMER 2011


FALL & WINTER 2010/11


SPRING / SUMMER 2010


FALL / WINTER 2009-10


SPRING / SUMMER 2009


FALL / WINTER 2008-09


SPRING / SUMMER 2008


FALL / WINTER 2007-08


SPRING / SUMMER 2007


FALL / WINTER 2006-07


SPRING / SUMMER 2006


FALL / WINTER 2005-06


SPRING / SUMMER 2005


SUMMER / WINTER 2004-05