Central Waterfront Master Plan

Toronto’s waterfront is reaching its full potential.

Why this is a great design

After years of ad hoc development in the central waterfront, Waterfront Toronto is working to transform the area to allow it to live up to its remarkable potential.

In 2006, Waterfront Toronto held an innovative design competition to select the best plan to convert Toronto’s central waterfront into a spectacular waterfront destination. While there had been much development in the area over the past few decades, the central waterfront lacked a coherent look and feel and it was difficult to distinguish public space from private space along the shoreline.

The winner of the competition, West 8 + DTAH, proposed a clear, simple and strong vision that connects existing public spaces and provides a distinct and uniform identity for public spaces across the central waterfront.

This comprehensive design plan – whose build-out is well underway – includes three key components: the creation of a continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk; the transformation of Queens Quay into an iconic boulevard with innovative wavedecks at the heads of key slips; and in-water elements such as finger piers and aquatic habitat. It also envisioned a new mixed-use cultural village for York Quay (Harbourfront Centre) with two new public squares: Canada Square and Ontario Square.

The central waterfront design plan has received four urban design awards – two Toronto Urban Design Awards and two Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Awards.


Explore the Waterfront


Learn more about Queens Quay West and the Spadina, Rees and Simcoe  Wavedecks

Inspiring design

A look behind some of our waterfront's most inspiring projects to date and how each initiative was brought to life.