Toronto’s waterfront is getting an overhaul with Cityzen and other prominent Toronto developers front and centre in the transformation. Waterfront Toronto projects significant economic returns for the city. Sam Crignano recently joined a panel of experts brought together by Waterfront Toronto at Corus Quay to brief the media on the advantages of developing the waterfront and creating sustainable solutions to waterfront living.
What were some of the key takeaways from the media event?
First and foremost, it was reassuring to hear the various levels of government still committed to furthering the development of the waterfront with projects like Corus Entertainment, George Brown College, Sugar Beach, and West Donlands Park. We’re excited about our development on the waterfront, which is part of the overall plan that includes Pier 27, the promenade at Yonge Quay and our Cherry Street project which is the book end of the east waterfront plan. Our east end project links to The Distillery District, the Pan-Am Village and ultimately to the West Donlands.
It’s also great to see so many major developers on the scene like Great Gulf, Daniels, Tridel and Cityzen. We all now have a presence on the waterfront. I’m really excited about the future of the waterfront, but most importantly the fact that the future is here. These projects are now coming to market and the vision is being realized.
How do you think big development projects like Corus Quay & Pier 27 can be balanced with maintaining open space along the waterfront?
The key part of the success of the waterfront is leveraging the multi-use nature of the area. It really encomapsses the live, work, learn, play experience. To me, that is a key part of the development of the waterfront. It also ties well into the communities to the north. The St. Lawrence Market district is also a multi-use, multi faceted community. This creates life on the street twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s the big benefit of a live, work, learn, play experience.
As a developer, how do you see your relationship with Waterfront Toronto now and going forward?
We've had a great relationship with Waterfront Toronto from the very
beginning. It has been a collaborative process with both sides open to new ideas. We all want to achieve
similar goals so from that perspective we are aligned. As a private
developer, I always have to be cognisant of the bottom line which can create some push and pull, but overall its been a very co-operative relationship.
What do you think Toronto's waterfront needs to be considered world class?
Toronto is a world class city. Admittedly, there are parts of the city that need improvement, but this is the case for all world class cities.
That said, we are lacking in some major infrastructure. Public transit and the LRT are key components of the success of the future waterfront and we want to see the completion of the LRT all the way through to Cherry Street. For me this is the biggest piece that’s currently missing. We are working with all levels of government to begin this process as soon as possible.
I really believe that Toronto is one of the best places to live in the world. That's why we're seeing so much foreign investment here. People want to be part of what this city is becoming.
Sam Crignano, President of Cityzen, will be contributing regularly to the blog. If you have any questions you'd like to ask him please let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us via Twitteror Facebook.