York Quay Neighbourhood Association covers Toronto’s iconic Central Waterfront, with members in every building. YQNA is actively engaged in what shapes our neighbourhood – traffic, transit, planning, cultural and social events, policing, environment, noise, businesses, and the great urban renewal transforming Queens Quay. YQNA welcomes all residents to participate, share their ideas and enjoy our events.
More than a thousand people met on August 22 at the foot of Bay Street for the naming of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and the unveiling of a great sculpture of Jack on a tandem bike. It was donated through fundraising by the OFL on behalf of the working people of Ontario and is valued at approximately $350,000. The artist is the well-known David Pellettier of Toronto. It depicts the late Jack Layton, who was an avid cyclist and Toronto MP, riding on the back seat of a tandem bicycle. The front seat welcomes visitors to sit and have their photo taken “with Jack at their back.”
Olivia Chow, our MP for the Waterfront and Jack’s partner through their long private and political life together, said:
“Jack loved the city of Toronto, Toronto Islands, and most of all, the people of Toronto. How fitting that this sculpture will serve as a reminder to the people of Toronto and visitors to the waterfront that Jack always had their back.” She was met with great applause.
Councillor Pam McConnell praised her former colleague and introduced the many speakers and musicians as well as the Layton’s extended family. Emotions ran high, as many in the large crowd remembered this very popular MP and his generous nature. Mayor Rob Ford spoke of his first year as city councillor. He and Jack sat side by side in Council, and although they had different political views, Jack was always kind and ready to help him with advice.
Take a stroll to the ferries and hop on the bike with Jack! This will probably become the most photographed work of art in Toronto.
Transit expert and blogger Steve Munro has posted a thorough summary of ongoing transit changes and long-range plans affecting the waterfront.
A few of the highlights:
Spadina streetcars are expected to operate again to Queens Quay Loop (the corner of Spadina and Queens Quay) by Christmas. However, construction at Union Station will continue to block access to the Union Station underground loop until February 2014.
Development plans for the Lower Yonge Precinct (Yonge to Jarvis) are still unclear, but will likely include tall condo towers on the north side and redevelopment of the LCBO warehouse and store. Redevelopment of the Loblaws site is also possible.
A reconfiguration of Harbour Street will include demolition of the York Street off-ramp. (YQNA notes: a park will be maintained at York and Queens Quay.)
Development of the East Bayfront between Jarvis and the Parliament Street slip is underway to make it similar to the western section of Queens Quay. But transit plans are incomplete, with LRT a possible future option and some sort of enhanced bus service likely.
Munro’s report includes detailed analysis of transit plans for the entire area. It also has links to detailed reports covering transit activities on the Central Waterfront, Lower Yonge Precinct, East Bayfront, West Don Lands, Cherry Street, Lower Don Lands, Port Lands, Union Station Second Platform, and the Gardiner Expressway Replacement or Reconstruction. Click for the full article.
The Island Airport sends large prop planes through the Waterfront. Now they want to double the business with jet planes — and we say NO! Enough is enough. This is our home and a favourite recreational area for the entire city. Help save our Waterfront and sign the petition here: NoJetsTO.ca. (Or read more details from YQNA.)