John Tory and Olivia Chow.
John Tory and Olivia Chow.

John Tory Leaves Waterfront in the Lurch

John Tory cancelled his participation in the important Waterfront Mayoral Debate the day before the event, planned for Tuesday, September 16 in Harbourfront Community Centre. Tory’s last-minute decision was considered very disrespectful by the many Waterfront volunteers who invested time and money in the debate. Rogers TV10, City News online and other media also invested much time preparing for the debate.

This one-on-one debate between Tory and Olivia Chow was much anticipated because of the Waterfront’s controversial issues — the proposed jet expansion of the island airport, and the urban renewal led by Waterfront Toronto. By leaving organizers in the lurch without an explanation, it is assumed that Tory is unwilling to face these issues.

York Quay Neighbourhood Association, Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (representing 10,000 residents) and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area had planned this debate for three months. They paid for renting the hall, which holds 500 people, as well as a sound system and promotion.

Tory’s abrupt cancellation is bound to raise questions about his commitment to the Waterfront and will likely cost him votes.

Talk: City Building on the Waterfront

Ken Greenberg, Toronto’s great innovator of urban design, will give a unique presentation at YQNA’s next meeting with the title “City Building on the Waterfront.” For over three decades, Ken has shaped downtowns, waterfronts and regions across North America and Europe, in cities such as Toronto, Amsterdam, New York and Paris. He has a prominent role in our own Waterfront neighbourhood, where we enjoy the results of his holistic approach and long-term view of planning. Ken and his wife Eti are often seen here on their bikes or in kayaks. Ken’s book, “Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder” expresses his philosophy that cities may be big, but they are enjoyed on a human scale.

We are honoured to welcome Ken Greenberg, and invite you to attend this free event:

Tuesday, September 9th at 7 – 9 p.m.

Radisson Admiral Hotel

249 Queens Quay West, Rain Dance Room

Intelligent Community of the Year

CEO of Waterfront Toronto John Campbell (left) has reason to smile, as he receives the prize for The Intelligent Community of the Year in New York City.  He shared the stage with Cristina Verner, director of Intelligent Communities, which awarded the prize, and IBM executive John Longbottom. The prestigious honour was based on our own neighbourhood and lands extending east to the Port Lands, getting Canada’s most advanced broadband Internet service. Every home and business will have access this super fast one-gigabyte network — for video conferences to film editing and emailing your grandmother. It will open the Waterfront to unparalleled economic opportunities and competitiveness. This is yet another international prize for Waterfront Toronto, and we will all be winners.

Han Dong, Our New MPP

Trinity-Spadina has a new Member of Provincial Government: Han Dong, seen here with his children. He replaces YQNA’s long-time friend, MPP Rosario Marchese, who worked with us on many issues that are specific to our condo environment, such as new legislation to protect condo owners’ rights and ending developers’ reliance on the OMB. We hope Han will take up these causes. Both Han and Rosario are staunchly opposed to jet expansion of the Island Airport.

YQNA thanks Rosario for his many years of friendship and open communications. We welcome Han and look forward to including him in our neighbourhood issues and his help in protecting our beautiful Waterfront.

Queens Quay Rising

Queens Quay is finally rising from the depth of underground construction!  It has been a year of digging, dewatering the ground and installing new and expanded services — electricity, sewers, water supply, natural gas and telecommunication lines for phone, cable and internet connections. That was the biggest and most difficult part of Queens Quay’s revitalization and it’s nearly done. The harshest winter in memory didn’t help construction.

As the last holes on Queens Quay are being filled, crews are laying the 2.5 million red granite pavers on wide sidewalks with beautiful maple leaf patterns:

Around 240 trees are being planted in large silva cells with 30 cubic metres of soil that will nurture a boulevard of tall trees:

Curved wood benches, sleek cedar street lights and the Martin Goodman Trail will soon appear. Streetcar service is promised to resume late this summer. We are seeing fast progress laying the tracks, including the complicated TTC loop at Spadina Avenue.

Waterfront Toronto’s director of design and construction, James Roche spoke at a recent YQNA meeting and showed the brief video about Queens Quay seen above. Everybody can ask to receive emails with the latest construction news at: info@waterfrontoronto.ca.

The current disruptions will likely fade in our memory next summer, when we attend the inauguration of Toronto’s premiere boulevard right in our own neighbourhood!

Photos Estelle Weynman