Toronto's Quayside waterfront to be transformed with mass timber housing

Adjaye Associates, Henning Larsen, Alison Brooks Architects, and SLA will lead development for Toronto's waterfront, with 800+ affordable housing units and green public spaces.

by STIRworldPublished on : Mar 03, 2022

Toronto's waterfront will soon see a massive transformation with the new Quayside development, conceived by a syndicate of local and international talent called the Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, including Adjaye Associates, Alison Brooks Architects, and Henning Larsen as lead architects, along with landscape firm SLA. The ambitious proposal, developed together with Dream Unlimited Corp. (Dream) and Great Gulf Group intends to speed Toronto’s recovery by delivering affordable housing and public spaces. Located at the foot of Parliament Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East in Toronto, Ontario, the Quayside Development Opportunity is a 12 acre (4.9 hectares) site that will be transformed into a comprehensive community for residents and visitors to live, work and play.

24 mins watch Quayside Together, by Quayside Impact Limited Partnership | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
Quayside Together, by Quayside Impact Limited Partnership Video: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

The drawing board project impresses with its inclusion of a plant-sheathed housing unit designed by architecture studio Adjaye Associates called the 'Timber House', and will reportedly be one of the most massive residential mass-timber structure in Canada upon completion. Other highlights consist of five towers with 800+ “affordable” housing units with an emphasis on family-sized units, fresh public spaces including a two-acre forested green space, and a significant urban farm atop one of Canada’s largest residential mass timber buildings, as mentioned before. A landmark cultural destination and multi-use arts venue will create a space for the performing arts, indigenous-centred cultural celebrations and flexible education spaces.

A rendering of the Timber House by Adjaye Associates | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
A rendering of the 'Timber House' by Adjaye Associates Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

In addition, Quayside will also comprise the 'Western Curve' tower designed by British firm Alison Brook Architects, decorated with myriad curved balconies topped with greens, as well 'The Overstorey' high rise by Danish architects Henning Larsen, sitting adjacent with flashy cubic geometry.

A rendering of the Western Curve building by Alison Brooks Architects | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
A rendering of the 'Western Curve' building by Alison Brooks Architects Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Quayside will be underscored by exemplary low-carbon development and innovations, “making Quayside the first all-electric, zero-carbon community at this scale. The visionary world-class architecture that will raise the bar on design across the entire neighbourhood and create a visually striking focal point on Toronto’s waterfront,” the developers share.

A rendering of The Overstorey by Henning Larsen | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
A rendering of 'The Overstorey' by Henning Larsen Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

“Today we take an important next step in unlocking the full potential of the city’s waterfront. Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf together with their team of architects and local partners have a strong proposal to make Quayside and Toronto’s waterfront among the best in the world. As we begin negotiations on a project agreement, we are more confident than ever in the transformative power of the Quayside project to the economic and social recovery of Toronto, Ontario, and Canada,” says Jack Winberg, chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Investment and Real Estate Committee (IREC), a governmental organisation leading the development, to oversee and lead the renewal of the city’s waterfront.

An artist rendering of the ground floor of the Western Curve and winter animation | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
An artist rendering of the ground floor of the 'Western Curve' and winter animation Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

"We set out to make Quayside the kind of community that meaningfully improves the lives of its residents, neighbours and visitors. The proposal from Dream and Great Gulf will make a real difference in the lives of those who live near the waterfront or come to visit, by creating affordable rental housing, extensive public spaces, and new jobs and business opportunities,” said George Zegarac, Waterfront Toronto President and Chief Executive Officer.

A rendering of the Community Forest public space by landscape architect SLA  | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
A rendering of the 'Community Forest' public space by landscape architect SLA Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

"The opportunity to develop Quayside with Waterfront Toronto is the perfect development at the perfect time. Dream and Great Gulf regard our activities in real estate as a canvas on which we can make our communities more inclusive, sustainable and healthier. With Quayside, Waterfront Toronto has created the greatest opportunity for impact development in the country, and we believe that the partnership is ideally suited to deliver on this opportunity,” added Michael Cooper, Chair, Quayside Impact Limited Partnership.

A rendering showing Rooftop Urban Farming, community gardens, greenhouses with POPs space at ground level - Community Forest by SLA Landscape Architects | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
A rendering showing Rooftop Urban Farming, community gardens, greenhouses with POPs space at ground level - 'Community Forest' by SLA Landscape Architects Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Additional highlights of Canada's first all-electric, zero-carbon master plan (3.4 million square feet) include a community care hub offering a range of programs and services to support ageing-in-place, recreation and wellness for all residents of the housing, approximately 2-acres (0.8-hectare) of a community forest by Danish landscape architects SLA providing a network of car-free green spaces for inhabitants and visitors, an open space network designed to be barrier-free and accessible for all ages and abilities as well as strong social and workforce benefits, advancing employment, business and capacity-building opportunities for indigenous peoples and equity-deserving communities of the region.

Annotated Quayside Impact Limited Partnership concept plan | Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf Group selected to develop Quayside waterfront | STIRworld
Annotated Quayside Impact Limited Partnership concept plan Image: Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

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