Toronto, ON, Canada
The Lower Don Lands are one of the last remaining pieces to be planned in the reconfiguration of the Toronto waterfront – and the city’s doorstep. As a finalist for this competition, our team was among several international design teams who were asked to develop their initial ideas into full concept plans for the project. Our design, entitled River+City+Life, is founded on putting the river first, and is developed through four supporting principles.
The proposal begins by giving the Don River the space and latitude it needs to be a river again—to perform hydrologically and environmentally. This is a bold premise because it is the opposite of what you see today, where the city-building has determined the flow of the river. The proposal also recognizes the importance of this new precinct within Toronto’s expanded lake front system, and it serves to connect the reconfigured central waterfront and the new Lake Ontario Park physically, conceptually, ecologically and culturally. On these foundations, the design proposal creates a contemporary metropolitan district that serves as a new model of green living.
It is a green city where light rail, water taxi and bicycle use is emphasized over automobiles and where sustainable landscape and building strategies are integrated into all phases of work—from remediation and innovative building systems to green energy generation and ecological art.