Dream, Great Gulf Quayside Update on Toronto’s Waterfront | RENX
Dream Unlimited Corp. and Great Gulf Group will together develop two of Toronto’s most prominent waterfront properties over the next decade.
As partners on both the 12-acre Quayside property and the nearby Victory Silos site along Lake Shore Boulevard East in the city’s downtown east side, they will play an important role in the line’s revamp. of Lake Ontario skyline.
The Urban Land Institute Toronto hosted a webinar on April 22 involving Dream, Great Gulf and several project partners to provide an overview of the plans for Quayside, at the foot of Parliament Street on Lake Shore Boulevard East.
“I think you will see in the Quayside project that you can see high levels of development, in terms of architectural design and public space, while having great environmental sustainability,” said the President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, George Zegarac.
Dream and Great Gulf were selected by Waterfront Toronto in February to develop Quayside. Waterfront Toronto was established in 2001 by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto to lead a revitalization of the waterfront by integrating sustainable development, design excellence and state-of-the-art technological infrastructure.
He was tasked with creating a new vision for the site after Google subsidiary Sidewalk Labs scrapped plans for a major tech-based sustainability in May 2020.
Components and dockside vision
Among the proposals Dream and Great Gulf have submitted for Quayside are:
– five towers and one of the largest mass timber residential buildings in Canada;
– 861 affordable housing units of various sizes, from studios to T5, which will be delivered at each development phase with market housing;
– a community care hub offering a range of programs and services to support aging in place, recreation and wellness for all residents;
– and a multipurpose venue with space for the performing arts, Indigenous-centered cultural celebrations and flexible educational spaces.
Dream and Great Gulf have partnered to acquire the Victory Silos site at 351 Lake Shore Blvd. E. in 2017, so they knew Quayside well. The Victory Silos Condos project is in the pre-construction phase as part of a five-acre planned community that will include approximately one million square feet of density.
“We’ve always felt that whatever we do, we should leave behind what we find better than before,” said Michael Cooper, President and CEO of Dream.
“It’s really only part of the journey to create net zero communities with huge affordable housing, combined with all kinds of market housing, condos, apartments, retail, public activities, inclusion and programming, where people’s lives are improved by the work we all work together.
Many objectives for the development of Quayside
Waterfront Toronto’s Vice President of Strategic Policy and Innovation, Kristina Verner, said Quayside’s vision is to create a “vibrant, inclusive and resilient” community by providing housing, green spaces, recreation , culture and entertainment to people of all ages and demographics, inspiring entrepreneurial ventures and innovations, and all in a sustainable way with an emphasis on the environment.
“This is done in part through beautiful architecture and elements of design excellence in the public realm as well as creating connections to the rest of the city and providing safer, greener options for active transportation for get to the site and move through the site,” Verner said.
Quayside is also expected to generate economic benefits through sustainable job creation, private investment and the expansion of the creative corridor along the waterfront, Verner added.
Waterfront Toronto had launched an international request for qualification in March 2021, resulting in a short list of four developers invited to participate in the request for proposals stage. The Dream-Great Gulf partnership, officially known as the Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, was chosen from this group.
Adjaye Associates, Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen are the lead architects, while KPMB and architects-Alliance are also involved.
SLA is the landscape architect. Two Row Architect is the Indigenous Design Advisor. Benoy and Wordsearch Place are the retail specialists. Transsolar is the climate engineering firm.
Environmental and sustainability considerations
“We are aligning our goals and aspirations with Waterfront Toronto to provide an affordable, accessible, sustainable community focused on the natural environment,” said Katy Schofield, President of Great Gulf Homes Canadian Low Rise Residence.
Transsolar associate director Krista Palen said Toronto has been “really a pioneer in pushing the boundaries of sustainability standards” and setting energy targets. Quayside fits that, as it is set to become the first all-electric, carbon-free development of this scale in Canada.
“This site is going to create enough market transformation that people are starting to feel comfortable implementing some of the kinds of technologies that we will be using and reducing their energy and carbon to the levels that we need to get in order to achieve our climate reduction goals for the city,” Palen said.
Verner believes that Quayside can become “a neighborhood that sets the bar in terms of what new neighborhoods in Toronto and across Canada should aspire to in terms of sustainable approaches.”
Stormwater management will be an important part of the project and the proposed log building is to include a rooftop urban farm to produce food.
Quayside will act as a gateway to the waterfront and create synergies with existing surrounding assets. Part of that involves weaving nature throughout the site, including a two-acre community forest.
“We don’t have classes,” said Rasmus Astrup, design director and SLA partner. “We have flow. We have a stream of birds, a stream of water, and a stream of people.
Indigenous participation in Quayside
Verner also stressed the importance of having Indigenous participation at Quayside.
“As human beings, we need to remember that we depend on the world around us and the world doesn’t depend on us,” said Two Row partner Matthew Hickey.
“As human beings, we often think that we are the best and that we are at the top of the pyramid. But if we take a look at our place in Earth’s history, we’ll see that we’re just a tiny dot on the timeline.
“This way of thinking was key to our teams’ process for Quayside. This way of thinking is the key to future developments. And this way of thinking will be key to the future of the human race.