Kiyoko Fujimura

Buzzbuzzhome Corp.
August 9, 2010

Toronto’s waterfront sucks. It just does. You’ve got the Gardiner Expressway running along it and the water always seems to dirty to swim in. And although some have written it off as a lost cause, a recent revitalization will hopefully give it a much needed kick-start.

Over the past 9 months, construction has been underway to create Canada’s Sugar Beach and the Water’s Edge Promenade (phase one). They are located just east of Lower Jarvis Street and south of Queens Quay Boulevard.

What’s amazing is that both of the projects were completed on time and on budget (I wish I could say the same about the construction going on at Yonge and Bloor). Considering the partners involved in the project included Waterfront Toronto, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto, that is truly an incredible feat.

What’s even more incredible to me is that the federal government financed this project at all. They contributed $14.5 million! In the past, they’ve been reluctant to provide any funding to Toronto because the Conservatives never win any seats here. But hey! We’ll take what we can get.

Sugar Beach sounds a tad overkill.

According to the CNW:

Its engaging plaza space features an oversized candy-striped granite rock outcropping and large grassy mounds that form a colourful amphitheatre-style space. At the beach, white Muskoka-style chairs under bright pink umbrellas give people a place to while away the afternoon. Its tree-lined promenade, which runs diagonally through the park and connects to the Water’s Edge Promenade, includes a granite maple leaf water feature where people can cool off next to the beach.

Yikes! Sounds a bit tacky to me, but it’s a start! And maybe it’s charming in person– I haven’t checked it out. The Water’s Edge Promenade sounds more tasteful.

According to the CNW:

The design for the Water’s Edge Promenade… creates a stunning tree-lined granite walkway with a two-toned maple leaf mosaic design. As the development of East Bayfront progresses, a wooden boardwalk will be built alongside the promenade over the stormwater management system for the area. Together, the promenade and boardwalk which will stretch almost a kilometre from end to end, will provide uninterrupted public access along the harbour.

All that being said, I don’t want to hate on Sugar Beach. It could be really awesome and I appreciate the efforts of the various levels of government working together to accomplish something worthwhile. It just goes to show what Canada can do with a little cooperation, a bit of elbow grease and, I almost forgot, a massive fiscal deficit.

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