Waterfront for All – Statement in response to the Auditor General’s report on Waterfront Toronto

December 5, 2018 – For Immediate Release

In light of today’s 2018 annual report of the Auditor General of Ontario, Waterfront for
All has had the opportunity to reflect on the value for money delivered by Waterfront
Toronto.

Waterfront Toronto was created in 2001 to address nearly a century of failed plans to
revitalize Toronto’s waterfront. In less than 20 years, it has transformed the central
waterfront through a myriad of projects including the redesign of Queens Quay and the
water’s edge promenade, and award-winning parks such as Corktown Common and
Sugar Beach. It has created a master plan for the new West Don Lands and East Bayfront
neighbourhoods and initiated the Don Mouth naturalization and flood protection
project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada. According to the Ministry of
Infrastructure, these projects have resulted in $4.1 billion in economic output and $2.6
billion in development value from an initial investment of $1.5 billion.

Waterfront Toronto has earned our respect. Many of Waterfront for All’s members have
worked closely with Waterfront Toronto over this period. A number of our members had
the opportunity to contribute our positive perspective to the Auditor General’s review.
The Auditor General has identified some critical constraints under which Waterfront
Toronto has had to work, including limited autonomy and control of its subject lands,
and the lack of a consistently clear mandate relative to other government agencies. In
spite of those constraints, it is our view that Waterfront Toronto’s performance has
exceeded expectations.

We believe that the Quayside project has the potential to merge the best of urban
planning and technology in a manner that will improve sustainability, equity, and the
quality of urban life. Through this project, Toronto has the opportunity to lead in the
development of a complete community that meets 21
st century needs for climate
positive and socially inclusive development while maintaining Waterfront Toronto’s
commitment to design excellence.

Waterfront Toronto should be commended for leadership that is providing a catalyst and
focus for discussions of digital governance policy that are long overdue. We look to its
three government sponsors to step up in support of the development of a robust
framework for data collection and policy. It is critically important for all three levels of
government that the momentum of this project, other Waterfront Toronto initiatives,
not be lost.

Waterfront for All is a community-based coalition of organizations and individuals
dedicated to preserving and enhancing the entire Toronto waterfront as a unique
natural and cultural resource for everyone to enjoy, from the Rouge River to Etobicoke
Creek.