In the third of our Waterfront Speaker Series, waterfront advocate and sailor Ron Jenkins speaks on the Toronto Island Airport and its alternative histories. In its years on the Island, the airport could have become many things. That transitional nature continues to this day.
There may soon be new storage and launch facility for paddlers in the Outer Harbour, east of Cherry Beach. Waterfront for All Chair Ed Hore filed an application with the City's Strategic Partnerships department on June 1, 2021, for a facility to be named the Toronto Paddle Centre.
The City has acknowledged our waterfront needs more space for non-motorized water craft. City Council endorsed city staffs' efforts to boost canoe and kayak storage opportunities in an unanimous show of hands on June 8, 2021. We hope the City will see the Toronto Paddle Centre application as a viable way to meet that need.
The proposed site would have parking, and allow lots of people to keep a canoe or kayak near the water.
Walter is celebrated for his work in creating Tommy Thompson Park; on May 11, he talked about his new book "Accidental Wilderness" on how the Park was created. He also presented his designs for Ontario Place and Humber Bay. Have a look at these incredible images of what Toronto's waterfront could be! The first half of Walter's slide deck is here, and the second half is here.
"During COVID-19, there’s been a surge in people paddling Toronto’s waterfront. The city wants to make access easier", says the headline of this front-page story in the Toronto Star on April 4, 2021. The story quotes WfA Chair Ed Hore (who also supplied the photographs), and highlights the efforts of Ward 14 City Councillor Paula Fletcher, who's pushing City staff to look into locations for watercraft storage.
The Star's caption on the photo above reads: "Virgil Cheung kayaks on Toronto's waterfront. The number of non-motorized watercraft used at Toronto's waterfront is rising, and the city is looking to provide more storage to community members."
The Island Airport is for sale.
Today's news seems to confirm the Airport isn't financially feasible. The Tripartite Agreement, the lease agreement governing the airport, expires in 2033. Should it be renewed? Any buyer wanting to run an airport on the Island will demand such an extension. But are there better uses of the 215 acre site? It's time for a public consultation on the future of the Airport. Our thoughts.
On March 8, 2021, Waterfront Toronto released its Marine Use Strategy report exploring Mooring (where do boats go?), Management (who does what?) and Movement (how do we get from land to water and over the water?) in and around Toronto Harbour. It's an interesting and useful study.
Ed Hore has comments. Some are general in nature ("we need a second ferry terminal to serve Toronto Island"); some relate specifically to kayaks and canoes. None necessarily reflect the views of Waterfront for All.
Urbanist Ken Greenberg and Amsterdam city planner and architect Ton Schaap kicked off our Waterfront for All Speaker Series on March 10, 2021. Both speakers gave us extraordinary insights into the possibilities of reusing and repurposing Objects Trouvé, i.e. existing buildings and structures, to revitalise urban waterfronts. We expect to host engaging speakers about every two months. Stay tuned.
Our Annual General meeting took place by Zoom on February 10, 2021. WfA Chair Ed Hore's quick run-down on 2020 is here.
We'd like to thank our three great speakers: Nancy Gaffney of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Rei Tasaka of Waterfront Toronto, and Bryan Bowen of the City of Toronto Waterfront Secretariat.