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Preliminary design ideas for Toronto’s Quayside

Last week Sidewalk Toronto held a roundtable discussion here in the city and released some preliminary design ideas and strategies for Quayside. (That’s why Dan Doctoroff was talking on BNN Bloomberg.) 

I went through the full presentation this morning and below are a bunch of slides that I thought you all might find interesting.

Here is the extent of “Quayside” along the waterfront. The current land use permissions allow for about 3 million square feet of space and towers as tall as 50 storeys.

Here is a paving system being explored for the area. It is modular. It may melt snow. And perhaps most interestingly, it would allow for dynamic changes in road use throughout the day. This sort of thing already happens to a lesser degree on streets like Jarvis. This technology could take that much further.

One of their primary goals is to double Toronto’s usable outdoor hours. To do that, they are proposing simple weather shields (pictured below) and weather-responsive systems.

They are spending a lot of time thinking about the ground floor of buildings, which they are calling Stoa. The idea is to create flexible and porous spaces that respond quickly to changing needs and that integrate more seamlessly with the surrounding public realm.

There’s a lot on the potential hierarchy of the street network and how each will function for transit, conventional cars, AVs, cyclists, pedestrians, and so on. I was happy to see “laneways” as a core part of the pedestrian network. They are designed for walking speeds. Access would be restricted for things that move too quickly.

This image ties in the street grid and Stoa.

Finally, the goal is to build the neighborhood entirely out of timber, and more specifically, Canadian timber. If they follow through on this, I think it would really push adoption of this material forward in the city.

I would encourage you to check out the full package, which you can do here. I can’t wait for these projects to get underway along Toronto’s waterfront.

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