Why this is a great design
The Lower Don Lands are undergoing a remarkable transformation from a long-neglected, underutilized industrial area into a new urban, sustainable community. Located south of the rail corridor in the east end of Toronto’s harbour, this 125 hectare area is our most complex and ambitious project to date.
In 2007, Waterfront Toronto chose Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates as the winner of an International Design Competition to create a master vision for the Lower Don Lands. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’ winning “Port Lands Estuary” submission tackled the myriad of challenges in the Lower Don Lands redevelopment. The design featured bold moves to impressively integrate the natural and wild elements with urban placemaking, creating a spectacular vision for the area.
The centrepiece of this master plan is the re-naturalization of the Don River, which will reroute the mouth from its current location at the Keating Channel south between the ship channel and the Keating Channel. This shift will provide necessary flood protection, stimulate development and mark the Don River once again as a major waterfront feature.
The Lower Don Lands Master Plan is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2011 Excellence in Planning Award, 2009 BEX International Award for Best Futuristic Design, and the 2007 Toronto Urban Design Award.