Before Waterfront Toronto was created, governments and agencies had debated the fate of the over 2,000 acres of waterfront for decades—and made very little headway. In its 20 years the Corporation has resolved the legacy issues and built momentum in the right direction. Waterfront revitalization is not just about real estate. It is about the long game, economically. The idea is to combine amazing waterfront lands, private investment, and thoughtful public policy to create a quality of life so exceptional it will help Toronto attract people and capital for the next century.
The first job of the corporation was to be an early-stage risk taker and took the lead to deliver enabling (horizonal) infrastructure to crowd-in private development investment. The significant infrastructure investments have delivered world-class parks and public spaces and attracted talent, diversity, investment, and innovation. Waterfront Toronto’s Minimum Green Building Standards have led the acceptance of LEED (and the delivery of a LEED Platinum residential building this January) when the green-design program was in its infancy. It approaches buildings as 100-year infrastructure, not as five-year investments and makes resilience, health and environmental responsibility integral to the neighbourhood planning process.
Opening remarks by Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade and Richard Joy, Executive Director, ULI Toronto.
Moderator: Denise Pinto, Innovation Manager & Lead Design Facilitator, Accenture
Marcy Burchfield, VP, Economic Blueprint Institute, Toronto Region Board of Trade
Bruce Katz, Co-Founder, The New Localism Advisors
George Zegarac, CEO, Waterfront Toronto
This event has been made free courtesy of the Waterfront BIA.