The Lower Don Lands are in for a major transformation in the next decade. The expansive 5.5 hectare/13.5 acre chunk of land south of the Gardiner Expressway is currently a disused post-industrial landscape, but new development will be expanding Toronto’s growing Downtown Waterfront communities to the east, and creating new public realm for the city of Toronto too. 

3C Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown Toronto3C Waterfront Project, image by Foster + Partners

The new development, with a working title of 3C Waterfront, will transform a major portion of the land where the Don River meets Toronto Harbour. 3C Lakeshore Inc., a joint venture by partners Cityzen Development Group, Castlepoint Realty Partners, both of Toronto, and Continental Ventures Realty of New York, will develop the site. The 3C site, positioned between Cherry Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East, is the largest contiguous tract of land on Toronto’s East Bayfront. The project is designed to be a mixed-use urban development adding 2.4 million square feet of residential, commercial, office, retail, and parking space to the waterfront. The overall vision of the project is to expand Toronto’s waterfront to the east by creating a vibrant community space, a gateway to the revitalized Port Lands, and integrating nearby communities into continuous urbanity. 

3C Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown Toronto3C Waterfront Site Plan, image by Claude Cormier + Associates

Lead designer on the 3C Lakeshore site is renowned London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners. The Design Team for the project is also made up of award winning architects Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance, Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB of Toronto, and Landscape Architect Claude Cormier of Montreal. Although no detailed designs of individual buildings have been released yet, various site plans and renderings from Claude Cormier + Associates, along with the overall rendering at the top of the article from Foster + Partners, show the potential of the 3C Lakeshore site.

3C Lakeshore Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown Toronto3C Waterfront Connections, image by Claude Cormier + Associates

3C Lakeshore Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown TorontoLinking 3C Waterfront and the Distillery District: the Red Brick Promenade, image by Claude Cormier + Associates

Future expansion of the Queens Quay streetcar line and vastly improved connections to nearby neighborhoods will make the 3C Lakeshore site easily accessible. One of the most notable links planned is the Red Brick Promenade, a large concourse and passageway running north and south under the rail corridor, which will connect the 3C Lakeshore site with the popular Distillery District, in that district's signature material.

3C Lakeshore Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown Toronto3C Waterfront Harbour View, image by Claude Cormier + Associates

Prominent on the water's edge of 3C Waterfront will be Whisky Beach, the third urban beach on Toronto Harbour, occupying the south-west corner of the site. The arrangement of the urban beach results in a triangular space, neighboring the tree-lined Water’s Edge Promenade that will run along the southern perimeter of the site. Neighbouring the beach and promenade will be Trinity Plaza, a large public square accented by a large amber-coloured fountain 'Whisky Fountain', a commemoration of the area's history as a port for the Gooderham and Worts distillery, and which will act as an accent mark along Lake Ontario.

3C Lakeshore Waterfront Project at Lower Don Lands in Downtown TorontoTrinity Plaza & Whisky Fountain, image by Claude Cormier + Associates

To view more renderings and master plans of the project, visit the 3C Waterfront project dataBase page linked below, or choose the associated Forum thread to get in on the discussion.