Toronto Waterlink at Pier 27 | 43.89m | 14s | Cityzen | a—A

Since residents haven't moved in yet to Waterlink, there isn't any "local population". Perhaps it would be cheaper for the government to protect the public by buying up the incomplete Waterlink and thus keep people away from the plant.

Had the location surrounding the factory been occupied by industry, I would agree with you. If this was an old housing complex in the middle of Hamilton Harbour, nobody would allow it to remain. The fact of the matter is that downtown Toronto has grown outward to include this area. The majority use is by far residential and commercial. That is my reason for Redpath (and not nearby condos) relocating, since obviously one of them has to...allowing residential and industrial developments to coexist in the same area is reckless and foolish.
There are some other areas that handle large ships. Port Weller is a major shipping centre at the head of the Welland Canal. The cement plant in Clarington, the chemical plant in Clarkson, the late Lakeview Generating Station, and the former refinery in Oakville all have facilities to handle large ships.

I wasn't aware of Port Weller so I stand corrected on that front. However, all of the other port facilities you list seem to be operation/plant specific; that is, the port was presumably constructed for the specific operation/plant located at that site. I think this underlines my point that all things being equal, industry locates where transportation infrastructure already exists, rather than constructing new infrastructure itself, as would be the case if Redpath were to follow the examples of those sites you have listed.
Does anyone know when the City will begin work on the waterfront promenade along the West and South sides of the project? Presumably that will entail finally evicting Captain John's.
..allowing residential and industrial developments to coexist in the same area is reckless and foolish.

Why exactly would that be? Much more likely that a train will hit one of the many condos right beside the tracks and that is why they have "blast walls' on the track side and why Waterlink has a stronger wall facing Redpath.
from today

I thought the easternmost building was supposed to have a thick slab wall all along the east face.

It'll most likely be reinforced concrete masonry infill. I would imagine that would absorb an impact better while also not transferring the forces of a blast to the primary structure as directly.
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Following an invitational competition process with the advice of our art consultant, architect, and a jury of art experts and artists, we selected United Visual Artists (UVA), from London, UK, to devise artwork for Pier 27.

Comprised of young artists, lighting designers, software engineers and creative thinkers, UVA's clients include U2, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack, Vivienne Westwood and the London 2012 Olympics.

Drawing inspiration from the idea of lenses contained in lighthouses, the signature for Pier 27 will be an elegant sculptural element resting in the landscape just north of the waterfront esplanade, emanating light to signal the development. This iconic work exists as a sophisticated and modern piece of stand-alone sculpture. A second element -- tied to Phase 2 at Pier 27 -- will form a portal near Queens Quay.