Queens Quay

  • Year : 2013-2015
  • Location : Toronto
  • Client : Toronto Waterfront Trust
  • Designer : West 8 (Netherlands), DTAH (Toronto)
  • Services : Construction & project management

Pedestrian-friendly showpiece highlights 240 trees

Construction Project-management

A former traffic corridor now provides a welcoming 1.7-kilometre waterfront promenade for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to providing more beauty and green space, Aldershot Landscape has also helped completely reorganize traffic: Car and streetcar lanes are together in the middle, with wider sidewalks on both sides. A multi-use recreational trail runs along the south side of the street, allowing cyclists to ride far more safely.

Granite - Royal Canadian Red, San Sebastian and Caledonian - all quarried in Quebec has been laid in two-tone patterns, to show the outlines of super-sized maple leaves in grey. Instead of curbs, changes in traffic are signalled to pedestrians by a change in the colour of paving stones.

Some 240 London Plane trees line the south-sided sidewalk in double rows. Because concrete and trees usually don’t mix well, Aldershot used silva cell technology for its planting. Silva cell is a hollow frame that contains a generous amount of soil for the tree - here, some 6,500 cubic metres - while supporting the weight of the pavement above. Built-in irrigation channels in the pavement steer rainwater to the trees’ roots.

A funky boardwalk completes the picture, showing that Queen’s quay is a pedestrian-friendly showpiece for Toronto.

After a decade of work, the central waterfront is getting the public realm that it deserves.
—Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail.

Queens Quay Gallery