The Planning Context

Quayside is our most recent exploration of what an innovative community by the lake can be. A 4.9-hectare (12-acre) parcel of land at the confluence of emerging neighbourhoods in the West Don LandsEast Bayfront, and the Port Lands, Quayside has the potential to create a precedent-setting approach to building affordable, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous communities.

Waterfront Toronto established the objectives for Quayside through a competitive Request for Proposals and engaged Sidewalk Labs to create a proposal for a new kind of complete community on Quayside that could serve as a model for sustainable and resilient neighbourhoods throughout Toronto and cities around the world.Quayside provides an opportunity to pilot new solutions for addressing common urban challenges that—if supported by Waterfront Toronto and the three orders of government—could be carried forward into our future revitalization efforts and other parts of the city.

Quayside is largely owned by Waterfront Toronto (4.2 hectares) and also includes lands owned by the City of Toronto (0.6 hectares), Ports Toronto, and private landowners. As an important connector between communities to the north, our downtown waterfront to the west and future developments to the east and south—including the Keating Channel and Villiers Island precincts—Quayside is a great opportunity to pilot many of Toronto’s long-standing public policy objectives.

The subject lands current configuration of ownership. Graphic provided by the City of Toronto.
The subject lands current configuration of ownership. Graphic provided by the City of Toronto.


Planning for Quayside is grounded in the objectives of the 2003 Central Waterfront Secondary Plan
, which is the district official plan for the area. Quayside also straddles two precincts—East Bayfront and Keating Channel—both of which have approved precinct plans that govern planning (2005 East Bayfront Precinct Plan  and 2010 Keating Channel Precinct Plan).There are also two approved municipal zoning by-laws that provide for about 3 million square feet of development, including up to 90% residential or about 3,000 units.

In addition, in 2017, the City of Toronto approved the Port Lands Planning Framework and Villiers Island Precinct Plan that guide and enable the future development of these areas, which are adjacent to Quayside.

Sidewalk Labs submitted their proposal in June 2019, titled the Draft Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP), which is a comprehensive plan for Quayside that also contains proposals at scale. The context area for scale explorations during the planning process is defined by the Designated Waterfront Area, as set out in the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation Act. For Waterfront Toronto’s position on Sidewalk Labs’ proposal at scale, please read this Open Letter from Waterfront Toronto’s Board Chair.