Public Meetings Information Hub

Villiers Island Density Study

A Public Meeting was held on June 19thwatch a recording here

You can read a summary of the meeting, Q&As, and the results of the survey here – read the summary

Port Lands Flood Protection opens 240 hectares of underused post-industrial land for development near downtown. Villiers Island is the first new community to be developed in the Port Lands and will be surrounded by vast green spaces and parks. This creates an opportunity to build more housing, including affordable housing.

Given this, the City of Toronto, CreateTO and Waterfront Toronto are tasked with finding ways to increase density that don’t compromise the vision set by the Villiers Island Precinct Plan and Port Lands Planning Framework for a sustainable, complete community.

As we consider options for increasing density on Villiers Island, we need stakeholder and public input to make sure we’re upholding the shared vision for Villiers Island developed through consultation, as well as updating plans as appropriate to reflect their experiences and priorities.

Check out the video backgrounders for this meeting.

How To Participate

  • Details on how to join the meeting can be found below in our How To Guide.
  • If you are unable to join the live meeting, the materials and presentations will be available on this webpage.
  • A recording of the live Q & A will be available after the meeting.
  • Be respectful. Waterfront Toronto is an inclusive public organization. Profane or abusive language, as well as racist or other forms of discriminatory, prejudicial, or hateful comments and questions will not be tolerated.
  • Be brief and limit yourself to one question or comment at the time, there will be other opportunities to engage.

 

What if I did not get a chance to ask my question during the meeting?

  • You can always send your comments and questions to us at [email protected] after the meeting. A member of the project team will contact you with answers to your questions.

 

Will the meeting be recorded? How can I have access to the recording?

  • Yes, the meeting will be recorded. We post recordings of our public meetings on our YouTube channel.

 

How will Staff decide the order of participants who ask questions?

  • Questions will be answered in the order they were received. The moderator will read your question and may skip the ones that have already been answered.

BACKGROUND MATERIALS

The guidelines for buildings, roads and more on Villiers Island are in the Villiers Island Precinct Plan. The Villiers Island Precinct Plan was adopted by Toronto City Council in October 2017, along with the Port Lands Planning Framework, which sets the long-term vision for the Port Lands. As part of the planning process to finalize the Villiers Island Precinct Plan, we collaborated with the City of Toronto to consult the public.

June 19th Public Meeting Recording

Background Material

Design Considerations for Villiers Island

Port Lands Flood Protection: Creating the Foundation for Villiers Island

New Housing on Villiers Island

Planning Context for Villiers Island

This project that will re-naturalize the mouth of the Don River and create a new river valley through the Port Lands. When this project is complete, Toronto will have a new island, new parks and green spaces and new roads and bridges – the foundation for future communities just minutes from downtown.

Learn more about what we’re building here.

Background Materials:

On Friday, May 12, 6pm-8pm, we held a panel discussion and public forum on the value of play. Check back here soon for materials from that event.

The Lake Shore Boulevard East project combines some elements of the Port Lands Flood Protection with some elements of the City of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration projects. It includes removing the Gardiner Expressway ramps to Logan Avenue, rebuilding the bridge over the Don River, and realigning Lake Shore Boulevard from Don Roadway to Carlaw Avenue and adding more green space and bike lanes. Learn more.

Ramp removal is now complete. The next stage of work is rebuilding Lake Shore Boulevard from Don Roadway to Carlaw Avenue.

Changes to the Lake Shore Bridge over the Don River are required as part of both Port Lands Flood Protection and the City of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration (Gardiner East) project, and the overlapping projects have been combined to reduce the cost and duration of construction. This work includes removing the Logan Ramps at the east end of the Gardiner Expressway, rebuilding the roadway between Cherry St. and Carlaw Ave., new sidewalks, bike facilities and landscaping. Learn more about the Lake Shore Boulevard East project here.

Learn more about the Lake Shore Boulevard East roads and public realm designs.

Background Materials:

Past Meetings: 

December 2021: Councilors Townhall

Toronto City Councilor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 Toronto – Danforth, and Toronto City Councillor Brad Bradford, Ward 19 Beaches – East York, held a community townhall about the Lake Shore Boulevard East project on December 8, 2021.

 

October 2021

We held a live meeting on October 6 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. to learn more about the Port Lands Flood Protection and Lake Shore Boulevard East projects.

At this meeting, we made the following presentations:

  1. What the Future Holds
  2. Project Overview: Port Lands Flood Protection
  3. Project Overview: Lake Shore Boulevard East
  4. Lake Shore Boulevard East Construction Update: Gardiner Ramps
  5. Upcoming Construction Overview: Rebuilding Lake Shore
  6. Closures & Detours: Roads, Cycling and Pedestrian Facilities
  7. What We’ve Heard & How We’ve Responded to Feedback
  8. Next Steps, Q&A

Presentation (view a PDF of the slides here)

Q&A

To read the meeting summary, including answers to all of the questions we didn’t have time to answer, please click here.

Since the meeting, we have gotten more feedback from people who cycle about the detour routes for the Lower Don Trail and multi-use trail along Lake Shore Boulevard East. We will ensure that there is a safe complete detour in place before we close these trails again in December 2021.

The three main concerns that cyclists are raising are:

  • Physical protection
    • We will replace traffic barrels and bars with concrete jersey barriers to provide separation between people who cycle and vehicles. These will all be installed before the trail closes.
  • Clear signage
    • Signage is in place according to the plans developed in consultation with the City of Toronto and cycling community. We are continuing to ride the site and will make more changes if needed.
  • Puddles, mud, and snow
    • EllisDon is working with the City of Toronto to address puddles and ensure snow is removed during the winter months. Crews are assigned to keep the detour routes clear of mud and debris.

 

August 2021

We held a live meeting on August 5 from 1 – 3 p.m. to learn more about the Port Lands Flood Protection and Lake Shore Boulevard East projects.

At this meeting, we made the following presentations:

  1. Port Lands Flood Protection construction update
  2. Lake Shore Boulevard East project overview and construction timelines

Presentation:

View the presentation slides here.

A live Q & A was held during the meeting on August 5. The recording can be viewed below.

Read the meeting summary here.

 

December 2020

We held a live meeting on December 4, 2020 to learn more about the Port Lands Flood Protection project.

At this meeting, we made the following three presentations:

  1. Overall project update from Waterfront Toronto, including construction updates.
  2. Final design update on the river valley and parks from Michael van Valkenburgh and Associates.
  3. Design update for public realm improvements on Lake Shore Boulevard East from West8 and Entuitive.

Read the meeting summary here.

What’s happening on Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway?

As of August 31, 2021, the Logan Ramps at the east end of the Gardiner were permanently closed. This work is part of a much larger project to reconfigure the Gardiner, make space for new communities, and improve Lake Shore Boulevard East and create flood protection for the Port Lands.

Additional work to improve Lake Shore Boulevard East will start in February 2022 and is expected to last until 2025. During this phase, Lake Shore Boulevard East will remain open with lane restrictions. See more details about what to expect along Lake Shore here.

This work will create new space that will accommodate bike lanes, pedestrian paths and a new linear park, and allow for the re-design and naturalization of the Don River, which will be a critical element for future flood protection of the Port Lands.

 

Why is this happening now?

Removal of the Gardiner/Logan ramp and rebuilding of Lake Shore Boulevard East was approved by City Council as part of the Gardiner East project in 2016. This design for the rehabilitated Gardiner Expressway was determined through an Environmental Assessment that included consultation with members of the public. You can learn more about the City’s Gardiner East project here: Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration – City of Toronto

Waterfront Toronto is implementing this work now as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection (PLFP) project, which is already under construction.

Why now? Both the PLFP and Gardiner East projects require changes to the Lake Shore Bridge over the Don River. Lengthening the Lake Shore Bridge is a critical element of PLFP’s design for flood protection. The Gardiner East design requires that the Lake Shore Bridge be widened to accommodate the expected increase in traffic resulting from the planned removal of the overhead Gardiner/Logan ramps. The wider bridge will also make space for new cycling and pedestrian paths and more landscaping, including a linear park.

PLFP is well underway and it’s now time to start widening the Don River north of Lake Shore Boulevard and west of Don Roadway. This means starting work on the Lake Shore Bridge now.

To speed up the completion of new public spaces and cycling connections and reduce cost and risk, the City and Waterfront Toronto agreed to incorporate some elements of the approved Gardiner East project into the PLFP project. This means that in addition to lengthening the bridge, we’ll also widen it. At the same time, we’ll remove the Gardiner/Logan ramps and rebuild Lake Shore Boulevard from the Bridge to Carlaw Avenue.

 

What are you doing to reduce traffic?

We recognize the challenges and inconveniences construction presents to local communities. While some construction projects cannot be changed or delayed, we minimize impacts as best we can.

Here are some of the ways Waterfront Toronto, working with the City of Toronto, is reducing construction impacts for the Lake Shore Boulevard East project:

  • Coordinating with the City of Toronto and outside agencies such as Metrolinx and Toronto Hydro to identify their construction needs and avoid overlapping road closures as much as possible
  • Changes to lane configuration and traffic signal timing to keep traffic moving
  • Reconstruction at certain intersections and ramps to the Gardiner Expressway to improve the flow of traffic during construction
  • Fully separated cycling facilities on all detour routes
  • Listening to your feedback and making changes wherever possible to keep improving our plans to minimize disruptions

 

We have a Traffic Management Plan for the Lake Shore Boulevard East project that aims to address issues that come up as best we can. It is a live document that is being evaluated and revised as the project progresses. The project team has been soliciting feedback from the public and our Construction Liaison Committee made up of affected residents and businesses, as well as monitoring traffic in and around the construction zone. To address any significant impacts, we will continue to adjust the traffic signal timings and traffic signal coordination as required.

 

When/where are the new ramps being built?

The long-term plan is for the Logan on/off ramps to be replaced with ramps east of Cherry Street as part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing Gardiner East Project. You can learn more about the Gardiner East Project here: Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration – City of Toronto.

The realigned Gardiner and new Cherry Street ramps are in design now and construction tentatively scheduled to start in 2026. The City of Toronto will share more information regarding Gardiner realignment and new ramp construction starting after the completion of this project as it becomes available.

 

Are you undoing all the work they just finished on the Gardiner between Jarvis and Cherry Streets?

No, that work was completed as part of the Gardiner Rehabilitation. The ramps we removed were further east.

 

How do I get on the Gardiner from the East End now?

The recommended route is to continue along Lake Shore Boulevard and get on at the Jarvis onramp.

We know that traffic getting to the Jarvis Onramp has been frustrating, and we’re working with the City of Toronto to implement solutions. For example, traffic agents are stationed at the intersection and black and orange traffic cones have been added to help reduce the lane cutting.

Our Traffic Management Plan for the Lake Shore Boulevard East project aims to address issues like this as best we can. It is a live document that is being evaluated and revised as the project progresses.

The long-term plan is for the Logan on/off ramps to be replaced with ramps east of Cherry Street as part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing Gardiner East Project. You can learn more about the Gardiner East Project here: Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration – City of Toronto.

I’m a cyclist, how do I get around?

You can see the detour routes on the construction page.

 

What’s happening with the bike detours?

The Lower Don Trail south of Corktown Common, and the multi-use trail along Lake Shore Boulevard East are now closed.  There is a safe and complete detour in place. We’re working with the City of Toronto to address puddles and ensure snow is removed during the winter months. Crews are assigned to keep the detour routes clear of mud and debris as much as possible. For more detailed information on the bike detours, including maps, please see the construction page.

 

When will I be able to ride my bike over the river again?

The new Lake Shore Bridge will include cycling facilities that will connect the trail along Lake Shore Boulevard East to the west side of the river. It will be complete in 2025.

 

Are the bike detours being maintained in the winter?

City of Toronto Transportation Services will be providing winter maintenance on the cycling facilities as per City Council approved Levels of Service. The detour will fall under the ‘cycle track’ bike lane category. For any issues regarding winter maintenance, please contact 311.