Video by: Brandon Bastaldo
Ever since news broke that Daniels Corporation purchased the former site of Guvernment Entertainment Complex, Torontonians have patiently waited to hear the details about what exactly would be replacing the iconic entertainment venue. On Mar. 26, The Daniels Corporation’s Senior Vice President Tom Dutton and urban design expert Ken Greenberg of Greenberg Consultants unveiled plans for the highly anticipated Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts. Also in attendance was Mayor John Tory, who made a speech about the significance Daniels’ new project holds for the city of Toronto.
Tory emphasized that Daniels Waterfront, a mixed-use complex coming to Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay, will not only change the face of the East Bayfront neighbourhood, but the city of Toronto as a whole. He noted that the development will be a key contributor to solidifying Toronto as a cultural hub, where it will facilitate new artists and start-up businesses as well as student innovation.
“Daniels Waterfront will send a message to the rest of the world about what Toronto is all about,” said Tory. “[It will be] a place where people will not just work. Not just play. Not just live [but also] study, create, and [ultimately] care about.”
By putting a large emphasis on academics and the arts, Daniels Waterfront has set a new bar by creating a space that transcends the notion of merely “live, work, play,” which, until now, has been a defining feature for trendy, urban neighbourhoods. The mixed-use complex will feature a 150,000-sq.-ft. “Creative Industries Hub” that will be home to cultural organizations including Artscape, The Remix Project and Manifesto. The Cultural Industries Hub will be built during the first phase of development.
The academic component of Daniels Waterfront, which will be built during the second phase of development, includes 240,000 sq.-ft. of post-secondary academic space for George Brown College and OCAD University.
Other highly anticipated facets of the development include a 280,000-sq.-ft. of commercial office space in two towers, which will be the new location of The Daniels Corporation Headquarters. There will also be a 650,000-sq.-ft. residential space with 900 units in two towers. Sugar beach will be extended and run along the north side of Queens Quay. Additionally, a new public space called ‘The Yard’, a pedestrian link, will feature retail, cafes and restaurants.
The event sparked a lot of excitement with respect to the new complex and the emergence of the East Bayfront neighbourhood. But most importantly, The Daniels’ Waterfront – City of the Arts is indicative of the kind of communities we can build when, to quote Mayor Tory, “development meets the creative arts.”