Have you checked out the newly revamped Queens Quay yet? You may not recognize it – and that’s a really good thing.
After nine years of planning and construction, the once ugly, concrete-filled street has underdone a long overdue transformation.
On Friday evening, hundreds of people were there to witness the cutting of a 650-metre ribbon that stretched the length of Queens Quay from east of Bay Street to west of Lower Spadina. The new Queens Quay was then officially in business.
Changes include a widened pedestrian promenade, new greenery, sitting areas and benches, a streetcar right-of-way, a new bike lane, and a paved extension of the Martin Goodman trail.
For a city that sits on a massive lake, so many of us rarely took advantage of it in the past thanks to the waterfront’s drab appeal (and the daunting walk under the Gardiner Expressway).
Of course, the project came with a price to pay for Toronto residents at a time when traffic and city constriction is more maddening than ever. Surrounding residents and business owners were forced to deal with noise, dust, road closures, and constant construction as the project was underway. It also came with a hefty price tag – at $128.9 million, the project ended up going more than $35 million over budget.
That said, it was certainly worth it (and you’ll think so too when you find yourself there on your next summer Sunday funday).
If you’ve yet to check it out, you may want to do so now before the Pan Am invasion is in full force.