10 lasting things from the summer in Toronto
Summer 2015 was a doozy for Toronto, bringing with it numerous enhancements that'll last long after the warm weather disappears. Whether you loved Pan Am or griped about it, the games left us with a slew of impressive legacy projects that'll help keep our city great in the years to come.
Here are the projects that'll endure after summer 2015 draws to a close.
Revitalized Queens Quay
This beleaguered thoroughfare finally got a much-need makeover and opened to pedestrians, public transit and cyclists this summer. With wider bike lanes and walkways, Queens Quay is not longer a Toronto nightmare.
While some may say it's too expensive ($27.50 one way), the Union Pearson Express, which officially opened on June 6, will comfortably whiz you from the downtown core to the Mississauga in about 25 minutes.
It's (unofficially) one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city, and it's easy to see why when its rainbow-colour lights shine into the reflecting pool. Luckily, the sign will be staying put in Nathan Phillips Square instead of touring around the city, as per the original plan.
Installed more than 10 year ago, the Luminous Veil art installation by architect Derek Revington finally sprung to life this summer. Thanks to the Pan Am Games, the Bloor Viaduct's 35,000 LED lights will now shine year round.
Island Airport Tunnel
If you're running late for a Porter flight, there's no need to wait idly for the ferry anymore. Instead, you can dash under Lake Ontario thanks to the 853-foot tunnel that finally opened up on July 30.
Scarborough Aquatic Centre
Officially known as the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatic Centre and Field House, this facility on Morningside is one of the best new venues built for the games. With two 10-lane, 50-metre pools, a diving tank and a slew of other facilities, it's a welcome addition to the city.
Aga Khan Park
Located between the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, this urban oasis provides a serene escape in the heart of midtown. Admire the greenery or meditate by the reflecting pool in this park designed by Lebanon-based landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.
Murals at Underpass Park
Underpass Park is the first public space of its kind in Toronto. The Pan Am Games Art Relay brought street artists from around the world helped transform the park's concrete pillars into colourful murals.
Extended Bike Lanes
Richmond and Adelaide Streets got dedicated bike lanes last year, but later this month the city will extend them eastward past University. And according to the city, bike trips on these streets, as well as on Simcoe, have more now more than tripled/
Sir John A. MacDonald Plaza
After years of construction, the plaza in front of Union Station opened up this summer to much fanfare, largely thanks to Front Street Foods Market. While the restaurant stalls will likely disappear come winter, we'll still get to enjoy the pedestrian plaza outside the station.
What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.
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