parkshore toronto

Ambitious concept envisions Toronto waterfront as an architectural wonderland

A Toronto designer has come up with a spectacular speculative vision to redevelop a 1.4-kilometre stretch of the city's waterfront.

And while you're unlikely to see this concept plan come to fruition any time soon (or ever), the master-planned community envisioned to line Humber Bay with showpiece towers invites city planners, policymakers and developers to think bigger in addressing the city's critical housing supply shortage.

Toronto-based designer Brent Haynes shared his vision for his conceptual "Parkshore" community with blogTO, which he hopes will spark the imagination of the movers and shakers who plan and approve new development in the city.

parkshore toronto

The envisioned 30-acre plan wedged between High Park and Humber Bay isn't actually being proposed to the City, though Haynes' goal with the plan is to show powers that be that there is a way "to enhance housing supply without compromising on historically significant, socially vital or heavily utilized lands."

Haynes' plan achieves this by interweaving density into a stretch of Humber Bay spanning from Ellis Avenue to the Roncesvalles Pedestrian Bridge near Palais Royal — which would theoretically be doable through a redesign of the existing Lake Shore Boulevard West.

Doing so would create a seamless community that integrates existing landmarks like the Sunnyside Pavilion and Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool along Humber Bay.

parkshore toronto

Haynes tells blogTO that his plan "envisions a dynamic blend of residential, retail, community, entertainment and hotel amenities, interwoven with new parkland that seamlessly connects to the existing network of parks, bike trails, boardwalks and beaches" woven into the existing urban fabric.

parkshore toronto

Though this is all just an illustrative exercise, Haynes has fleshed out his vision with a phasing plan that would (on paper, at least) be built out across seven stages to form three distinct precincts.

This new neighbourhood would (once again, on paper) consist of over 7,500 residential units, almost a half-million square feet of retail space opportunities, and 135,000 square feet of community space, including a BMX park, tennis courts and park areas.

The building designs are envisioned as a break from conventions by Haynes, who explains how the concept is a departure "from the conventional all-glass tower aesthetic," adding that "the architectural design for Parkshore presents an ensemble of buildings that each stand out by themselves while harmoniously shaping an evolving and cohesive Toronto skyline."

Haynes says he designed the Parkshore community on five basic guiding principles, seeking an activity-based, pedestrian-centred community with calculated intensification, a sense of destination and a distinctive architectural identity.

It sure looks inspiring, but only time will tell if this vision lights a fire under the feet of developers and planners.

Photos by

Brent Haynes

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