Community Frugal Crowd Green Videos

Finance Canada’s Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative

The following video presents “John Campbell: An update on Toronto’s waterfront revitalization:”

  • “What makes a great waterfront? John Campbell, Waterfront Toronto’s President and CEO, offers his vision for the future of the city’s revitalized waterfront. The vision focuses on creating vibrant mixed-use neighbourhoods that integrate residential, commercial and light industrial uses.
    • …Toronto’s waterfront has been abuzz with construction and we are starting to see the dramatic results.
      • New parks and public spaces like Sherbourne Common and Underpass Park have opened to the public.
      • George Brown College has opened their new waterfront campus devoted to innovative training in the health sciences.
      • New condominium developments will offer a range of housing for Torontonians of every stripe and the construction of the Athletes’ Village for the Pan/Parapan American Games in 2015 is underway.”
    • There are also a “couple of exciting projects that we will see continuing to develop over the year to come.”
      • The complete redesign and revitalization of Queens Quay is now under construction.
        • “Upon completion, Queens Quay will be transformed into a grand waterfront boulevard that is sure to become Toronto’s new signature street.”
      • Waterfront Toronto’s Intelligent Community initiative is another project that will soon begin to pay off.
        • The infrastructure to provide ultra-high-speed broadband to every residence and office in the waterfront neighbourhood is being installed.
        • “This is setting the stage for innovation and creativity as the new waterfront community continues to take shape.”
  • Waterfront Toronto is the public advocate and steward of waterfront revitalization.
    • Created by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto, it is mandated to oversee, lead and implement the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.
    • Explore the “new blue edge” at .

Waterfront Toronto's map
Waterfront Toronto’s map

Today, Finance Canada releases the report Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative (TWRI).

This Evaluation of the TWRI –  conducted by Internal Audit and Evaluation, Department of Finance Canada, between April and September 2013 – fulfills the requirement of the Financial Administration Act, section 42.1, that all programs of grants and contributions be assessed every five years.

  • As such, the evaluation examined the relevance and performance of TWRI over the fiscal years 2008–09 to 2012–13, covering a total of $269.2 million in contribution spending.
  • On October 20, 2000, the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Toronto each announced a commitment of $500 million to fund the TWRI.
    • To this end, the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC), a not-for-profit corporation, was established on November 1, 2001 to lead the waterfront renewal.
    • In addition, the Government of Canada created a federal TWRI Secretariat to oversee the federal contribution and the TWRC on its behalf.
    • The revitalization of the waterfront involves over 2,000 acres of land, and takes form in traditional city-building infrastructure such as local transportation and sewers, and in contemporary urban development such as the regeneration of ecosystems and post-industrial regions, in order to deliver economic and social benefits for the region.
      • The investment in the TWRI underlines the importance of Toronto as one of the largest commercial centers in Canada and enhances its international image as a global city.
      • The involvement and contribution of the federal government in the TWRI was needed, as it facilitated the transfer of lands and added credence to the program, which in turn elicited local interest and prompted additional investment from the private sector.
Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex E: List of Selected TWRI Projects
Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex E: List of Selected TWRI Projects

Here are some results of the Evaluation of the TWRI (Date modified: 2014-03-04).

  • The federally funded projects outlined in TWRC’s Long-term Funding Plan have been successfully implemented and completed.
    • In doing so, the polluted land in the region has been reclaimed through soil remediation, the cleanup of main pipes, and the decontamination of the land.
  • The TWRI contributed significantly to the economic development and growth in the waterfront area, which also became more accessible and usable.
  • To conduct projects effectively, the TWRC implemented a consultative approach whereby the public was regularly consulted and informed on project progress.
    • Portals on TWRC’s website were developed so that stakeholders, as well as the general public, could follow and regularly provide feedback on projects.
  • The TWRI was managed according to tri-government environmental policies that were in place at the start of the program.
    • Between 2004 and 2013, the TWRC won over 50 awards in urban design, environmental management and public consultations.
  • However, the contribution agreement approval process and the structure of the contribution agreements also created delays for some projects.
    • For example, each layer of government review considerably lengthened the approval time.
    • Also, at the federal level, the terms and conditions of the contribution agreement do not allow funding to be transferred from one project to another should there be an unexpected delay in implementation.
    • The $10 million threshold for contribution agreements, set by Treasury Board, was found to be too low for many of the TWRI projects.
    • Originally, the federal contribution to the TWRI was planned to end in 2007–08, but the program was extended and the final payment was issued in 2012–13.
      • Ultimately, this resulted in less being achieved with federal funds in comparison to what was originally planned.
Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex B: Contribution Agreement Approval Process
Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex B: Contribution Agreement Approval Process

Overall, the TWRI was found to be relevant and to have achieved its stated outcomes.

  • To further improve efficiency, future large infrastructure programs should be designed so that the mechanisms governing the tripartite system, including the approval process and the structure of the contribution agreements, allow for a balance between adequate oversight and sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of the program.

Please click here to read the complete Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative.

Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex D: Toronto Waterfront Region
Evaluation of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: Annex D: Toronto Waterfront Region


You may also want to know:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.