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Accelerating Innovation At The Waterfront

Accelerating Innovation At The Waterfront

As one of the longest urban lakefronts in the world, the waterfront offers unique experiences for its visitors, residents and businesses.

In the last 12 years, the waterfront has experienced accelerated growth within its residential and business community. Since 2010, it has gone from 20 000 employees and residents to 60 000+, a 66% increase in density in less than 20 years. 

Today, the waterfront is a quintessential area of growth for Toronto’s Downtown Core with a non-stop upward trajectory.

Throughout the next decade:

  • Over 60 000 square meters of commercial space will be and is in development.
  • Over 525 000 square meters of office space will be and is in development.

This vibrant part of Toronto has become a hub for innovative businesses like MaRSWPPCorus and George Brown College and is attracting major players to the waterfront like the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

The Waterfront Welcomes The Toronto Region Board of Trade

After 47 years at First Canadian Place, The Toronto Region Board of Trade has joined the waterfronts innovation district in a new 25-storey office building. 

The Toronto Board of Trade is a catalyst for business growth and connects businesses to enhance collaboration, competition, and success.

“We are quickly outgrowing our home in the financial district, where we have been for 45 years,” said Toronto Region Board of Trade president and chief executive officer Jan De Silva. “Our mission is to be a catalyst for business growth, on a global stage, and we need innovative space to do it.”

The 25-storey office building is the first step of Menkes’ 11.5-acre, 4.6-million-square-foot mixed-use community in Toronto’s waterfront Sugar Wharf district.

100 Queens Quay East Building
100 Queens Quay East, Photo Credit: Menkes

The 960, 000 square feet of class-AAA space features:

  • 38 000 square foot event space
  • 22 000 square foot outdoor terrace
  • Digital studios
  • Breakout spaces

The new state-of-the-art office space has achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

Sustainability was a key objective during the development of the office building and is a high priority for tenants like The Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Features of the building that contributed to the LEED certification include:

  • Soil Remediation to revitalize the formerly contaminated site
  • Photovoltaic solar panels to maximize energy efficiency
  • Energy-efficient light fixtures and water
  • Water conservation assets to reuse and redistribute rainwater
Waterfront Innovation Centre, Photo Credit: Menkes

The Waterfront Innovation Centre

Also developed by Menkes, the Waterfront Innovation Centre building is known for its environmental sustainability. The building complex was one of the first developments to receive the new LEED certifications. 

“We use grey water for plumbing and irrigation, we use lighting sensors [which turn lights on and off when people are there], solar panels that supply some of the building’s energy, a green roof and EnWave’s district cooling and heating system that uses lake water,” says Peter Menkes, the president of commercial/industrial at Menkes Development Ltd.

The city’s waterfront has been committed to sustainable building design since 2001. All waterfront projects must meet the waterfront’s Green Building Requirements (GBR).

The GBRs will ensure developments will achieve near zero carbon emissions, an impressive feat given that buildings account for an estimated 55% of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions today.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre is a fusion of technology and creativity – enabling innovators to meet and collaborate. 

“We want to be at the waterfront because it’s such a dynamic, exciting neighbourhood, with an amazing office environment,” said Nina Gazzola, senior vice-president for innovation hubs at MaRS an occupant at the Waterfront Innovation Center.


The Future Of The Waterfront

As the Waterfront grows, evolves, and expands – the neighbourhood continues to prosper with all of the opportunities to live, work, and play. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Waterfront and the latest events – sign up for our newsletter.

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