What is happening on the Toronto Foreshore?

Council wants to make the Toronto Foreshore a more inviting place for people by improving access and amenities and creating enticing destination points along the waterfront precinct from Goffet Park to Bath Street.

To do this, we will develop, with the community’s input, a Master Plan for the Toronto Foreshore, as well as exploring the opportunities for how the foreshore integrates with the proposed mixed-use commercial development on Council-owned land at the Bath Street end of the precinct.

What is a Master Plan?

A Master Plan is a document that provides the overall vision for improvements and upgrades to an area and guides the future detailed design and works for an area.  Master Plans exist for a range of areas in the City including Speers Point Park and Warners Bay Foreshore.

How will the community be involved in planning?

Council is committed to working with the community to shape Toronto’s Foreshore. This initial phase of consultation is the first opportunity for the community to have their say on the facilities, amenities and type of environment they would like to see along the Foreshore.

Further opportunities for community engagement will be available as the projects progress. There will be at least two rounds of community consultation as part of the planning work for the Foreshore. This initial round will contribute to the development of a brief for the concept design. A design consultant will be appointed to the project during the last quarter of 2018 and further community consultation to inform the detailed design will be one of the first tasks to be undertaken.

A range of community engagement methods will be used to ensure that as many community members as possible have an opportunity to participate.

What is the scope of the Master Plan works?

Council has about $9 million from developer contributions to invest in Foreshore improvements. This could include facilities such as shared pathways, playgrounds, fitness stations, boardwalks, picnic tables, barbecues, park benches, landscaping and public art, or structures to improve dining and entertainment options such as a café, restaurant or infrastructure for festivals and events.

We are also seeking feedback on how the mixed-use commercial development proposed for the site encompassed by 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row will integrate with the upgraded Toronto Foreshore precinct.

What is proposed for the Bath Street site?

The concept proposal for the Bath Street site is for a medium-density development including a mix of residential, tourist and commercial space. It will be developed with the aim of activating the area, improving pedestrian access and linkages, and creating job opportunities by stimulating tourism and economic activity.

Why has a development of this nature been proposed for this site?

The proposed development is part of a larger plan to bring people to the Toronto Foreshore. It will create a destination point linked to the main business district and enhance the City’s visitor economy by filling a need for waterfront accommodation. The development will provide a range of opportunities including accommodation, retail and dining experiences, new residential options and employment into the future through the creation of additional business opportunities.

Council already owns the land and has the expertise to deliver this project cost-effectively for our community, while retaining management of this important waterfront site. Undertaking projects that provide long-term financial return allows Council to fund other infrastructure, services and facilities for the community.

Why is Council seeking to undertake a commercial development?

Lake Macquarie City Council has a long history of undertaking successful commercial endeavours such as property development within our LGA to meet planning objectives.

The proposed Bath Street development is consistent with planning principles outlined in Council strategies and the City Values: it will contribute to economic diversification, broaden our tourism offering, increase housing choice and enhance the vibrancy and character of the town centre.

How will public access to the waterfront be affected?

Council is seeking to improve public access to what is an under-used part of the waterfront through the development of the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan. Currently, access to a large part of the Toronto Foreshore between Edward Gain Park and Bath Street is restricted, with no formal pathways and many sections that are uneven and overgrown.

More than 90 per cent of the Foreshore land will remain open public space under Council’s plans and the Foreshore will become a more accessible and enjoyable area that complements its picturesque lakeside location.

Less than 10 per cent of the land area is intended for the proposed development project. A foreshore buffer in front of the building will ensure public access is retained.

What will happen to the Heritage Hunter Water Sewer Pump on 1B Victory Row?

Council is liaising with Hunter Water to determine the most appropriate outcome for this asset.  The options will be investigated in more detail once Council commences detailed design and master planning of the Foreshore.

Will the Aboriginal community be consulted on the proposal?

Yes, the traditional owners of the land have been consulted as part of the preliminary investigations and will continue to have input into Council’s plans for the area.

Did any consultation occur prior to Council’s decision in April 2018 to develop a concept proposal for the development site?

Council undertook preliminary investigations and feasibility studies into uses of the site in order to prepare a report for Councillors. This involved engagement and discussion with some stakeholders within the community, including local landholders, tourism operators and traditional land owners.

Council often undertakes feasibility studies for projects across the Local Government Area. If projects are deemed to be potentially viable, plans are then developed in greater detail and extensive community consultation is undertaken at this stage.

What will happen next with the proposed mixed-use development?

Council has approved the development of a concept design for the Bath Street site. A design firm will be engaged and The community will have further opportunity to provide feedback on this proposal once the project reaches the Development Application stage. The project will be determined independently of Council by the Regional Planning Panel.

To prepare for the design process, Council will undertake survey work, location of services infrastructure and preliminary geotechnical studies on the site.

Geotechnical investigations are scheduled for August-September 2018. Between six and eight holes will be drilled to assist in determining the quality of the foundation and the presence of any soil contaminants.

What are the time frames associated with the improvement works on the foreshore?

It is anticipated that the Master Plan will be  prepared and adopted by Council by end of June 2019. Detailed design and relevant approvals are expected to be completed during 2019/2020.  A staged construction program will follow over several years.