RFP: Innovation/funding partner for 12-acre waterfront revitalization (Toronto, Ontario)

Quayside is an approximate 4.9-hectare (12-acre) redevelopment site situated along Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s eastern waterfront, within walking distance of the vibrant central business district.

Waterfront Toronto is looking for an Innovation and Funding Partner to help create and realize an unparalleled vision for Quayside, and to materially contribute to project funding. When complete, Quayside is envisioned as an exemplary waterfront community that achieves precedent-setting standards of sustainability, resiliency, innovation, inclusivity and design excellence.

As Toronto’s downtown experiences sustained population and job growth, the city’s post-industrial waterfront is transforming into a compelling destination with a number of high-quality residential, commercial and academic developments, best-in-class technology infrastructure and vibrant public and cultural spaces.

Quayside Development Block 2017-01-27

At 4.9 hectares (12 acres), Quayside is ideally suited to pilot new solutions – such as emerging infrastructure models, building technologies and industry partnerships – to common urban challenges, including the imperative to address climate change and the increasing disparity in housing affordability. Our aim is to establish Quayside as an international showcase that will validate innovative solutions for inclusive housing, improved energy conservation and carbon reduction, resiliency, job growth and design excellence.

There will be an Optional Briefing Session on March 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET (approximately 2 hours) at Waterfront Toronto’s Office (20 Bay Street, Suite 1310, Toronto, ON, M5J 2N8). Proponents who intend to participate in this meeting, either in person or via Skype for Business 2015, should notify Waterfront Toronto immediately by email to: quayside@waterfrontoronto.ca.

The RFP submission deadline is April 27, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET (local time).


As cities around the world face pressing challenges in developing more sustainable, accessible, inclusive and prosperous communities, Waterfront Toronto has launched a process to create a new precedent-setting waterfront community called Quayside. The aim is to establish Quayside as a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes that will address these challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide.

Toronto is the fastest growing large metropolitan area in North America. As the downtown core experiences sustained population and job growth, demand for space continues to outpace supply. In response, the city’s post-industrial waterfront is transforming into a compelling destination with a number of high-quality residential and commercial developments, best-in-class technology infrastructure, and vibrant public spaces. At the same time, many challenges confront us; climate change is a reality that must be addressed; there is a backlog of critical infrastructure; urban mobility is a growing challenge; there is an increasing disparity in housing affordability – particularly for working class families; government funding is constrained; and, new technologies are changing the employment market. The question is: how can our efforts advance innovative solutions to these challenges that both fulfill Waterfront Toronto’s mandate and produce new regional, national and global city-building models?

Today, Waterfront Toronto released a Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at selecting an innovation and funding partner for Quayside that will join with us in advancing ambitious, high-level objectives, including:

  • Sustainability, Resiliency and Urban Innovation: Create a globally significant demonstration project that advances a new market model for climate-positive urban developments. Pilot, on a large scale, leading sustainability and resiliency practices that address local, national and global carbon emission reduction targets. Incorporate technology advancements that enhance efficiencies and improve the overall quality of life for citizens, employees, students and visitors to the area;
  • Complete Communities: Establish a complete community that emphasizes quality of place, and provides a range of housing types for families of all sizes and income levels within a robust mix of uses, including public open space, culture, recreation, retail, education-related activities and offices;
  • Economic Development and Prosperity: Provide a testbed for Canada’s cleantech, building materials and broader innovation-driven sectors to support their growth and competitiveness in global markets; and
  • Partnership and Investment: Develop a new partnership model that ensures a solid financial foundation, manages financial risk and secures revenue.

Quayside will provide a significant opportunity to generate prosperity by continuing to build the emerging technology-based economic hubs on the waterfront, including employers and job creators in the green technology, film and television production, digital media and information technology sectors. Quayside will also benefit from Canada’s first open-access, ultra-high-speed broadband community network, which is currently giving residential and business users access to advanced fibre-optic technology that delivers internet connection speeds that are exponentially faster than standard networks.

The RFP seeks a partner which will help create and realize an unparalleled vision for Quayside, and to materially contribute to project funding. The partner could be an individual organization, a joint venture, consortium or other legal arrangement. The fair, open and transparent process – which includes advice from a committee of external subject matter experts and approval by Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors – is anticipated to select a partner by mid-summer, to be followed by negotiations between Waterfront Toronto and the successful partner on the longer-term vision for Quayside. In subsequent stages, Waterfront Toronto and the Partner will engage the market more broadly to secure infrastructure design and delivery partners, as well as development partners.

About Waterfront Toronto:

Waterfront Toronto was established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Toronto in 2001 to oversee and lead the renewal of the city’s waterfront. Our mandate is to deliver a revitalized waterfront that brings together the most innovative approaches to sustainable urban redevelopment, excellence in urban design, real estate development and leading technology infrastructure.

Working with the community, and with public and private-sector partners, Waterfront Toronto creates sustainable mixed-use communities anchored by dynamic parks and public spaces that offer a high quality of life for residents, employees, and visitors alike. We are transforming the waterfront for the use and enjoyment of the people of Toronto, Ontario and Canada, to foster economic growth and to redefine how the city, province and country are perceived by the world.

Spanning 800 hectares (2,000 acres), the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is the largest urban redevelopment project currently underway in North America, and is one of the largest waterfront revitalization efforts ever undertaken globally. To date, Waterfront Toronto and its partners have invested over $4 billion in new parks and public spaces, critical infrastructure and the development of new mixed-use communities.

All images courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

See full RFP information.


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