Queens Quay W in Toronto

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Queen's Quay is a prominent street in the Harbourfront neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The street was originally commercial in nature due to the many working piers along the waterfront. It has been extensively rebuilt in the past two decades with high-rise condominium, retail and institutional development.


The road replaced both Front Street and Lake Shore Boulevard as the most southerly east-west corridor in the city when it was created on reclaimed land in the inner harbour. Sometime after 1919 to the early 1920s the inner harbour was filled in and new slips were created.

Queens Quay continues to go through a significant transformation. Originally, it served as an access road for the various ports and slips in the inner harbour. The street between Yonge Street and Parliament Street was home to storage buildings devoted to trade on the Saint Lawrence Seaway, major industries such as the Redpath Sugar Refinery and Victory Mills, as well as small commercial enterprises. However, the mainly industrial uses along Queens Quay were slowly replaced by commercial and residential uses, mainly high-rise condominiums. Between 1975 and 1979, a cluster of large, concrete towers were erected at the foot of Bay Street, south of Queens Quay; these included the Westin Harbour Castle and Harbour Square. In 1990, the 40-storey York Quay towers were built and remain the tallest buildings on Queens Quay.. The scale and density of these and subsequent high-rise development along Queens Quay were criticized for blocking the lake and failing to provide a welcoming realm for visitors. In 1999, the Toronto Transit Commission opened a dedicated streetcar right-of-way in the median from Bay Street to Bathurst Street.

In 2001, the city planners set out to improve Queens Quay by reclaiming public space for pedestrians and cyclists. This resulted in the Waterfront Toronto Central Waterfront Public Realm International Design Competition, which was completed in 2006. In August 2006, the city closed the two eastbound lanes, replacing them with bike lanes and additional pedestrian space. The experiment resulted in an improved public realm and more visitors to the overall waterfront area.

In 2009, Waterfront Toronto announced its plans to turn Queens Quay into a grand lakefront boulevard by placing streetcar lanes in the centre, traffic only on the north side and a pedestrian focused space on the south side. The plan will restrict Queen’s Quay to two traffic lanes, on the north side of the streetcar tracks, similar to the design of the 2006 experiment. Additionally, the plan calls for the beautification and extension of the Harbourfront streetcar line along Queen’s Quay East between Yonge and Cherry Street. The transit right-of-way will be grass-covered.


Queen's Quay is served by two streetcar lines, operating on a dedicated right-of-way. The 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina both terminate at Union Station and run along Queen's Quay from Bay Street, westward. At Spadina Avenue, the 510 heads north to Spadina Station, and the 509 continues west, bound for the Exhibition Loop.

Plans to add a streetcar line on the eastern end on Queen's Quay are currently (as of February 2007) the subject of a class environmental assessment. Various bus routes currently serve portions of the eastern portion of Queen's Quay: the 6 Bay operates from Bay Street to Jarvis Street, the 75 Sherbourne operates from Jarvis Street to Sherbourne Street, and the 97 Yonge and 320 Yonge Blue Night buses operate from Bay Street to Yonge Street.


Landmark Cross street Notes Image
HMCS York Bathurst Canadian Forces Naval Reserve Division
Tip Top Tailors Building Bathurst industrial building converted to condominium lofts
Little Norway Park Bathurst
Canada Malting Silos Bathurst Abandoned storage silos
Walter Carsen Centre Spadina headquarters of the National Ballet of Canada
Empire Sandy Spadina
HTO Park Spadina
Harbourfront Centre Lower Simcoe a cultural centre built by the federal government as part of the Harbourfront Park development
Queen's Quay Terminal York a cold storage warehouse facility turned into condos
Queens Quay Station Bay Underground LRT station
Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Bay
World Trade Centre Yonge
Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant Yonge Restaurant on a permanently docked boat
One Yonge Street Yonge Toronto Star headquarters
Redpath Sugar Refinery Jarvis Last active industrial site along the quay
The Guvernment Jarvis night club
Sugar Beach Jarvis
Corus Quay Jarvis Home of Corus Entertainment and first major development in the East Bayfront District
Victory Soya Mills Silos Parliament Abandoned industrial silos

Quays/Slips along Queen's Quay

Listed from west to east

  • Bathurst Quay (Éireann Quay) - see Ireland Park and Canada Malting Silos
  • Spadina Quay
  • Peter Street Slip
  • Maple Leaf Quays
  • Rees Street Slip
  • John Street Quay
  • Simcoe Street Slip
  • York Quay
  • York Street Slip
  • Harbour Square
  • Yonge Street Slip
  • Pier 27
  • Jarvis Street Slip - now Corus Quay
  • Redpath Slip
  • Parliament Street Slip

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen's_Quay_(Toronto)