And the bright spot?
West Don Lands has a map, capable captains and a bright future. A sustainable community with high energy efficiency and green roofs has been demanded by the local community and promised by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. Six thousand new residences, including 1,200 units of affordable rental housing, will be built over the next decade. Some historic buildings, such as the Canary restaurant and the Dominion Foundry, will be saved and integrated into the plan.
A park design by Michael Van Valkenburgh, a distinguished American landscape architect and maker of bucolic, healing landscapes like Pittsburgh's Allegheny Riverfront Park, has been commissioned by the TWRC to design the eight-hectare Don River Park, which will roll over a berm and protect the neighbourhood against flooding of the Don. Van Valkenburgh, working together with Toronto urban designers Ken Greenberg and David Leinster, may also tackle other green spaces in the area. Given the city's abusive relationship with the waterfront, it's a hallelujah moment.