Five finalists unveil designs for new Toronto ferry terminal

by | Mar 16, 2015 | News

Ferries docked at the Jack Layton Harbourfront Terminal. (Courtesy of

Ferries docked at the Jack Layton Harbourfront Terminal. (Courtesy of

By Edward Bayley

The five finalists of the Innovative Design Competition unveiled their designs for the proposed revamp of the Jack Layton Harbourfront Terminal on Monday.

The five design proposals can be viewed on the Waterfront Toronto website and can also be seen in the Rotunda at Toronto City Hall for the remainder of the week.

From now until 12 a.m. on March 21, the public can give feedback on the designs and take a survey that will influence the final decision of a winner.

Director of marketing and communications for Waterfront Toronto, Andrew Hilton, told Humber News the winner should be decided in late March or early April.

He said that the project has not yet been funded though.

“There is no funding to build it, there is a bit of funding available to advance some of the design work,” said Hilton, and that once a winner is picked the project would still require approval from city council.

Toronto city councillor for ward 28 and deputy mayor Pam McConnell said she doesn’t see the project running into any issues getting funded.

“I think there is a lot of people, private individuals and unions, who wish to invest in this park and there is also public money available through redevelopment,” McConnell told Humber News Monday.

A five person jury has been selected to pick the winner along with members of the public.

They will be presented with a summary of the public’s feedback before they make the final decision.

McConnell said the current Ferry Terminal has a number of issues.

“It’s a very difficult place to get away from the Winter or the heat in the Summer,” she said.

She also said “the flow isn’t very organized so quite often people are very bunched up with their strollers and their bikes.”

“People feel like they’re cattle in a pen.” said McConnell

She said the most important components of the new design should make the terminal “attractive and vibrant,” and connect with the walkway along the harbour which is blocked by the current terminal layout.

McConnell said the terminal is named after Jack Layton so it should represent his “emotional attraction” to the island and also be an art centre as well as a gathering place.

The councillor told Humber News she hadn’t yet seen any of the proposed designs because she wanted to see them when the public did, and although she hasn’t chosen a favourite yet, she said she plans to “listen to what people have to say about it, that’s how Jack would have done it.”

The ferries take passengers and vehicles to Centre Island, Hanlan’s Point and Ward’s Island throughout the year.

The full ferry schedule can be found here.

Taking a ferry costs nothing for anyone under the age of two, but between $3.50 and $7 for anyone else and costs $100 for small vehicles and $125 for large ones.

Presentations on each of the designs will be given at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Jack Layton Harbourfront Terminal was renamed on the second anniversary of Jack Layton’s death. Layton was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and died in Aug. 2011.