Toronto’s newest beach opens, David Miller suggests skinny dipping
After waiting for years for anything to happen on our derelict, post-industrial waterfront, it seems like something opens every couple months. Today’s ribbon cutting: Canada’s Sugar Beach, a new park across from the still-active (and pungent) Redpath sugar refinery, and the first section of the Water’s Edge Promenade to the east.
A gaggle of politicians was on hand to officially open the park. David Miller looked particularly uncomfortable standing next to his arch-enemy, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who reminded the assembled journalists and locals that the park is called Canada’s Sugar Beach for a reason—the feds ponied up $13 million for its construction. The most surreal moment came from Miller’s speech, when he expressed the hope that someday soon, all Torontonians would have a chance to come down and play by the waterfront, “no matter what we’re wearing, or what we’re not wearing.”
And the park itself? Designed by Claude Cormier of HTO fame, it features a sand area with pale pink umbrellas and dozens of deck chairs. An adjoining promenade has maple leaf–shaped mosaics, grassy knolls and huge rocks ideal for a picnic. The large, elegant benches that face the water invite dreamy contemplation of the lives of those lucky enough to be sailing in the middle of an August workday. Meanwhile, the water feature, similar to Dundas Square’s infamous tourist soaker, attracted a half-dozen young kids who were blithely running through the water jets while the politicos pontificated up front. Our verdict: this whole waterfront revitalization thing actually seems to be going pretty well. See the new Sugar Beach in our slide show >>