The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252


Toronto Waterfront, Toronto, CA

Creating a new public space gateway where the city kisses the lake, inspired by the sinuous contours of the shoreline of the Canadian lakefront.

The WaveDecks are a series of timber structures that explore variations of a simple articulation in the change in level between Queens Quay Boulevard and Lake Ontario along the Toronto Central Waterfront. Responding to the current pinch-points where the streetscape meets the water’s edge, the Wavedecks create new public space gateways and provide access to the waterfront, a key priority for Waterfront Toronto.

The geometry of the Spadina WaveDeck is carefully conceived using playful curves that are constantly changing to create ledges for seating and new routes to access the water’s edge. It was built in less than ten months and creates more public space along one of the most heavily used parts of the Toronto shoreline. The design allows for different vantage points and ultimately different experiences with both the lake and the city.

The Simcoe WaveDeck is as artistic as it is functional, and features an informal public amphitheatre-style space with impressive curves that soar as high as 2.6 metres above the lake. Inspired by the Canadian cottage experience and the shorelines of Ontario’s great lakes, the wavedeck is meant to give urban dwellers a feel for life at the lake.

The 480 square-metre Rees WaveDeck is an urban dock that is both a piece of art and a flexible gathering space. The form allows people to interpret the space in many different ways: the amphitheatre-like steps can be used as a passive sitting place, or as an active learning space for summer camps or the nearby sailing school.  A portion of the toe rail at the centre of the deck is removable to accommodate boarding of small boats from the wavedeck. The two 15 metre backless benches act as an elegant barrier to the water while also providing seating for users of the space.

The wavedecks were deslivered as part of the first phase of implementation of a strategic, award-winning masterplan for the Toronto Central Waterfront prepared by West 8 + DTAH. Both the Simcoe WaveDeck and the Spadina WaveDeck were built in less than eight months, and the Rees WaveDeck was built in less than 10 months. The masterplan also includes a continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk; a series of pedestrian footbridges connecting major attractions on the waterfront.

Waterfront Toronto

West 8 + DTAH

© West 8, Nicola Betts