New Amenities in the West Don Lands Are Shaping Up
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New Amenities in the West Don Lands Are Shaping Up

The West Don Lands are under heavy redevelopment in preparation for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Now, there's something to show for it.

It’s hard to work up an appreciation for the scale of the redevelopment that’s happening in the West Don Lands just by hearing it described. Waterfront Toronto and all its partners are in the process of transforming the area, which consists of 80 acres of former industrial land, into a mixed-use neighbourhood. There’s a deadline: the first wave of work has to be done in time for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games, so the area can serve, temporarily, as the Athletes’ Village.

Located south of King Street, between Parliament Street and the Don Valley Parkway, the West Don Lands don’t look much like a functioning neighbourhood at the moment, but the construction there is progressing. Crews are at work on over 1,000 new housing units, and there will also eventually be a student residence for George Brown College students. An 18-acre public park is also in progress.

Earlier this morning, we, along with other media, went to Cherry Street, just across from the Distillery Distrct, to check out the metal and concrete frame that will one day be one of the area’s key amenities: the Cooper Koo Family YMCA. The occasion for the tour was the building’s “topping off”—a construction term for when a project reaches its maximum height.

The finished structure will have 82,000 square feet of space filled with all the usual stuff: a gym, a pool, a fitness centre. Click through the image gallery, above, for a look at how it’s all coming along. Or click here to see some renderings of what the building (and the rest of the area) will look like when complete.

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