At a time when the idea of savouring sunshine and beachy vibes couldn't sound more inviting, Waterfront Toronto has announced plans to develop the Parliament Slip into a "waterfront destination."

Aiming to provide visitors to the area "new access to the water," Monday's announcement details several features that would up the ante at Toronto's harbour.

“Parliament Slip is our chance to create an exciting experience on the water for all types of marine activity," said Waterfront Toronto CEO George Zegarac. 

"Our plan promises to deliver new kayak and canoe launches, lakeside pools and open water swimming opportunities, a floating restaurant, new mooring facilities with charging stations for electric marine craft, and a waterfront amphitheatre for people to enjoy views of the harbour activity."

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Stemming from Waterfront Toronto's 2020 Marine Use Strategy update -- a plan to create an active, safe and accessible harbour -- the vision for the Parliament Slip provides a complete view of harbour activities. Its recommendations speak to the movement of people onto and around the water, mooring opportunities for recreational and commercial vessels, and overall management that will meet user needs.  

“Toronto was born on the waterfront but industry forced it to turn its back from the lake. With today’s announcement we are fulfilling our promise to reorient the city back to the water,” Zegarac said. 

In June of 2019, Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with City of Toronto, PortsToronto, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, began the work which resulted in the update to the 2020 Marine Use Strategy.

The original draft of the strategy was released more than 10 years ago.

Now, the harbour is embracing an influx of activity, from major commercial real estate transactions to all-weather art exhibits, and the area's popularity is only expected to increase as the return to downtown is nigh.

“Great waterfronts around the world have distinct defining features. Memorable design, welcoming public spaces, the ability to serve recreational and transportation needs, waterfront dining and retail options, and cultural attractions,” said Chris Glaisek, Chief Planning and Design Officer for Waterfront Toronto.  

“Parliament Slip is where we can bring all of these features to life, create a more active and inclusive destination for everyone, and build a lasting connection between Toronto and the waterfront that we can showcase to the world."

Waterfront Toronto says its team will continue to work with residents, business owners, the city's Indigenous community, as well as environmental and recreational groups as they work to implement the strategy's recommendations.