Queen's Quay West
Queen's Quay is a prominent street in the Harbourfront neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The street was originally commercial in nature due to the many working piers along the waterfront. It has been extensively rebuilt in the past two decades with high-rise condominium, retail and institutional development. The road replaced both Front Street and Lake Shore Boulevard as the most southernly east-west corridor in the city when it was created reclaimed land in the inner harbour. Sometime after 1919 to the early 1920s the inner harbour was filled in and new slips were created.
Queens Quay continues to go through a significant transformation. Originally, it served as an access road for the various ports and slips in the inner harbour. However, the mainly industrial uses along Queens Quay were slowly replaced by commercial and residential uses, mainly high-rise condominiums. Between 1975 and 1979, a cluster of large, concrete towers were erected at the foot of Bay Street, south of Queens Quay; these included the Westin Harbour Castle and Harbour Square. In 1990, the 40-storey York Quay towers were built and remain the tallest buildings on Queens Quay. The scale and density of these and subsequent high-rise development along Queens Quay were criticized for blocking the lake and failing to provide a welcoming realm for visitors. In 1999, the Toronto Transit Commission opened a dedicated streetcar right-of-way in the median from Bay Street to Bathurst Street.
In 2009, Waterfront Toronto announced its plans to turn Queens Quay into a grand lakefront boulevard by placing streetcar lanes in the centre, traffic only on the north side and a pedestrian focussed space on the south side. The plan will restrict Queens Quay to two traffic lanes, on the north side of the streetcar tracks, similar to the design of the 2006 experiment. Additionally, the plan calls for the beautification and extension of the Harbourfront streetcar line along Queens Quay East between Yonge and Cherry Street. The transit right-of-way will be grass-covered.