The West Don Lands area is a master planned neighbourhood. It has been developed under the vigilant watch of Waterfront Toronto, ensuring strict compliance to guidelines for sustainability and design. Thus resulting in a truly modern 21st Century neighbourhood. The West Don Lands project has adopted some innovative concepts from leading urban revitalization projects around the world. One of these ideas is a Woonerf. It is an innovative streetscape commonly found in many European cities. A Woonerf is designed to harmoniously integrate motorists, pedestrians and cyclists together on streets where they share one road. The road is without the traditional barrier of curbs separating the sidewalk from the street. Separation is created visually through the use of different coloured, patterned and sized cobblestones to demark pedestrian, cyclist and motorist areas. The West Don Lands neighbourhood is also home to lots of culture that can be seen in numerous public art instillations.
The West Don Lands has been carefully planned to include people of all ages who want to work, play and live in a lively community located just minutes from Toronto's downtown core. Running through the community is the award winning Don River Park. All east/west streets in the neighbourhood connect with this park, which is destined to become a signature landmark for this neighbourhood. The north/south streets will connect with pre-established roads that feed into adjacent neighbourhoods ensuring the West Don Lands community will connect to Toronto's urban core. West Don Lands will also feature a state-of-the-art high-speed broadband network in keeping with Waterfront Toronto's intelligent community initiative.
The first residents of this neighbourhood were world class who came to Toronto during the summer of 2015 to compete in the Pam Am games. The Athletes Village for the Pam Am games was situated in the heart of the West Don Lands. Now that the games have concluded the residences are being transitioned into private condominium homes.
The West Don Lands is bounded with the Don Valley Parkway running north and south, Cherry Street and Front Street running east and west, the Don Valley Parkway to the east, and Queen Street, River Street and Eastern Avenue to the North.
In the early 1800s, the West Don Lands area was known as the Town of York and was commonly referred to as “The Park”. The Park was segmented into smaller portions of land in the 1830’s. These parcels of land were sold to help finance a new provincial hospital. After this point industry occupied most of these lands, followed by residential houses to accommodate workers at the local distillery, brewery, and rail yards. Diminished railway industry in the later part of the 20th century led to the uprooting of many local factories. Thus contributing to a low point in the history of this neighbourhood in ensuing years. The West Don Lands was for the better part left neglected until 2005. At this time Waterfront Toronto's' bold revitalization plans for this neighbourhood were approved by Toronto city council. This same year the West Don Lands received the Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence in the Vision and Master Plans category. This vision has now taken shape and the area has become a beautiful community where many Torontonians desire to live.
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