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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Simcoe Wavedeck opens ahead of schedule

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Two weeks ahead of schedule and significantly under budget, the beautiful Simcoe Wavedeck opened this morning.  With the roar of the Gardiner sounding ominously in the background, WATERFRONToronto kept the ball rolling today by opening the second of its waterfront wavedecks.

Far more radical than its Spadina counterpart, the roll on the western end of the boardwalk is so steep many people were unwilling to walk up or down it.  Even Christopher Glaisek, Vice-President of Planning and Design for WATERFRONToronto, seemed slightly nervous at the steepness of the slope, which has a guard rail only a few meters away from the bottom of the incline.

The western side of the Simcoe Wavedeck, where the slope is steepest

The hand rail that loops around the Wavedecks steeper parts

To the designer’s credit, the pedestrians brave enough to try the steepest slope found it surprisingly manageable and warning signs are nicely integrated into the deck.  Head down and try it for yourself.

Photos by Jake Schabas



  1. It’s dreaming, I know, but imagine if the rest of the Central Waterfront opened early and under budget! It looks great, and it’s great timing too, with Luminato this weekend. Can’t wait to try it out!

  2. My wife and me have been on vacation in Toronto for two weeks and we saw this awesome wavedeck. Congratulation for this idea and work!
    We would like to open Canadas first Family-Roller-Paradise in your fantastic city – have a look on

    Wolfgang Richter, Germany

  3. Checked out the wavedeck last night – it is great! Lots of people were walking up and over it and just generally enjoying the newness of it all. A bunch of kids (under 5-yrs old) were sliding down the steep slopes, which seemed like fun, and inspired a group of adults to try it… it was cool to see them laughing and giggling away sliding down the slopes! This is going to a big hit.

  4. That guardrail looks like a massive tripping hazard.

  5. Congratulations where congratulations are due. Well done, Toronto (or government agencies thereof).

  6. Thanks to West 8 and Adrian Geuze for giving us the Wave Deck!
    Kids sliding down the steeper sections, similar concept to the successful Maritime Youth House by BIG in Copenhagen. I hope it’s beauty is sustained.

  7. Just back from there today, yes, the steep sections of the wave deck are kids-magnet, lovely to so many of them having a lot of fun there. The only thing that is annonying, the guardrail at the bottom actually creates some slight hazard for those little people (one section actually cuts through the middle of slope, makes no sense at all); and the warning signs are really useful in tearing their pants. Not sure if I am the only one, but this North American sensitivity to safety and liability often seems laughable to me.

  8. The Spadina wavedeck is great but hasn’t really made a big impact on its surroundings, but I feel like the Simcoe deck has already made a big difference.

  9. the lake is far cleaner than the cesspool we’re willing to swim in in Mexico and many other places

    That makes me sad 🙁

  10. @jbee: WEST8 and DTAH (duToit Allsopp Hillier). Toronto firm who are also part of the design team. Its a team effort down there, not only the Dutch.