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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

New Rees wavedeck adds fantastic performance space to waterfront

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rees wavedeck

Yesterday afternoon, the Rees wavedeck was opened to the public officially launched. The third of four wavedecks to open following the Spadina and Simcoe wavedecks, only the Parliament wavedeck remains unfinished.  Although the Rees wavedeck may be the least striking of the boardwalks to open this summer, it just might be the most elegant and appealing.

Not only is its subtle slope arguably the most pedestrian friendly, but the central depression is ideally shaped for performances of all kinds.  This is sure to be a future hot spot for street theatre, concerts, speeches and other forms of public performances with the elevation separating the different walkways perfectly suited to double as seating.

The dip in the deck also provides probably the nicest shore-to-water interface of all the wavedecks.  Separated from the water by benches on the wings, at the centre of the wave is an extremely low curved bar that, if anything, encourages you to get right up next to the water lying only a few feet underneath.

Looking ahead at the Rees Footbridge — to be built at the entrance to the Rees slip — it too lacks the steep inclines of the Simcoe wavedeck or the Police footbridge by gradually rising up away from the surface, providing a fantastic counterpoint to the Rees wavedeck’s gentle curve that lowers to meet the water.

Not to take anything away from the eye-catching designs of the other decks, but there is something to be said about the simplicity and practicality of the Rees deck that just might make it the favourite of the four wavedecks.  We’ll have to wait a while to be sure though, since construction on the Parliament wavedeck isn’t due to start for months.

Photos by Jake Schabas



  1. I totally agree that this deck has the nicest ‘feel’ of all the decks open so far. It helps that it is next to tree-lined open spaces on either side.

    The deck’s been open to the public for a couple of weeks though, this was just an official launch.

  2. You omitted that this deck has a large bank of LED lights under it that pulse various colours all night. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be designed or implemented very well and is largely not visible to anyone walking on the deck.