East Bayfront was originally part of the marshy Lake Ontario shoreline. In the 1950s East Bayfront was filled in and took on a new life as an industrial park. At that time it was used primarily as a marine freight transfer facility. However, by the 1990s Toronto's port became less busy and East Bayfront was no longer considered a vital industrial node. In short it became underutilized. In 1999 the City of Toronto issued a call to action recognizing the need for a revitalized mixed use waterfront that could be enjoyed by all Toronto citizens. This call to action was the catalyst that brought all three levels of government together in order to ensure Toronto's waterfront would be transformed into a crown jewel and world class destination.
Planning for the East Bayfront began in earnest in 2003. The planning for this master planned neighbourhood was a consultive process involving the public and private sector in many stakeholder and public meetings. The precinct planning approach was adopted in an effort to build a community everybody could be proud of. The East Bayfront Precinct Plan focuses on urban design, open spaces, infrastructure, affordable housing and community services. All these elements have been intertwined in a truly remarkable neighbourhood that has received several prestigious awards.
The East Bayfront is a master planned waterfront community that has it all from new residential and commercial developments to award winning urban parks and public spaces. This downtown neighbourhood is designed for live, work and play. When development in East Bayfront is complete there will be 6,000 new residential units, 3 million square feet of commercial space and 5.5 hectares of parks and public spaces. The Water's Edge Promenade and Boardwalk, Sherbourne Common and Sugar Beach waterfront parks all embrace the topography of this neighbourhood at the harbour of Lake Ontario.
East Bayfront has garnered headlines by achieving Stage 1 LEED ND Gold Certification. East Bayfront is also an intelligent community which means each home and business is wired into a cutting edge fibre optic technology that includes community wide WI-FI service. These state-of-the-art community enhancements have already attracted cutting edge businesses including the new corporate headquarters for Corus Entertainment. George Brown College has opened up a signature Waterfront Campus in East Bayfront that will accomodate as many as 3500 students.