Casablanca Waterfront Project

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We are proud to announce we have released our concept design!

Check out the design using one of the below options:

  1. Read through the news feed articles to learn about each phase and the design principles used to create the design
  2. Review the design by clicking through the Documents button on the right hand side
  3. Complete our Concept Design Feedback Survey

What is happening at Casablanca Waterfront Park?

The Town of Grimsby is excited to proceed with the Casablanca Waterfront park development. Since the beginning of the development, there has been significant interest in this area. The connectivity and accessibility along the waterfront are a top priority for the Casablanca neighbourhood. In addition, developing this area to allow for better movement and higher community involvement will subsequently benefit local residents. The Casablanca Waterfront Project is a project that all Grimsby residents can enjoy; the vision is to develop the community park and promote the area as a destination park.

The Casablanca Waterfront Project spans the waterfront area from Hunter Road to the Water Treatment plant (with the easterly Losani development area to be developed later). The park project will be completed in several phases to maintain community access to the waterfront pathway as much as possible throughout the process. Therefore, some of the project's work will be completed concurrently, and some will be carried out in consecutive phases. The initial ideas towards this park are being informed by the Westend Waterfront Plan and also the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.

How you can get involved right now?

The first step towards developing the park is hearing the vision of the local residents, landowners, and other vital stakeholders. We have completed round one of community engagement and will be sharing the results on this page. In the meantime, we have launched a range of tools below for you to interact with:

We are proud to announce we have released our concept design!

Check out the design using one of the below options:

  1. Read through the news feed articles to learn about each phase and the design principles used to create the design
  2. Review the design by clicking through the Documents button on the right hand side
  3. Complete our Concept Design Feedback Survey

What is happening at Casablanca Waterfront Park?

The Town of Grimsby is excited to proceed with the Casablanca Waterfront park development. Since the beginning of the development, there has been significant interest in this area. The connectivity and accessibility along the waterfront are a top priority for the Casablanca neighbourhood. In addition, developing this area to allow for better movement and higher community involvement will subsequently benefit local residents. The Casablanca Waterfront Project is a project that all Grimsby residents can enjoy; the vision is to develop the community park and promote the area as a destination park.

The Casablanca Waterfront Project spans the waterfront area from Hunter Road to the Water Treatment plant (with the easterly Losani development area to be developed later). The park project will be completed in several phases to maintain community access to the waterfront pathway as much as possible throughout the process. Therefore, some of the project's work will be completed concurrently, and some will be carried out in consecutive phases. The initial ideas towards this park are being informed by the Westend Waterfront Plan and also the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.

How you can get involved right now?

The first step towards developing the park is hearing the vision of the local residents, landowners, and other vital stakeholders. We have completed round one of community engagement and will be sharing the results on this page. In the meantime, we have launched a range of tools below for you to interact with:

  • We have a Concept!

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    Please complete our concept design feedback survey!

    Park Vision Statement

    The Casablanca Waterfront Park is a magical place. It is the Town of Grimsby's premier waterfront space and spans the waterfront area from Hunter Road to the Water Treatment Plant. The site is linear along the shoreline, stretching approximately 1km from East to West, and offers stunning views of Lake Ontario. The surrounding area is becoming an upscale, desired location. Over the past five years has seen steady growth with several high-density projects being completed and an increase in population.

    The waterfront park design was explored through the West End Waterfront Trail Design Study and Master Plan and Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan (2019). As a result, the creation of the new Casablanca Waterfront Park at the terminus of Casablanca Boulevard at Lake Ontario now implements components of that Council endorsed West End Waterfront Trail Design Study and Master Plan (2014) and builds upon the goals and direction of the Winston Road Neighbourhood Secondary Plan (2016). Furthermore, it serves to enhance the broader Grimsby Go Transit Secondary Plan area (2018).

    The proposed design for Casablanca Waterfront Park was developed around the vision to transform and promote the park as a unique waterfront destination in Grimsby and the surrounding region. This will be achieved by strengthening placemaking qualities, emphasizing connectivity, and improving accessibility along the waterfront. Casablanca Waterfront Park is a dynamic park that offers visitors a diverse range of experiences with spectacular views of Lake Ontario.

    Proposed landscape zones are designated by different uses and coordinated with circulation to address pedestrian and bicycle flows and expand the public realm at critical interfaces. As the Town and surrounding areas continue to develop and grow, the Casablanca Waterfront Park project will be completed in several phases to maintain community access to the waterfront pathway as much as possible throughout the process.

    The Park is programmed to comprise a combination of active and passive recreation areas. Active recreation areas include gathering plazas, playgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, and open lawns for flexible use (food trucks, concerts, pop-up market, etc.), all connected by multi-use pathways. Undeveloped spaces will be retained and enhanced for the health and well-being of the public. Naturalized areas will be preserved for the wildlife and the environment. The quality of the environment and "naturalness" of the park will be the focus of the passive recreational experience.

    A great park cannot happen without people. People are the place, and the Casablanca Waterfront Park design includes five key design qualities: accessibility, comfort and image, activity engagement, nature and environment, and sociability. The synergies of park, waterfront and recreation options will enhance the experience of all users enabling them to choose from a greater range of activities.

    The Park space will also serve as the heart of the community by connecting neighborhoods together and encouraging central points where people can interact and participate in the public realm. The Park will also highlight Grimsby's cultural identity through educational opportunities, history, architecture, and public art installations. This is a crucial factor for creating a sense of place that can withstand the test of time. The Casablanca Waterfront Park is the foundation of the neighbourhood and can spur economic growth and serve as catalysts for additional development.

    Below we have broken down the phases into more details and each heading is linked to a pdf. Click the heading to take you to a new tab where you can zoom in on the drawing closer.


    Phase One Concept Design:

    PHASE ONE – PLACE POLONAISE PARK (WEST END)

    Phase One serves as a gateway into the west end of the park. In phase one, the waterfront trail will remain the same along the lake edge except for a small area in the center of the phase. The trail in this center area will be realigned around a gathering node to improve pedestrian safety and water views. In addition, new tree plantings will be added strategically to the space to ensure no sightlines to the waterfront are blocked from adjacent residential properties. The west end will also contain a natural playground feature, enhanced park entry plaza, and an improved beach environment along the main trail.

    Additional key design elements in Phase One include:

    • Main 4.0m asphalt pathway adjacent to the lake
    • Western park entry plaza with seating, site furnishings (bike rack, trash receptacles), park gateway signage, community info boards, and decorative paving
    • Natural playground spaces with wood, stone, and natural creative elements
    • Flexible programmable event spaces (food trucks, concerts, festivals, etc.)
    • Boardwalk surface treatments to soften the transition between amenity spaces
    • Open lawn areas
    • Urban beach improvements with permanent shade umbrellas
    • Maintain existing accessible waterfront access with added accessible beach mat
    • All trails, grading, seating areas, signage will be fully accessible and AODA compliant
    • Site furnishings, including benches, bike racks, a bike repair station, trash receptacles, swing benches, etc.
    • Shade structures (with solid roof) at key seating nodes
    • Power pedestals to allow special event power access, charging, wifi, etc.)
    • Potable water stations
    • Improved entry to waterfront spaces
    • Landscape plantings and horticultural improvements (while maintaining views to the lake from surrounding residential properties)
    • Pollinator plantings and additional ecological enhancements
    • Interpretive signage at key locations
    • Wayfinding and directional signage
    • Pathway lighting and lighting enhancements where required (to improve health, wellness, and public safety)

    Phase Two Concept Design:

    Phase Two - Vision Board of Key Elements:

    PHASE TWO – CASABLANCA BEACH PARK (CENTRAL)

    Phase Two of the Casablanca Waterfront Park improvements is contained between Phase 1 and Phase 3, offering access from the east and west. In addition, there is secondary park access located immediately north of Casablanca Boulevard. In this location, new park entries will be located beside the private residential driveway to restrict public access to this property and ensure the safety of all park users. This central park node will serve as picnicking spaces (after woodlot clean-up and ecological restoration) and recreational access to the water. Improved slope grading and amenities will ensure water access for all users of all abilities. The existing pedestrian bridge and creek spaces will remain.

    Additional key design elements in Phase Two include:

    • Main 4.0m asphalt pathway adjacent to the lake
    • Central park access north of Casablanca Boulevard separated from private residential driveway access (resolution of vehicular conflicts near park/ trail entrance)
    • Maintain pedestrian bridge and creek outlet
    • Central viewing terrace, with seating, site furnishings (bike rack, trash receptacles), park gateway signage, community info boards, tree plantings, and decorative paving
    • Clearing of brush and debris to create a picnic/barbecue area and permeable views from the terminus of Casablanca Boulevard
    • Passive, natural armourstone seating in slope overlooking the beach
    • Accessible beach mat at the bottom of sloped ramp access to the beach
    • A new staircase to beach access
    • All trails, grading, seating areas, signage will be fully accessible and AODA compliant
    • Site furnishings, including benches, bike racks, a bike repair station, trash receptacles, swing benches, etc.
    • Power pedestals to allow special event power access, charging, wifi, etc.)
    • Potable water stations
    • Landscape plantings and horticultural improvements
    • Informal natural surface trails to experience nature and access to the waterfront and picnic spaces
    • Pollinator plantings and additional ecological enhancements
    • Opportunities for public art
    • Interpretive signage at key locations
    • Wayfinding and directional signage
    • Pathway lighting and lighting enhancements where required (to improve health, wellness, and public safety)

    Phase Three Concept Design:

    Phase Three - Vision Board of Key Elements:

    PHASE THREE – CASABLANCA BEACH PARK (EAST END)

    Phase Three serves as a gateway into the park's east end, containing a new washroom pavilion and play spaces. The east end will have unique play spaces, seating, improved slope grading, and water and beach areas access. This phase will also complement and provide access to future developments to the east, ensuring positive connectivity between waterfront spaces. An enhanced park entry plaza and gateway will frame access to the area and set the tone for an inclusive and welcoming waterfront space for all.

    Additional key design elements in Phase Three include:

    • Main 4.0m asphalt pathway through park space. The far east end of the trail will be separate from the main plaza spaces to ensure cycling traffic is kept distinct from other pedestrian traffic.
    • Eastern park entry plaza with seating, site furnishings (bike rack, trash receptacles), park gateway signage, community info boards, and decorative paving
    • Permanent washroom facilities, with integrated pavilion spaces (seating, stage, etc.). Washroom facility will consider sustainable initiatives (green roof, energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly fixtures, skylights for natural light, etc.)
    • Enhanced community playground spaces with shade elements, rubberized surfacing, and accessible elements
    • Flexible programmable event spaces (food trucks, concerts, festivals, etc.)
    • Open lawn areas for picnicking
    • Terraced gardens with accessible waterfront access with added accessible beach mat
    • All trails, grading, seating areas, signage will be fully accessible and AODA compliant
    • Site furnishings, including benches, bike racks, a bike repair station, trash receptacles, swing benches, etc.
    • Power pedestals to allow special event power access, charging, wifi, etc.)
    • Potable water stations
    • Improved entry to waterfront spaces
    • Landscape plantings and horticultural improvements
    • Informal natural surface trails to experience nature and access to the waterfront
    • Pollinator plantings and additional ecological enhancements
    • Opportunities for public art
    • Interpretive signage at key locations
    • Wayfinding and directional signage
    • Pathway lighting and lighting enhancements where required (to improve health, wellness, and public safety)

    PLEASE COMPLETE OUR CONCEPT DESIGN FEEDBACK SURVEY!

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  • Key Design Qualities - All Phases

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    PLEASE COMPLETE OUR CONCEPT DESIGN FEEDBACK SURVEY!

    The Casablanca Waterfront Park improvements will focus on the craft of the details and the vibrancy of spaces by focusing on the following design principles:

    1. Accessibility:

    • Park will contain fully accessible, barrier-free options within plaza spaces, play areas, and amenities
    • AODA compliant and inclusive
    • Good connections between adjacent land use and access to the park
    • Easy to navigate the entire park space
    • The main pathway will be fully accessible (slopes no greater than 5%)
    • Accessible beach options and access
    • Improved Park lighting for the safety and security of users
    • Site furniture will be fully accessible, and AODA compliment
    • Park features designed in accordance with the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards
    • Access to the waterfront and lake edge
    • Access to public transit
    • All Park signage will be fully inclusive and comply with AODA standards

    2. Comfort and Image:

    • User comfort: shade, wind, microclimate, seasonality, park lighting (safety), flexible open lawn spaces
    • Park is comfortable in all seasons
    • The Interior of the park space is visible from the outside (perceptions of safety)
    • Park is safe
    • Cleanliness and good first impression
    • Are people taking photos? Numerous photo opportunities
    • Availability and choices for places to sit, rest and relax (sun, shade)
    • Good connection between Phases
    • Topography and circulation
    • Park thought of as a whole (one connected space)
    • Sense of place, experience, and welcoming
    • Public art opportunities
    • Access to the shoreline and waters edges
    • Environmental features
    • Materiality: natural elements, materiality, look, feel, function (stormwater), planting (Carolinian species)
    • Prioritize pedestrians and the public realm
    • Intangible experiences contribute to a profoundly uplifting effect on our collective and individual psyches and make users return to the Park over and over again

    3. Activity Engagement:

    • Activities are the building blocks of great places. They are one of the reasons why people will visit the Park initially and often return. They make the Park a special and unique place.
    • The more activities people can participate in, the better (variety)
    • Active and passive programming
    • Variety of experiences (day, season)
    • Flexibility in spaces
    • Evolution in the future (are the spaces naturally allowed to evolve? Woodlots, etc.)
    • Unique features (play spaces, public art, signage, pavilions, etc.)
    • Equity and Inclusion: amenities for cultural activities (food trucks, markets, pop-up shops), support diversity, visible wayfinding (graphics and signage), design for differing abilities, public space as a storyteller (public art), educational opportunities
    • Open plaza spaces provide many community opportunities from farmers' markets, food trucks, concerts and dances, and yoga and fitness classes — all promoting various aspects of social gathering and mental unwinding.

    4. Sociability:

    • Adding amenities and programmed activities to spaces brings people to the Park
    • Attracting more people (and a variety of people) and having them spend time in a space beyond simply moving through a space to reach a destination creates a rich and vibrant environment to enjoy and interact with each other and provides the opportunity to meet different people, enhancing social tolerance and learning
    • Ecological stewardship
    • Community ownership of the Park (i.e., do people tend to pick up trash when they see it?
    • Is the Park a place where you would choose to meet your friends?
    • Are people in groups? COVID-19? Opportunities to distance?
    • Do people use the space regularly by choice?
    • Does a mix of ages and ethnic groups that generally reflect the community at large?

    5. Nature and Environment:

    • Preserve and enhance the existing natural environment
    • Woodlot clean-up and removal of invasive species
    • Protect natural resources and ecosystems (lake, creek)
    • Permeable paving
    • Solar options for lighting and other park amenities
    • Planting of native species
    • Introduce pollinator gardens
    • Improve storm water collection
    • Green infrastructure initiatives such as potential green roof on the washroom building
    • Reduce urban heat island effect
    • Designing places for physical activity (running, play structures)
    • Focus on mental health benefits in parks and nature (walking, relaxation, inspire happiness, reduce stress, etc.)
    • Create places for users of all ages and abilities to play and be outside
    • Enhance wildlife habitat
    • Provide educational opportunities where feasible (signage, events, etc.)
  • Introducing Seferian Design Group

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    A message from Seferian Design Group:

    This project has an opportunity to clearly illustrate how the Town of Grimsby is contributing to healthy ecosystems and climate resiliency. The park can design with nature, which leads to more resilient solutions that also improve community health, safety, and well-being over the long term. There is an abundance of walking trails, native plantings, pollinators, support for local ecosystems, and increased biodiversity. This is an opportunity to rethink how we design, to do more with less.

    Design is dynamic, and our work is always influenced by a holistic vision. Our team pushes boundaries and seeks the most creative design solutions as we have learnt over our history that our clients expect fresh and unique ideas. We understand that each project requires a balance between fiscal, pragmatic, and inspired realities. Therefore, each project constraint becomes a starting point for innovative design ideas. Our design process is always inspired by the project context, and we will combine a blend of discovery, budget, and place-making to produce a Casablanca Waterfront Park which is sustainable, educational, and fully engaged in the community. Good design makes a difference! On behalf of our entire team we are truly honoured to be part of the redevelopment of this incredible park space.

    A message from the Town:

    The Seferian Design Group has assembled a highly qualified team; they were established in 1992 and are an award-winning landscape architectural firm based in Burlington. The Seferian team welcomes the opportunity to design and implement a vision of our new waterfront park with input from staff, council and residents.

    Some of their successful projects were for the City of Waterloo redeveloping the 6.9 hectare Waterloo Park. They were also part of the team that successfully restored over 500 metres of Lake Ontario shoreline at the Appleby College in Oakville. Their experience also encompasses recreational trails, parks, town squares and Master Plan Development. They have worked with towns and cities such as Guelph, Oakville, Hamilton, Smithville, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Burlington.

    Moving this project another step forward will be exciting for the community and for the Town of Grimsby. It will provide a fantastic enhancement to the parks system and provide much-desired access to the Lake Ontario waterfront.

    Watch the video below that Seferian Design Group created to highlight World Landscape Architecture Month. This video explains Landscape Architecture and more about how their firm's approaches to the design concept:


  • Community Engagement Round One - Results

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Page last updated: 18 October 2021, 11:17