Waterfront Innovation Centre

The Waterfront Innovation Centre (WIC), developed by Menkes and commissioned by Waterfront Toronto, is envisioned as an integrated, High-performance Workplace and an urban generator designed to anchor Toronto’s booming tech industry. It will contribute to East Bayfront community character, offering a mixed-use facility that fosters social and cultural interactions. The facility, a hub for innovation, will bring tenants as well as frequent users and visitors to the waterfront area.

“The Waterfront Innovation Centre represents the next generation in progressive office development that meets the unique company culture, workspace configuration and technological needs of innovative companies.”

Peter Menkes
President, Commercial / Industrial, Menkes Developments Ltd.
  • Overview

    Client: Waterfront Toronto, Menkes Developments
    Status: In-Progress


  • Location
  • Description

    Waterfront Innovation Centre, a cutting-edge, High-performance Workplace, represents the next evolution in commercial office developments. It sets a new precedent, reinventing how employees work together in Toronto’s rapidly evolving creative and technology sectors, including advanced visualization and interactive digital media, film and TV production. Meeting an emerging demand for purpose-built creative office space in Toronto, this project will create a work environment that allows tenants to interact and share resources in a series of interconnected private, semi-private and public spaces. State-of-the-art amenities for all tenants include a presentation theatre, sophisticated audio-visual and video-conferencing tools and workshop facilities with digital production capabilities.

  • Context

    Located along Queens Quay in the East Bayfront Precinct of downtown Toronto, by Lake Ontario, the WIC is community-minded and community-oriented. The long-term success of this new neighbourhood will depend on finding the balance to maintain desire and viability. Commercial activity, as a result, is vital, and sustained innovation is the foundation for such activity. A publically accessible route runs through the WIC and connects the public with all the functions including restaurants, cafes, presentation and theatre space, conference facilities and a public rooftop terrace that is accessible through an open atrium. At the ground level, storefront galleries and retail units on all sides of the building will strengthen the public realm and build a sense of community at a pedestrian scale.


  • Design Approach

    Our design vision for this facility has been developed in alignment with the vision of East Bayfront precinct Plan—particularly with regards to Urban Planning, Sharing Benefits, Community Building, National Resources, Global Connectivity, Innovation, Spatial Quality, Energy and Land Use, Diversity, and most importantly Sustainability.

    Our vision for an architecture that fosters innovation stems from four critical considerations: Experience, Facility Design, Sustainable Design, and Innovation. The building is designed to not only attract and retain the targeted, suitable tenants, but also raise the interest of the local and global community to the importance of innovation. Consequently, the design intends to provide a hub that supports the community, strengthens the public realm, and creates a prominent and activated gateway to Sugar Beach and the waterfront promenade.

  • Public Activation

    The integration of publicly accessible resources within the WIC is central to the concept that: true innovation comes from human interaction. The opportunity to invite the public into the process of innovation will provide vitality to the entire facility and offer the public a forum for engagement with this exciting part of the City.

  • Smart Features

    At the heart of the WIC is the waterfront-wide ultra-high-speed broadband fibre-optic network—a private-sector initiative that is delivering Internet connection speeds exponentially faster than the North American average. Future tenants of the Waterfront Innovation Centre will benefit from this network—one of Toronto’s fastest and most economical—to support their work in data-intensive industries.