Pass The Sugar, Be-ach


When I was a kid, one of the very first inappropriate jokes I learned went like this:

Pass the sugar, Sugar

Pass the honey, Honey

Pass the tea… Bag!

Hysterical at the age of 9, worthy of an eye roll today, eh? I’m sure the title of my blog might be how a 9 year old would improvise on that joke today, no?

One of my best buds of twenty-five years, Greg, rolled into town for a visit this past week. Greg hadn’t been here for awhile so he hit the town in a quest to gorge on all the best organic vegan food he could find. In his travels he came across the newest Harbourfront Park – Sugar Beach – located just east of the Redpath Sugar Refinery at the foot of Jarvis Street on Queens Quay.

Opened just two weeks ago, this $14 million park is a sequel to Toronto’s first waterfront park to the west known as HTO. HTO was completed in 2007 by Toronto landscape architect Janet Rosenberg, Montreal paysagiste Claude Cormier and architect Siamak Hariri. Here’s a link to a review by Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume when it was first completed.

Sugar Beach, also designed by Claude Cormier, is a delicious candy-floss concoction of pink umbrellas, white muskoka chairs, red and white striped rocks and plenty of sand. Although there’s no direct connection to the Lake, which is still too polluted to swim in, there is a maple leaf shaped water feature with fountains that spurt up through the pavement which kids adore. Check out his very engaging website!


There’s a great view of the water chock-a-block with sailboats, cargo ships and tug boats. The imposing Sugar Refinery beside the park reminds us of our industrial past while the view of the towering edifices of the Financial Core illustrate how established the post-industrial new economy has become. It’s urban meets nature without apology.



For all the criticism one might foster, Greg and I both agree more green space on the waterfront is a welcome respite.

~ Steven and the urbaneer team


**Photos Courtesy of Claude Comier’s Sugar Beach website


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