Ladies and Gentlemen, Toronto introduces THE PIER.
Toronto, ON. 12 May 1998. Wind. Fire. Ice and Shipwrecks. Daring rescues and a naval invasion. On July 11, 1998 the city of Toronto will open the doors to The Pier -- its newest cultural heritage attraction, and nautical adventure
centre. The Pier is located at 245 Queens Quay West (just south of Skydome and the CN Tower) in a dramatically restored 1930 shipping warehouse.
The Pier is an interactive, highly entertaining museum dedicated to all things nautical. Through a wide range of thematic exhibits, lively and ever-changing programs and activities designed with families in mind, The Pier has been built to bring Toronto's waterfront heritage alive!
"When the Marine Museum was located on the CNE grounds, we were separated not just from the city but from the lake as well. With a new bayside home, superb exhibits and a mandate to have fun, The Pier will be one of the hottest tickets on the waterfront," explained Heritage Toronto Chair Dr. Marion Joppe. "We expect to welcome almost 100,000 visitors to the bustling central waterfront this year!"
Established in 1959, the Marine Museum of Upper Canada is owned by the City of Toronto. Planning for the relocation of the museum began in 1988; the reconstruction of the physical site commenced in late 1997. Major funding for this $2 million dollar project has come from the City of Toronto and the Canada Ontario Infrastructure Works programme. Additional support has been
provided by the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation.
The Pier is housed in a warehouse originally built by the Toronto Harbour Commission for the Treeline Navigation Company. Over the past six months a design team composed of Reich + Petch Architects Inc., Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. and the Pier staff has turned the large two story brick building into a multi-purpose, open concept museum that comes complete with an indoor children's discovery centre housed inside the hull of a ship!
Many of the world's great cities have begun at the water's edge, and Toronto
is no exception. The Bay and the Islands have captivated residents and visitors alike for over two centuries.
There is nowhere else in the city like The Pier, with its rare mix of culture, heritage, craftsmanship and recreational pursuits. The museum combines the
best of waterfront charm and history to ensure a memorable experience for everyone! Every city has a history, but few Canadian places can boast of a more dynamic and engaging past than Toronto's waterfront. The building's exhibits are thematic and revolve around this exciting history. Commerce, War, Pleasure and Healing are all integral parts of the story of Toronto Bay.
The Pier is fittingly reachable by boat. As well visitors can get to the museum by walking, cycling, rollerblading, driving, riding the street car or
even by paddling a canoe. The museum plans to use Lake Ontario to its advantage and will be offering boat rides and boat rentals!
Highlights of the Pier include:
* The Discovery Zone, a "flagship" space filled with hands-on exhibits that
families will love. Interactive opportunities include exploring a shipwreck,
trying on maritime costumes, turning paddlewheels and propellers, and
moving a Great Lakes ship through a set of canal locks!
* The Boat Shop, is a special area within the museum where artisans construct
traditional watercraft and bring forgotten boat building skills back to
* The Livery. This is where visitors can rent these same traditional wooden
boats and explore the harbour. Boating lessons and life jackets are
available on site!
* Exhibits. The Pier will be featuring artifacts from the city's impressive
maritime collections, including: a spectacular model of the liner
Lusitania, unique historical exhibits, and outstanding displays entitled
"Toronto's Changing Harbour", "War on the Lakes", "Communication Afloat" and
"Steam: The Driving Force", working steam whistles and engines and a
rowing machine that lets visitors race against Toronto's world champion
oarsman, Ned Hanlan.
* Bay Windows. The inaugural exhibit of The Pier's spacious gallery devoted to
annual special exhibits will, in 1998, highlight the history and people of
Toronto Bay from earliest times to the present day.
* Special Events. In 1998 and 1999 the Pier is planning to stage a wooden boat
festival, harbour tours, ship visits, lecture series, movies and nautical
"The Pier has been built to be provide the best of waterfront charm and
history to ensure a memorable experience for everyone and to add an exciting
new dimension to the central bay! We have designed packages and programs for
both individual and group visitors. Movie nights, musical performances,
narrated one or two hour schooner cruises, fine dining at the water's edge,
and escorted tours of the exhibits are programs that have been designed for
groups," said The Pier marketing manager Neil Beaudry. "The group experience
is quite affordable, ranging in price from $7.50 to $26.50 per person."
Located at 245 Queens Quay West The Pier will be open year round. There is a
café in the museum and facilities rental space for a wide variety of uses. The
building is fully accessible. An annual schedule of seasonal events and
programs will soon be unveiled by the Pier. Admission rates are: adults,
$8.50; students & seniors, $6.50; children, $5.50; and family pass, $20.00.
416-392-6827 ext. 261
To Arrange for a Media Tour or for The Pier Team interviews please contact
Stephen Weir 489-5868