Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is known for its cold climate and beautiful architecture. Being a metropolitan city with such a large population, the city council decided to create a series of boardwalks that would bring tourism to the pristine Toronto waterfront.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Toronto is actually colder than Green Bay in the winter?
Although the summers in Toronto are warm and, sometimes even hot, cold weather dominates the majority of the year. Because of its close proximity to Lake Ontario, Toronto is also a victim of lake effect snow. In fact, Toronto receives approximately 50 inches of snow from November until April. With all of this precipitation, the city needed to find a material for the Toronto WaveDecks that would hold up year after year of treacherous winters.
Ipe decking is by far the best choice the city of Toronto could have made when choosing a material for the WaveDecks. Ipe is proven to outperform other decking materials in cold and harsh climates. When moisture is present on other woods, it seeps into the wood and freezes. The constant freeze/thaw cycles are a major reason why softer woods like pine, cedar, and thermally treated decking crack and split. In the case of composite decking, freeze/thaw cycles help reduce the workable lifespan of the material by weakening the bonds between the wood and plastic. It also aids in the retention of moisture causing the infamous mold spotting that traditional cleaners can’t get out. Over time, the weakened plastic will start to delaminate, peel, or sag significantly between the joists causing an altogether different type of wave effect.
Ipe is extremely dense and tight grained. It’s this natural density that keeps water from penetrating the surface which also prevents deep cracks and splits. Ipe is also slip resistant, which is perfect for those long winters when it can get slick outside. And how about termites? Insect infestation is not an issue because Ipe is naturally termite resistant.
Here are two videos showcasing the beauty and unique nature of this project:
The first of four WaveDecks is the Spadina WaveDeck, which sits at the foot of Spadina Avenue. This WaveDeck revamped a heavy traffic area into a waterside retreat. It connects two major parks: Music Garden and HTO. There is a 187 foot bench that can be used to gather by the waterfront, and also acts as a barrier to the lake. At night the deck is lit from below with gorgeous LED lights.
Simcoe WaveDeck was the second structure constructed. It is located to the west of Simcoe Street. It is the most artistic of the WaveDecks as it features a curve that sits 8.53 (2.6 meters) feet above the lake. This WaveDeck also has a 98.43 (30 meters) foot bench that doubles as a barrier. The curve is lined with stainless steel railings. This WaveDeck also contains LED lights to shine from below at night.
The third of the WaveDecks is the Rees WaveDeck. It is the smallest of the three, but don’t let that fool you on how unique it really is. This boardwalk is located west of Rees Street. The stairs, created from several levels, can be used as a relaxed gathering location. This WaveDeck has outer edges exposed and angled towards the lake, so visitors can get extremely close to the water. There is also a removable portion of the boardwalk used to board small boats. This WaveDeck also contains LED lights that illuminate the boardwalk at night.
There is a fourth WaveDeck in planning. The Parliament WaveDeck is expected to be completed in the near future.
The majority of these boardwalks are made of Ipe, a material meant to last throughout decades of tough winters not too mention daily foot traffic. So when it comes to your personal decking space, which will see far less traffic, choose Ipe. It will last for decades, and you won’t be disappointed. Call 1-877-232-3915 to get your free quote, or check out the links below to see more examples of Ipe boardwalks.