The new International Estonian Centre (IEC), to be built in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core and a vibrant cultural hub, is situated at the crossroads of many transportation choices.
The IEC will be located adjacent to the successful Estonian cultural and academic hub known as Tartu College on Bloor Street at Madison Avenue. Tartu College is home to the Estonian Studies Centre and the future Canadian Estonian Museum (VEMU).
“It really is an ideal location,” says IEC architect Alar Kongats, a three-time Governor-General award winner. “This area of Toronto has arguably one of the richest collections of cultural institutions in the city. It’s central, it’s easy to get to, and is well-serviced by public transit.”
This neighbourhood, known as the Bloor Street Culture Corridor, includes the University of Toronto, a number of well-established cultural institutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Alliance Française, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and major cultural events that attract millions of visitors each year.
During the recent user group consultations with the Estonian community, a need for convenient parking was expressed. There are many parking options within close proximity to the centre that will serve the needs of the community and those who rent space for events. There are 34 on-street parking spots in the immediate area, and 582 public parking spots are within a five-minute walk of the centre - see enlarged map at https://www.estoniancentre.ca/post/transportation
The building will be fully accessible, and an important feature is a safe designated drop-off zone at the front of the building designed for people dropping off children or the elderly, and those with mobility issues.
“I’d like to stress that the way people get around is changing,” said IEC architect Alar Kongats. “As people’s attitudes such as drinking & driving have changed, and transportation choices increase, there is less reliance on traditional forms of transportation, such as privately owned cars.”
Whether you are attending a community function, social event or business seminar at the IEC, there are many excellent choices for all users and demographics:
Take public transit: Toronto is well served by a mass public transit system known as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). There are online trip planners you can use to plan your route. Two subway stations, St. George and Spadina, are within a few minutes’ walk of the new IEC. An extensive system of buses, streetcars and trains feed into the subway system from within the Greater Toronto Area, and throughout the province of Ontario.
Drive your car, or taxi or ridesharing: If you elect to drive, there are over 500 parking spaces (including street parking and paid parking lots) within a five-minute walk of the Centre. If you’re being dropped off, there will be a safe and convenient drop-off zone directly in front of the IEC.
Ride your bike: There are commuter cycling lanes in the city of Toronto and there will be bicycle parking outside the IEC.
Come from the airport: You may take a taxi or shuttle into the city from the airport, and there is also an express train (UP Express) right from the airport to the subway. You can also access the Toronto Transit Commission system from the airport right to Spadina station along the east-west line.
Walk: If you are traveling from out of town for a special event (such as a wedding in IEC’s beautiful rooftop garden) you may opt to stay in one of the many hotels located within walking distance of the IEC.
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DIGITAL Estonian Life No. 7 - February 21, 2020
All issues with table of contents available here: https://issuu.com/estonianlife
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