August 12, 2014 by STAFF REPORT
Construction of the first phase of Ontario Place’s revitalization – building the urban park and waterfront trail – will begin in the next few months.
The Ontario government will invest $100 million into the first phase, which is slated to open to the public in 2016.
The Ontario government awarded LANDinc (a multi-disciplinary landscape architecture and design firm) in November 2013 with the contract to transform 7.5 acres of the east island at Ontario Place into the urban park and waterfront trail. When complete, it will have capacity for 3,500 people, connect with trails across Ontario, and give visitors access to part of the waterfront that has been closed to the public for more than 40 years.
The overall scope of the project includes a greater public recreational space, a celebration common for cultural activities, festivals and community events, a waterfront canal district with stores and restaurants, retention of the Cinesphere and pods, and improved connections such as a landscaped pedestrian bridge.
There is no timeline for completion of the entire revitalization project at this point. Since the area is the site of a former landfill, the next step is conducting an integrated environmental assessment and land-use planning process.
The Wynne government has committed to keeping the area free of condominiums.
Ontario Place originally opened in 1971 but has been defunct since 2012 due to declining revenues and a $15-billion deficit.