Ontario presents $257-million case for science centre relocation
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction
Move of the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place expected to save $257 million over next 50 years.
Relocation of the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place as part of a redevelopment plan for the waterfront park will save Ontario taxpayers $257 million over a 50-year period, when compared to the cost of remaining at the current site, says Kinga Surma, the province’s minister of infrastructure.
The announcement was part of Infrastructure Ontario’s business case explaining the justification for relocating the centre, which was shared in a statement from the Ministry of Infrastructure.
“This business case supports our government’s original vision for Ontario Place, which is to bring science-based programming to the heart of Toronto as part of a new world-class destination that offers a range of family-friendly, year-round activities and is easily accessible for families from across Toronto and Ontario,” said Surma.
In addition to the anticipated savings, the move would also increase the space available for science programming, two factors in the Ontario Science Centre board’s vote in favour of the move.
“The third-party assessment conducted by Pinchin Limited determined that the existing Ontario Science Centre facility, which is more than 50 years old, would require a minimum capital investment of at least $478 million to help repair and replace outdated infrastructure,” said the minister. “A report issued last year indicated that the existing Science Centre will reach the end of its useful design life in three to five years. Compounding this reality, annual reports from the centre indicate that attendance at the current centre has been in decline since 2009.”
The province expects to attract up to one million visitors to the new Ontario Science Centre, once it is in its new location, which is in close proximity to Go Rail services, the TTC, and the yet to be built Ontario Line subway, which is expected to be running by 2031.
“I am confident that the new Ontario Science Centre will continue to inspire generations of young people towards the jobs of the future as part of an iconic, all-season destination for up to six million people annually at Ontario Place,” added Surma.