Unveiling the future of Ontario Place
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction Institutional
Ontario Science Centre, new year-round concert venue, and wellness spa all part of Ontario government plans for Ontario Place.
The Ontario government is aiming to make a revamped Ontario Place into a year-round family destination. Details of the plan, which includes expanded parkland, beaches and waterfront access, an upgraded concert venue, the Ontario Science Centre, and a family-friendly wellbeing destination, were unveiled yesterday at the park.
“We’re bringing more to Ontario Place with more beaches, more greenspace, more trails and more fun with the Ontario Science Centre, a year-round Live Nation concert venue and expanded food and beverage offerings so families can enjoy a meal together,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together with our partners, we’re building a world class, year-round destination that’s fun for families, students and tourists to enjoy for generations to come.”
The Ontario Science Centre will find its new home in a custom-built, state-of-the-art facility, as well as in the preserved and upgraded iconic Cinesphere and Pod complex.
The province is also finalizing an agreement with Live Nation that will create a new, year-round concert venue attraction. Building on 25 years of memories, the brand-new amphitheatre will welcome 20,000 fans to an all-season venue, increasing its capacity, while also protecting and incorporating its grassy amphitheatre.
“Our government has a mandate to bring Ontario Place back to life,” said Kinga Surma, the province’s minister of infrastructure. “With today’s announcement, we are continuing to make progress on our vision to create a cultural and recreational landmark that will, once again, be fun for everyone. Together with the Ontario Science Centre, Live Nation and Therme Canada, we are creating an iconic destination on Toronto’s waterfront that will bring visitors from Ontario and around the world together, providing people of all ages with something to enjoy.”
On display at the press event were a series of recommended design concepts for the future public spaces, including on the East Island and the expanded shoreline of the West Island. The concepts include Indigenous culture and place-keeping features and illustrate how the site will be revitalized and enhanced with new public trails, parkland, beaches and swimming areas with better access to the waterfront.
Plans call for the new Ontario Science Centre to be integrated with an underground public parking facility with electric bus and vehicle chargers. Other transit and transportation options will include new pedestrian and cycle paths, as well as new connections between Ontario Place and the Exhibition grounds, directly to the Ontario Line subway.
To prepare for redevelopment, site servicing work will begin this spring to upgrade and modernize Ontario Place’s existing infrastructure, such as water, electrical and gas services. Minister Surma stated that a construction company will be selected soon to undertake the site servicing, following a competitive procurement process that was launched last year.
Once complete, the province expects Ontario Place to create thousands of new jobs and attract an estimated four to six million visitors each year.