Province seeking feedback on Ontario Place redevelopment

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

As the Ontario government proceeds with the revitalization of Ontario Place into a world-class, year-round destination, the next phase of engagement will include an online survey and virtual public information sessions.

Diamond Schmitt Architects and resort developer Therme Group have unveiled plans to overhaul the lakefront Ontario Place in Toronto by adding swimming pools, botanical gardens and art experiences.

“Ontario Place holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Ontarians for the many family-friendly events and activities that have been enjoyed by millions over the past 50 years,” said Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture.

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“That’s why our government is launching a provincewide digital engagement process – we want to hear how Ontarians see themselves using a redeveloped Ontario Place and what features are important to them.”

The survey is available online through Ontario.ca/OntarioPlace, along with information about the Ontario Place site and the redevelopment process, including the three successful participants. The survey will be open for nine weeks, closing in late October.

In addition to the survey, there will be two provincewide virtual public information sessions on October 13 and 27, which will provide additional opportunities for the public to learn about the planned redevelopment and provide input. More information about the virtual sessions, including how to pre-register, is available through Ontario.ca/OntarioPlace.

As the project continues, Mark Saunders, special advisor for Ontario Place, will provide strategic, expert advice to the Premier and Minister MacLeod, and support them in discussions with key collaborators, such as the City of Toronto and Indigenous communities, to make this vision a reality and to guide collaboration and future development of the Ontario Place and Exhibition Place sites. The ministry is engaging with Indigenous communities and will continue to seek their input and ensure their rights and interests are respected.

“When Ontario Place opened in 1971, it was designed to reflect all that we, as Ontarians, embodied: our heritage, our diversity, our creativity and our future potential. Now, as we move forward with the redevelopment of the site, the people of Ontario have several upcoming opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas for a modern Ontario Place,” said MacLeod.

“A redeveloped Ontario Place will be a true reflection of our diversity and multiculturalism, and will show respect for the rich traditions, cultures and heritage of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples, while at the same time showcasing Ontario as the world in one province. Ensuring the public has the opportunity to participate in that process is critical for making our vision a reality.”

The Ontario Place site is a unique waterfront property, made up of approximately 155 acres of land and water, and served as an iconic cultural and tourism destination for all Ontarians between 1971 and 2012.

Key heritage and recreational features of the site will be retained and integrated into the redevelopment, including the Cinesphere, the pod complex, the marina, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail.

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