Canada's Condominium Magazine
After a two-year assessment, the government is moving ahead with an Ontario Place waterfront plan, first unveiled in June, and blandly named the “Urban Park & Waterfront Trail Project.”
At a news conference this morning, Michael Coteau, Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, announced construction will begin this autumn. No specific date was set, although completion is anticipated by 2016. Original plans had promised the park would open sooner. According to the Ontario government website: “The revitalization of Ontario Place is a large and complex project and will be completed in phases. It is our goal is to open the park and trail in 2015 to give you much-needed green space and access to the waterfront.” Aside from the date, the plans are similar to those originally presented.
The government committed $100 million initially, according to Minister Coteau. Not mentioned, were plans for the year-round music facility, originally anticipated for Ontario Place.
Plans for the new urban park include “cultural events and festivals,” said the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism. “This is Ontario Place and we’re going to continue with that legacy.”
Coteau described the previous Ontario Place as a facility that “worked for many, many years. It was a successful venue. I think that there’s some opportunity here for us to maintain a lot of the original structure and the vision that Ontario Place brought.”
The Concept for Revitalization
Parks and trails will complement other enhancements to the aging venue. For the urban park, open space, green space and shoreline trails are envisioned, as captured by a concept artist (below) for the Ontario government. There will be a continuous waterfront trail around the islands. A new land bridge will connect the naturalized park with Lakeshore Boulevard.
Final design was originally promised for summer 2014. The park will be 7.5 acres on the east island of Ontario Place, an area previously used for staff parking. Ontario Place originally opened in 1971, popular for its unique domed theatre, a picturesque marina, an outdoor amphitheater hosting live acts in the summer, and attractions families and kids. IMAX was brought to Ontario Place, along with famous bands and performers.