Canada's Condominium Magazine

News: New Urban Park and Waterfront Trail at Ontario Place Within Months

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.

A waterfront trail is the main highlight of the new urban park on Ontario Place. The park is going ahead, according to an announcement today from Michael Coteau, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism. Artists concept, presented by Ontario government.
A waterfront trail is the main highlight of the new urban park on Ontario Place. The park is going ahead, according to an announcement today from Michael Coteau, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism. Artists concept, presented by Ontario government.

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.”

Ontario Place has a history of notable events, bands and performances. The vision will continue, Minister Coteau says. This artists interpretation of a festival was presented by the government. The flexible greenspace will host outdoor cultural activities and community events.
Ontario Place has a history of notable events, bands and performances. The vision will continue, Minister Coteau says. This artists interpretation of a festival was presented by the government. The flexible greenspace will host outdoor cultural activities and community events.

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.

The location of the east island Ontario Place urban park and waterfront trail. It will be built at a cost of at least $100 million on land currently used for storage and staff parking.
The location of the east island Ontario Place urban park and waterfront trail. It will be built at a cost of at least $100 million on land currently used for storage and staff parking.

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.

The new greenspace along the lakeshore will be a welcome to both local residents and visitors. Artists concept of children playing in the new park.
The new greenspace along the lakeshore will be a welcome to both local residents and visitors. Artists concept of children playing in the new park.

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