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Ontario Place to be torn down and rebuilt

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by The Truth, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. The Truth

    The Truth TRIBE Member

    Province puts out formal request for ideas to recreate one-time “jewel along the waterfront”
    Published On Thu Jul 15 2010

    Ontario Place has just announced that a major redevelopment of the entire park is being planned. It will probably see most of the existing features torn down.

    Ontario Place, a fading Toronto icon, will soon be torn down and replaced by a newer version to restore the park to its former glory.

    The provincial Crown corporation has put out a formal request for ideas to completely redevelop its 39-hectare (96-acre) space along Lake Ontario, which will probably result in the removal of features, such as the once groundbreaking Cinesphere, that have grown tired.

    “It’s very early. But this is exciting,” said Tim Casey, the general manager of Ontario Place. “2011 will be our 40th anniversary. It definitely needs a revitalization, that’s no surprise. It’s a blank slate, we’re open to just about anything.”

    Ideas have to be in by Sept. 10, with a more formal request for proposals to follow. A winning plan will hopefully be selected by the summer of 2011.

    Major work should begin in two to four years.

    The project might represent the greatest opportunity in the world for a private firm to completely reshape a large section of waterfront along a major city. Long past its landmark years, Ontario Place has become basically irrelevant to locals and visitors to Toronto.

    “The park is really for younger kids,” said Melissa McKernan, who works at Beaver Tails Pastry inside Ontario Place. She said, despite the beautiful weather on a Thursday night along the waterfront, it’s typically quiet. “I see a couple come in thinking it’s going to be like Canada’s Wonderland and walk around all day with nothing to do.”

    To reshape the space, Casey said a public-private partnership is being sought, that could include a combination of partners to work with Ontario Place to make the “jewel along the waterfront” an internationally recognized destination. It should also reconnect the space with the rest of the waterfront and the city it’s become cut off from.

    The sky is truly the limit. When asked whether an iconic arts building such as the famed Sydney Opera House, or an amusement park feature like the towering London Eye might highlight the new design, Casey said, “We’re not only looking for one iconic structure, we’re looking for the entire park to be developed into that type of destination.”

    Even a university building and campus space might be a great feature, he said.

    Casey added that the design will have to move Ontario Place from a summertime destination to a “365-day-a-year operation. We want features and facilities that won’t be dependent on the weather.”

    Attendance to Ontario Place has dropped considerably since the 2.5 million annual visitors it received after it opened in 1971, with a price tag of $29 million. Of the roughly 1 million visitors last year, half went to watch concerts at the amphitheatre, Casey said. Attendance has been at the same level for the past five years.

    When asked whether the Cinesphere (the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre) or any of the other pavilion complexes at Ontario Place might be torn down, Casey said most likely.

    The Ministry of Tourism oversees Ontario Place and Casey said provincial officials, as well as Toronto Mayor David Miller, have been consulted throughout the process that led to Thursday’s announcement.

    Government funding from all three levels would be welcome, Casey said, but until a final plan is zeroed in on and private partners are in place with a financing scheme, it’s too early to start requesting funds.

    “We have had cursory talks with Metrolinx and the TTC about the development of new transportation into the park as part of the redevelopment, but even that is at a very early stage. Right now we’re just asking for the vision to turn Ontario Place into what it once was: A real jewel on the lake.

    Ontario Place to be torn down and rebuilt - thestar.com
  2. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    well they need to bring back the punching bag forest... except make it for hipsters only and the rest of us can ram them.. sort of a proving ground for pretense.
  3. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe mayor miller will authorize the building of hockey rinks all over the site, or build the Olympic village there. Or condos.
  4. LeoGirl

    LeoGirl TRIBE Member

    I could totally see someone making the decision to put condos in the mix. if / when that happens, I'm leaving the city.
  5. PAUZE

    PAUZE TRIBE Promoter

    I miss the waterslides that you used to scrape your entire body on, they rocked.
  6. Persephone

    Persephone TRIBE Member

    whatever they do, they must ensure that Legoland lives on! Every year my family went to Ontario place during the fireworks festival, and my favourite part of the day was the hour or so we would spend in Legoland. Heck, its still fun now that I'm 30!
  7. moose-meat

    moose-meat TRIBE Member

    YES !!! That was the best.
  8. Volant

    Volant TRIBE Member

    And Mega Maze! My absolute fav!!!
  9. Thunder

    Thunder TRIBE Member

    I wonder if they'll put in some mega ferris wheel like london or brisbane..
  10. PAUZE

    PAUZE TRIBE Promoter

  11. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    That looks so amazing!
  12. saskboy

    saskboy TRIBE Member

    He's done his level best to make sure that there are lots of billboards on the site (Ex Place and O Place). Not little teeny tiny ones, but huge ones that obscure the view of the lake. He's even made sure that the nearby parks are plastered with advertising. And does the city ever like turning the nearby green space into parking lots.

    I love how OP shuts down during Caribana. They do everything except put up a "Go home niggers" sign.

    "private-public partnership" nice code words that tell you everything
  13. [- FuNKtiOn -]

    [- FuNKtiOn -] TRIBE Member

    will they make something better out of Molson Amphitheatre while they are at it?
    cuz I hate that place.
  14. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    well i think thats a great idea. we all know ontario place sucks ass.
    I just hope they put in lots of greenery considering its on the waterfront.
    dont alot of people keep their boats there tho, what will happen to them?

    my first beaver tail I ever got in my whole life was at Ontario place.....and the fucking seagull swooped down and stole it before I even got a bite. Ive never had a beaver tail to this day :(
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  15. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    I actually went to Ontario Place last year and it really is a shell of its former self. There needs to be a major rebuild, but it will be a real shame if the Pods have to come down, I think they're one of this cities architectural treasures - do we really need to be tearing down unique structures like that? That said, they sit empty and unused, so it will be interesting if any redesign can incorporate them effectively.
  16. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    Bring back the old Forum. The spinny stage was way better than that stupid amplitheatre.
  17. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    Hard to believe that in an era long before the G20, Ontario Place hosted one of the largest riots this city had seen.
  18. kaniz

    kaniz TRIBE Member

    As long as they rebuild it into another park / attraction and not a condo-farm, I think it's a great idea. Ontario Place is a pretty sad place these days, and building it into a more attractive park for both locals and tourists would be a great boost to the waterfront.
  19. Fillmore

    Fillmore TRIBE Member

    I cant believe I have never been to Ontario place and I have lived in Toronto for just about 8 years or so.

    I guess I should check this out before they tear it down!
  20. Brandon

    Brandon TRIBE Member

    Wow I had completely forgotten about that until now. Good call.
  21. MissBlu

    MissBlu TRIBE Member

    they have beaver tails in collingwood, you could get one on your lunch.
  22. saskboy

    saskboy TRIBE Member

    It would be a great place to hold one of those "rave" things that I've heard about.

    I live next door and during pride somebody is allowed (for some strange reason) to hold an event there. I cant really hear the music, but I'll hear the roar of the crowd. You know, that three in the morning roar when everybody hears the same tune at the same time, the same way.
  23. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    yeah if I lived in collingwood :O
  24. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    I think alot of people will feel this way, why im feeling this way myself.
    so its possible this is all just a brilliant marketing ploy to bring business to ontario place.:cool:
  25. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    I've yanged about what could be done with these lands with some friends who are planners and no one could really come up with a viable year-round plan that didn't include at lease some small condo component. What really needs to happen is that the Waterfront West LRT get built linking downtown with The Ex/Ontario Place then into Parkdale.

    Like so:


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