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City

Ontario Place to get $100 million make-over

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 31, 2014

toronto ontario placeOntario Place is getting a $100 million make-over from the province that will transform the former entertainment venue into a brand new waterfront park.

At a press event this morning, the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Coteau, said the first phases of the project--a waterfront promenade with shops and restaurants, expanded outdoor music facilities, and an large outdoor space named Celebration Common--will be completed by 2016.

The famous Cinesphere and pods will be saved from demolition, he said, though it's not clear when they will be re-opened.

The Molson Amphitheatre will continue to operate as a live music venue, though it the future is less certain for Echo Beach, which doesn't appear in the latest renderings. The province said it is "exploring options to bring live music acts to the site year-round" in a news release.

Among the other features announced today is a landscaped pedestrian bridge that will connect the western part of Ontario Place with Lake Shore Blvd.

The plan does not include a residential component. The province said the park, which first opened in 1971, "should remain public."

In July 2012, the Ontario Place advisory panel released a set of 18 recommendations on how to renovate the 63-hectare site, including placing a focus on environmental and cultural activities that are accessible to the public. The document also suggested setting aside a small portion of the land for residential use, but it appears that idea has been shelved.

toronto ontario placeThe first portion of the Ontario Place revitalization that will turn a former parking lot on the eastern portion of the land into a landscaped park is in the final design stages and is due to be open in 2015.

The next phase of the project includes an environmental assessment and a series of public consultations. Work is also required to clean up some of the soil.

What do you think of the plans?

MORE IMAGES:

toronto ontario placeRomantic Garden
toronto ontario placeBluffs Lower Trail
toronto ontario placeCelebration Common
toronto ontario placeCelebration Common
toronto ontario placePedestrian land bridge
toronto ontario placeBlue Park Winter
toronto ontario placeBlue Park
toronto ontario placeSite Map
toronto ontario placeCulture, discovery and innovation hub

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Discussion

130 Comments

kat / July 31, 2014 at 10:27 am
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A casino would have been better...
Todd Toronto / July 31, 2014 at 10:27 am
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This seems like genuinely good news (no condos, saving Cinesphere, public space, etc.).

Let the complaints and snark begin! In 3...2...1...
Josh / July 31, 2014 at 10:31 am
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A before and after here would be useful.
C.Dot / July 31, 2014 at 10:32 am
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Really great that the Province is investing in this huge asset on our waterfront. Hopefully the pedestrian bridge will be realized to enhance connectivity to the site.

Memo to West8: Downtown Toronto is not typified by tortured White Pines and exposed bedrock. Waterfront Toronto is doing an excellent job of building a library of modern parks to define our waterfront and this nostalgic dream by a foreign design shop is a step back, IMHO.
lowrez / July 31, 2014 at 10:34 am
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Looks like those awful parking lots are history!
John Harvey / July 31, 2014 at 10:36 am
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I see no indication of contractors having been awarded this work. It shouldn't be firms without this type of experience.
Next step is getting transit to it.
Sc / July 31, 2014 at 10:37 am
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Love this and love that the residential portion is scrapped (for now at least). We need more waterfront revitalization that does not involve condos and I think this is the perfect step forward. A great solution that everyone can enjoy and make use of!
Benedict replying to a comment from kat / July 31, 2014 at 10:39 am
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Hahahaha right - good one! Looks good for cyclists!!! I love it
Jess / July 31, 2014 at 10:39 am
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The second part people is you HAVE TO ACTUALLY GO USE IT. This is why Ontario place closed, no one wanted to go all the way down there. If you build it, maybe some will come.
robin / July 31, 2014 at 10:40 am
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Great news! It should remain public
Rob Ford / July 31, 2014 at 10:40 am
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I vote NO! How about a garbage dump? Better garbage collection, we make money and don't spend none! Yeah! Let me call Ford Garbages Inc. and see if they're interested!
MER1978 / July 31, 2014 at 10:41 am
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Ontario Place's biggest problem was how disconnected it was from the city.. If they aren't going to put more residents within walking and or drastically improve transit access it will probably fail again.
Hatts / July 31, 2014 at 10:41 am
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Those rocks look expensive.
KT / July 31, 2014 at 10:43 am
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It would be nice if they could build a man-made beach like the one in Montreal http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/en/attractions/beach/
Ray / July 31, 2014 at 10:45 am
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These illustrations of the kids are super creepy, AMIRIGHT?
everything grows / July 31, 2014 at 10:48 am
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that's why i voted liberal!!! by the people for the people! thank you minister michael coteau!!!
Yuel replying to a comment from everything grows / July 31, 2014 at 10:51 am
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Why so the province can tear up and existing park and put in a new one that will get little use?
Random Reader / July 31, 2014 at 10:52 am
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Sounds/looks awesome, but they should keep Echo Beach as part of it.
Yuel / July 31, 2014 at 10:53 am
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Where's all the geese and the goose poo in these photo renderings? Are we killing them all off that land where they pretty much live?
James / July 31, 2014 at 10:56 am
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Why is it called Romantic Garden with kids running around?

Nothing screams romantic like a bunch of brats screaming.
DL / July 31, 2014 at 10:58 am
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The biggest problem is that Ontario Place, where no one lives, is surrounded by Exhibition Place, where no one lives.
City Girls / July 31, 2014 at 11:00 am
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Looks interesting! New exciting addition to our beautiful city!
Rob Ford / July 31, 2014 at 11:00 am
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Not costing the city anything? I still vote NO! It's a nervous reflex cuz no crack! No $$$ for playgrounds! No $$$ for TCHC! No money for hospitals! No money for schools! No money! No taxes! Blah! Blah! Mommy, where's my straight jacket? Where's my caffeinenated crack? Aaaaaaaahhhh!
Mark / July 31, 2014 at 11:04 am
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If a liberal says it will cost $100 million what will be the actual dollar figure spent? We all know how good they are at estimating costs.
Audio Blood / July 31, 2014 at 11:06 am
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"The future for Echo Beach is less certain"...? This venue should definitely be implemented in the plans. It already hosts some of the most popular shows/festivals within the city (Warped Tour/EdgeFest). It would be a waste to tear down a perfectly good venue. Especially when highlighting music/entertainment in their new park plans!
Charles Kaiser / July 31, 2014 at 11:08 am
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The problem I see is that you can't just PhotoShop in mature trees in real life.
Her City Lifestyle / July 31, 2014 at 11:13 am
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Simply beautiful recreational area! It will a great place to spend time with family and enjoy events!
We can't wait!

http://www.hercity.ca/category/the-city
sean / July 31, 2014 at 11:17 am
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why no sandy beach on the western facing end? we have enough unswimmable rocky shoreline in this town.
Danny / July 31, 2014 at 11:17 am
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wow this is a joke..... so they closed the park because there was no money and ontario place was using about 11 million dollars a years and now out of nowhere $100 million dollars are available??? how about investing that money on making that park a better park for families with better rides....
Romantic park???? sounds like an area for perverts to go and watch other people.... and not to say that this is gonna be like lakeshore where ppl just smoke drugs and you cant even go for a walk at night without having cops on you asking you all kinds of questions
last but not least... oh yea we wanna go green.... we have an airport right beside which creates a lot of polution.
as i said this seems to be a joke
Gayle / July 31, 2014 at 11:18 am
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It looks like all parking has beenn eliminated - think they need to keep some - certainly not what it has now though. Other than that - looking good!
Skye / July 31, 2014 at 11:21 am
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They kept the Cinesphere. They kept the pods. And nary a condo to be seen on the renderings.

For ONCE, this city got something right!
Mary / July 31, 2014 at 11:27 am
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I'm so glad that they are going to keep it, and not adding more condos on the water front.
Jacob / July 31, 2014 at 11:32 am
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People might go there more if there were a decent transit connection to the area...

But man, so many memories about to be torn down. It's like kids don't like kids activities these days.
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from Danny / July 31, 2014 at 11:35 am
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That's the spirit!
S / July 31, 2014 at 11:41 am
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To those saying the parking is gone, look at the bottom-right of the second "Celebration Common" photo...the concrete area where the trees are planted is a parking lot. Is there going to be proper TTC to here or is it going to be like Cherry Beach where it only runs for certain months and takes an hour to get to from Bloor?
Wha replying to a comment from DL / July 31, 2014 at 11:45 am
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I live five minutes away from the Ex/ Ontario Place, along with hundreds of thousands of other people dwelling in the condos/ apartments/ houses near by.

Also there are about 3 different ways (2 by TTC, 1 by Go Transit) to reach the EX/ Ontario place.
Joey replying to a comment from Rob Ford / July 31, 2014 at 11:48 am
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not costing the city anything YET! YET! Wake up people we will be paying for this. Maybe not the initial build.
jeffy / July 31, 2014 at 11:54 am
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I love this idea. Seems like a nice alternative to go to the islands and something the west end of town needs. Can't wait!
@ KT / July 31, 2014 at 11:57 am
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KT, why would Toronto need a man-made beach like Montreal? We have plenty of real, natural ones. Montreal has none, that is why they made a dugout swimming pit with river water and trucked in sand. I know people here inexplicably assume all things are better in Montreal, but I think we can do better than copying a fake beach somewhere else.
Juan E / July 31, 2014 at 11:59 am
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where will they put "subways, subways, subways"?
Suzi replying to a comment from Wha / July 31, 2014 at 11:59 am
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Yes and most people I know that live in that area can't stand the events that bring lots of people into the area because its so hard to get in and out of.
Lynn / July 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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MGM was not only going to build a casino but an entire entertainment complex. They were willing to pay to fix our roads and infrastructure to accommodate the extra traffic. Thousands of jobs would have opened up. Tourism would have increased. Such a pity people couldn't see past a "casino". Now it looks like we just have a renovated Ontario Place. Nothing new or innovative here. Just gotta shake my head..
TORY! replying to a comment from Wha / July 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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GREAT JOB JOHN TORY!! John Tory (Chair) Minister’s Advisory Panel on Ontario Place Revitalization

http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/ontarioplace/advisory.shtml

If you love this idea make sure you Vote for John Tory we can only expect more of the same from him!!!
Harrold / July 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Yo think this is free? We live in Ontario as well this is coming out of our federal taxes, this is not free to Torontonians.
John / July 31, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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If we are eliminating the parking can't we extend the streetcar loop down to this park so that people can actually access it without a thirty minute walk across the cne grounds?
McRib replying to a comment from Danny / July 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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Hey Danny,

why not just fuck off?

Regards,

Toronto
sean replying to a comment from @ KT / July 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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where are the 'plenty' of beaches you speak of? sunnyside is unswimmable due to runoff.the islands and the Beaches are a hassle to get to. Cherry beach is a tepid hole.

iSkyscraper / July 31, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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Looks great, very much similar to how the state of New York built the kick-ass Hudson River Park to help Manhattan create park space along its waterfront. A free public park, easier to reach and packed with amenities, is definitely the way to go in 2014.

Just keep Rob Ford the fuck out of the process or he'll pave it over for extra nightclub parking when he goes to Musik. As has been often said, he understand the cost of everything and the value of nothing. These plans will be gibberish to his low-capacity mind.

The one part that seems to be unclear is the new development that presumably is in there to ensure ongoing funding. Most flagship park developments these days (Brooklyn Bridge Park is a prime example) include some sort of development site to generate income via restaurant concessions or hotels or whatnot; there is nothing wrong with this idea if it is well-designed, and it avoids creating a giant drag on the taxpayer. So what do we have here? On this plan it seems there are several old buildings to re-use, plus the very large new wavy buildings (shown especially in the last rendering). Not all of that can possibly be for "shops and restaurants". (Isolated waterfront shopping malls like South Street Seaport are proven failures). Is that a conference center? A new cultural attraction? A hotel? There is simply way too many square feet shown there - I don't think we are getting the full picture.
Ray replying to a comment from sean / July 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm
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Umm its not the beaches that are off limits ITS THE WATER!
The same Lake Ontario water that will be used for this beach.
K-Borg / July 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm
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The people in architectural renderings never fail to amuse me.
Noah replying to a comment from kat / July 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm
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Toronto is being duped by a Liberal government that has only it's own confused horse racing agenda that it is now pushing. Woodbine and Ajax are OLG areas of expansion. Downtown Toronto is not being considered unless Toronto councilors "opine" to the Premier's office. There is a massive economic benefit to Toronto with a casino development in the downtown. Toronto has no sustainable urban economic model to bring needed tourism and economic development to the city!
Liam / July 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm
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Hope the water slides won't be going to far.
Noah replying to a comment from kat / July 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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Toronto is being duped by a Liberal government that has only it's own confused horse racing agenda that it is now pushing. Woodbine and Ajax are OLG areas of expansion. Downtown Toronto is not being considered unless Toronto councilors "opine" to the Premier's office. There is a massive economic benefit to Toronto with a casino development in the downtown. Toronto has no sustainable urban economic model to bring needed tourism and economic development to the city!
sean replying to a comment from Ray / July 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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the water quality at the majority of toronto beaches is excellent. accessibility is the issue.
http://www.cp24.com/news/eight-toronto-beaches-retain-blue-flag-status-1.1841879
Library Lover replying to a comment from C.Dot / July 31, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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I was going to say, God save us from folks like you who use the term "library of modern parks". Your pompous friends and collegues wont tell you it make you sound like an idiot - but you should be aware people will tune you out with such stupidity.

That said it sounds like maybe you are thinking about creating parks that people will enjoy rather than just bringing to life flakey designs from the urban design community.
GRUMPY commuter / July 31, 2014 at 12:41 pm
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This is exactly what we need, another attraction in the downtown core to bring more people to the already crowded roads and transit system. PERFECT!
Gary / July 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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Make it a year round destination, give me some fun, interesting, educational things to do and provide a better public transit option and I'll be happy. Add in some culture, free events and a few good bars/night clubs and I'll be very happy. Oh yeah, and bring back the water-play area, with maybe a new beach and Ontario Place will be amazing. With a bit of effort and some investment, it could be done. Anyway, this is good news and I'm happy!!!
Adam / July 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm
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Why are there so many refugee filled boats?
willeh replying to a comment from everything grows / July 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm
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"that's why i voted liberal!!! by the people for the people! thank you minister michael coteau!!!"--

I sincerly hope you are joking with that comment. The liberals have done nothing, and I mean NOTHING but line their own pockets at the expense of "the people." They have single handed destroyed Ontario as a manufacturing Behemoth and continue to chase manufacturing out with the asinine policies they have put in place. They have wasted ungodly amounts of "the peoples" money for their own personal political gains.
GRAARG / July 31, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Now I am not a condoist. Nor a condophobe. But has nobody learned anything from Jane Jacob's?

Let me see if I have this right.... we're going to build a prettier park in what was essentially a not pretty park and magically it will have life and people and interaction?

It's not like it is High Park or Beaches, etc which are surrounded by residential - this thing is surrounded by the CNE and a busy road. Some residential nearby to the east but to the north it is walled off by CNE and train tracks and any residential access to the west is pretty far away.

So there was no money for Ontario place and since there will be no real development there will be no new money from anywhere other than govt for this. So what we will end up with is a $100m pretty park with crap access by public transit (not too many families gonna lug the cooler all the way from CNE streetcar across Lakeshore) and no residential embedded within. Basically we'll end up with a $100m unused park.

Would it not make more sense to allow some moderate mixed use development which would accomplish a few goals: integrate residential, generate development income, generate real mixed-use, potentially have critical mass to justify some public transit?
kn / July 31, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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Looks like a very positive move. They need to include the eyesore known as the Exhibition and make that part of the park as well.
danny replying to a comment from McRib / July 31, 2014 at 01:00 pm
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is that all you can say? i bet your opinion matters a lot. no wonder this city doesnt go any further its cus of ppl like you that think by swearing that have more power!
good luck buddy
danny replying to a comment from Ryan / July 31, 2014 at 01:02 pm
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Ryan i worked at ontario place for 10 years. i saw this place on its best and on its worse. sad what we hear and see on the outside is not what happens behind closed doors. im just gonna leave it as that but if you want facts i can tell you!
danny replying to a comment from Liam / July 31, 2014 at 01:07 pm
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Liam no the water slides wont be going far... the new one that no one ever used (sorry my bad, 6 ppl used) is just up the road at wonderland !!!
Ray replying to a comment from sean / July 31, 2014 at 01:07 pm
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The water quality level goes up and down. Last week after the rain storm they were all closed.
Christian / July 31, 2014 at 01:14 pm
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They should bury The parking lot and turn the old parking lot in to condos. The money from the condos would pay for the park. We dont need a park where no one lives.

They also should add a spur to the Bathurst Street car line that would go into the park and loop back out. Without transit the whole thing is useless.
Andre replying to a comment from Lynn / July 31, 2014 at 01:17 pm
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Casinos attract nothing but trash, and they rob the unintelligent of their hard earned money. Go to Niagara Falls if you want that kind of disgusting lifestyle. Thanks!
Rob Ford / July 31, 2014 at 01:27 pm
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Okay, okay, so I'm wrong again! SO WHAT! Sorrrreeee! Just re-elect me and re:where does the subwat go, the Ontario Place Subway will service the deprived residents of Ontario Place with a SubwayInACircle that is not connected to the TTC subway. It will be underground ALL THE WAY! Another Ford Subway! I dowhatIsaidIwoulddo! Isavethetaxpersmoney! Call me Irwin (but no child support!)
flyinggoats replying to a comment from GRAARG / July 31, 2014 at 01:29 pm
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Completely agree. It would be nice to see some residential development, so that there are always people on the street. Add a few mixed use mid-rise buildings with restaurants and shops on the main floor.

If people live there, there will be better usage of the parks all year round.
Jim / July 31, 2014 at 01:38 pm
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Spend spend spend. What's 100 million when you are wasting billions (much of it siphoned off in corruption and waste) on the Pan Am Games.

Every million dollars of public debt means dependence on the big banks. And you wonder why they are getting more powerful.
To "Sean" / July 31, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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The Beaches are "a hassle to get to"? You're joking, right? Why? You stuck in prison or something? Jump on a streetcar. It is no more a "hassle" than for someone else to have to go to a fake beach at Ontario Place. Our beaches are a lot cleaner than you assume; you think the fake beach with trucked in sand in Montreal is cleaner? But hey! If Montreal did it, then it must be something pretty sophisticated, right? Let's copy them! No doubt Ontario will be filled with people crowding into a man made swimming pit.
Rob Ford / July 31, 2014 at 01:59 pm
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Me build subways at ontario place. Fer sure!
Kori replying to a comment from Andre / July 31, 2014 at 02:13 pm
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Sorry but how can you say that casinos attract trash? So only trashy people go to casinos? Really?
Kori replying to a comment from Andre / July 31, 2014 at 02:15 pm
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This park is going to fail. Nobody lives anywhere near Ontario Place.. its not walking distance to ANYTHING...
Kori / July 31, 2014 at 02:23 pm
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and what are the pods going to be used for?? Let me guess--nothing!
J. Slattery / July 31, 2014 at 02:43 pm
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For the price they are charging, the city isn't getting much in the way of change or creative solutions. A school could have a real good campus here with housing. A good spot for senior residences.
sean / July 31, 2014 at 02:44 pm
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"You stuck in prison or something? Jump on a streetcar."
Same thing.
Reno 101 / July 31, 2014 at 03:05 pm
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Ahhh a makeover, we all know that a fresh coat of paint fixes the real issues of any problem.
TJ / July 31, 2014 at 03:30 pm
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From a planning perspective, a park like this at this location is the wrong thing to do. It will be a deserted place at night with high potential for crimes (muggings, drugs, etc). This is a destination not a local park. There are not many local residents within a 500 m walking distance, which is essential to get an abundance of pedestrian traffic, dog walking, etc. There are also physical barriers to get to this park, such as Gardiner, Ricoh, BMO field, etc. This is a poor idea with high chance of failing. If you wanted a large park, you need to get some mixed uses and residential in here.
Moneehsa replying to a comment from KT / July 31, 2014 at 03:39 pm
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Uh, why in the hell would they build a man made beach on the waterfront, steps from a bunch of really real beaches?


Maybe in downsview park braintrust but on the waterfront, really?
Spike replying to a comment from Lynn / July 31, 2014 at 04:29 pm
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The casino is crap, and would have NOT given the city any jobs whatsoever; plus MGM wouldn't have built anything in the realm of 'entertainment'-stop being so brainwashed by these gaming companies and their promises.

For my part, I would have liked to see the rides and attractions for the kids come back-they need those. Now, if they want to do water things, they'll have to be driven to a water park.

@TJ and others; we don't need any more condos,, schools, or senior residences, but a play area. Let the developer build these things someplace else.
Tintin / July 31, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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When I was a kid Ontario Place was really popular. One time I was with my friends there, eating a pizza slice on the grass and a seagull stole my pizza right out of my hand! The kids play place was amazing. Also, the water slides were terrific. It was a great way to spend a day.

Maybe it has fallen out of use, since nowadays helicopter parents need to constantly babysit their children. Kids don't even come unaccompanied to neighbourhood parks anymore. What parents can babysit their kids at Ontario Place for a whole day? People are too busy. We would just go with a teenaged cousin.
Spike replying to a comment from willeh / July 31, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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Care to provide some evidence for that ASSertion? Or did you indeed pull it out of your ass?
chris / July 31, 2014 at 04:36 pm
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A garden like Allen gardens would be suitable for the cinesphere, however more can be done. An aquaponics facility should be instituted. A agricultural technology that should be showcased for all. Who else is going to do it and how will city folk and suburbanites know? This is the core value of yesteryears govt., God forbid we extend that legacy and do something bold and inspiring with our tax dollar.

CONSUMER SOCIETY FOR LIFE! YA
eddiehiggins / July 31, 2014 at 04:49 pm
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To the people moaning that no-one lives within walking distance you are wrong - there is actually a ton of condos close by and many more getting built. Also - walking has not been outlawed and is actually a healthy way to get from A to B.
jane / July 31, 2014 at 04:51 pm
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It's important to keep this space interactive and without condos . It needs some out of the box visuals or a handful of cool rental bungalows on waterfront or something different. So many of the parks/recreational areas popping up are starting to all look the same. This a great opportunity to create something understated but still insanely impressive
jane replying to a comment from Spike / July 31, 2014 at 04:56 pm
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Just pulled it out of my butt.
Park guy / July 31, 2014 at 05:20 pm
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Looking good. Perhaps the pods could be the long-dreamed-of Toronto Museum. Great spot though needing a better transit connection. Parking area should be made permeable.
Uncle Paulie / July 31, 2014 at 06:02 pm
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Great news for Toronto! An urban playground for the people is all worth it! What ever it costs! Thank you Toronto!
Park guy replying to a comment from Park guy / July 31, 2014 at 06:23 pm
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On transit: run a spur of the Bathurst 511 streetcar over the new pedestrian land bridge from Exhibition Place right into the park with a loop, like the 506 College car in High Park. During the Ex, the spur could be closed if it was too complicated to manage surface traffic through the midway. Cheap rail transit right into Ontario Place.
Permanent Mark / July 31, 2014 at 06:47 pm
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Looking forward to this getting started!

......especially the guy flying the kite-guy in Blue Park Winter....

wtf is that??
linden / July 31, 2014 at 07:16 pm
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what a great news,desegnated park with coffee places and restourants, something that Europian cities have and people enjoy. Former Ontario place looked very tired and I am not sure a make over would make a big difference. Toronto needs more green public space.
Victor / July 31, 2014 at 07:19 pm
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What a waste of money. Help the homeless, help the sick , save the children of Toronto instead.

$100 miliion !! It will be a Billion if the Liberals have anything to do with it
Karma / July 31, 2014 at 07:34 pm
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I think this is a great idea and those of you complaining that no one went to Ontario Place and that it closed must be over looking the fact that it opened in 1971 and did not close until 2011 not in 1971 so it is not like it was only open for a few months the way you are all acting they must of made money some how for those 40 yrs what killed them is that they offered admission for free that last year that they were open which is there own fault. Also there is ttc access to the ex and everyone seems to go around the time that the cne is on no one complains that they can't get there so why complain that you can't get to Ontario Place that is only a bridge away people just start walking more I think the problem is that people don't like walking more then they have to in this city.
Yardl / July 31, 2014 at 08:23 pm
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Wow - where do these urban designers come from? Why do they think that updating a failed recreation area that can't compete with wonderland or other 'intense fun' events can ever succeed? What is the point - creating a huge area of recreation mediocrity that isn't even really on the way to anywhere, that is a hassle to park at, has no 'middle class' transit like subways that would actually attract the type of demographic that would contribute to this? The only reason that lakeshore blvd attracts people at all is the pile of cyclists/ cars using to get home from work or take a fitness loop - which attracts a few more than a few more - its just mob attraction. But this new park is just a pimple away from where people shop, work, commute, or live. Stop designing parks like the places you think you would retire next to or take your family to because you can't afford a backyard - but now you can't afford to get gas or park at - and geez you'd never take 3 transfers worth of transit to. You can get away with this in mississauga, oakville, and burlington because parking is usually free and families are boring and craving to get away from big boxes and each other. If you want this to succeed, Liberty Village-ify it - condo, pub, car, and warehouse-art-business it up. The type of urban activist-urban-design/architects that actually design and support construction of these things never actually go to these places. Learn what people want - free, drunk, loud, close, after-work-patio, car-friendly, and neo-suburban. Was there even a business case for this?
Bill / July 31, 2014 at 11:06 pm
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This actually looks very well thought out and captures the some of the original intent of Ontario Place. My only suggestion would be to reroute the TTC stops so that TTC stops centrally to both the CNE and Ontario Place, and have shuttles available from the GO train for those who need it.
Vote John Tory / August 1, 2014 at 08:44 am
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Great work John Tory!! This is the plan John Tory brought forward last year minus the condos.

Votte John Tory for more achievable projects just like this one!
Dominique / August 1, 2014 at 08:48 am
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You all know all of Torontos beaches are man made right? From about Queen St South to the waterfront is all fill. And you think all that sand on Toronto Island was naturally all ready there?
905-er / August 1, 2014 at 09:02 am
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Some Central Park NYC competition, we really really needed this!
ThatsIt? / August 1, 2014 at 09:30 am
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Am I the only one who thinks that this new Ontario Place looks a lot like the old Ontario Place?

While I really like that there is plenty of park space, there is still no attraction to go there versus other areas in the city. Need some businesses and restaurants and bars, and even some residential to get bodies there outside of the 2 months of great weather we get.

Opportunity lost.
ThatsIt? / August 1, 2014 at 09:32 am
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Oh and while there IS decent public transit to get there. The CNE grounds kind of cut it off from the city. That's an even bigger unaddressed problem.
mike in parkdale / August 1, 2014 at 09:45 am
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Some people are saying that without residential areas near by, there wont be any people to populate the parks.

Who exactly lives near Cherry Beach or Sugar Beach?

Liberty Village and the Fort York condo area will provide more than enough people who could easily walk to the park. There's thousands of people in cramped condos who would love to get outside into a park.
Jeff / August 1, 2014 at 09:59 am
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While it's great that something is finally being done at Ontario Place, it would be nice to see someone think out of the box for once.

That area would be prime for a row of restaurants with patios. Something that would draw people year round. Something like what they have in Copenhagen:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Nyhavn_24-6-2003.JPG
the lemur replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / August 1, 2014 at 10:15 am
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There are condos going up near Sugar Beach, plus the Corus building and George Brown campus - people go to the beach on their breaks.
Jon.K / August 1, 2014 at 10:16 am
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I live in east york just across the VIA duct (greek town ish) - why would I sit in a hot street car for over an hour with a heavy cooler and my crying 2-year old to go and sit in what is essentially an open grass space with little shade and nothing for him to do? Much easier to go 10 mins down the road to Woodbine beach where there are tress, fields, food and climbing equipment. Casino would have created jobs and given people a reason to go there - the lack of public transportation kills this placce. Who commutes to a field?
the lemur replying to a comment from Jon.K / August 1, 2014 at 10:41 am
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You could always take the subway to Bathurst and then the Exhibition streetcar (most likely less than an hour) and a short walk?
Jon.K replying to a comment from the lemur / August 1, 2014 at 11:01 am
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Good point and I appreciate your suggestion - I just feel it is still a long commute for a park that does not have any uniqueness
Godfrey Mallion / August 1, 2014 at 11:39 am
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The Forum, with the revolving stage, plus the waterslide area, should return.
The miniature village, with Canadian landmarks, could occupy one of the pods.
Jon.K replying to a comment from Godfrey Mallion / August 1, 2014 at 11:47 am
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This would be good - something other than just another open space that's hard to get to!
Lee Dale replying to a comment from kat / August 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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...for no one.

Just completing your sentence there, Kat.
Rob Ford / August 1, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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I said no to mini-M,, my son when he wanted a pail and a shovel-Ikeptmymoneyfordrugsandalcohol-so no to Ontario Place! Leftylesbos like Wynne are big spenders! No pails! Vote for me and my peanut dinosaur brain! p s I'm not a homophobe, losers!
Aaron / August 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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Be thankful for what you get down at Ontario place. Thunder Bay has a harbour twice the size of Toronto, with a break wall that at its furthest point extends almost 1 km from shore.

For what could be the continent's most beautiful fresh water water front and tourist destination, Thunder Bay has a pea sized public space marina, surrounded by wasted relics of yesteryear's industry. Private owners sit on the (mostly toxic) land while the city of Thunder Bay makes insanely short sighted plans elsewhere. Dreaming big is too costly nowadays.

You guys have got it made in Toronto.
G. / August 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm
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The plan looks more 'now', but I do worry that it will become another bleak Downsview Park-esque urban desert without some mixed use development as part of the picture. Would it really be so bad if this vast tract of land included a few mid-rise condos and food/shopping concessions to off-set the public costs or building and running it?
Owl / August 1, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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Until Torontonians start using some of the outdoor facilities and parks that exist, I'm not sure they deserve any more. Planning and projects just lead to fault-finding and general habitual complaining.
nagemar replying to a comment from GRAARG / August 1, 2014 at 02:36 pm
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Spot ON!
John / August 1, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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Why not hand the whole thing over to waterfront Toronto. They have proven themselves more then capable of this type of thing not to mention they have done a pretty damn good job so far. The amount of parks and public spaces they have opened on our waterfront is amazing. And they also know how to incorporate revenue generating items like comerocal or residential componants . they also manage to recoup the money they have been given to build with through land lease deals. I doubt the government will recoup anything from this idea.
Andrew / August 1, 2014 at 09:38 pm
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This is not what i expected for Ontario Place. what hapened to rides for kids and adults. from the looks of it all ontario place is now is parks kids need to have fun in the summer and year round. bring back rides and fun to ontario place. not boaring park lands with trees and nothing to do. dumb idea. i like the old ontario place with water rides and mazes and the chineese lantern festival. that ontario place was fine. this new one is no good
Moaz Ahmad / August 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm
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A college campus would have been a great way to get people down to the area on a regular basis (beyond events during the year) and summer events would keep the area busy when the college is not in session. Ideally this could be a combined "resort" + park + education complex training people in hospitality...without the spectre of a casino (oooh, evil) hanging over everything. Durham College/UOIT is setting up a craft beer training institute at a satellite campus next to Whitby GO Station. Sheridan is talking about setting up a professional campus at Brampton GO. Humber could lock up Woodbine for a Hospitality Program if an "Integrated Resort" were ever built there. Mississauga is planning for a college campus on the site of the old Lakeview Generating Station. So why not think of something innovative for Ontario Place that combines learning, industry and activity?
Dwyan / August 2, 2014 at 01:11 am
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What we gonna be doin down there? Watching movies and shows at night? I'd rather just go downtown on the king, queen or dundas line. I ain't gonna be doing an extra transfer off the TTC to go down there.
Perry Como / August 2, 2014 at 10:27 am
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Will there be an honest eds on site? Please say yes!!!
richard / August 2, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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Parks……….and are they going to put Pizza Pizza and other corporate shit food for our consumption ? Why not make Ontartio Place the new BlueStar !
Rob Ford / August 2, 2014 at 03:41 pm
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Where's the crack den?
Perry Como / August 2, 2014 at 07:01 pm
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Has honest eds been contacted. An urban version on these parklands would be ideal
Ontario Place user / August 3, 2014 at 01:40 am
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this was the only inner city water park for the kids. it was relatively new and in the middle of continued construction with a new slide half way done when Ont. Place was closed with a brand new swimming pool lets tear all that down and make room for the yacht club members to have a personal "park" that no one else will go way out of their way to use. Ont Place will have gone from a true family park to a place for D.I.N.K's and their dog-kids as well as the elite yachters but there will be nothing for families with real kids. WELCOME TO LIBERTY PARK, the majorities 100 million dollar gift to the few
Chagall / August 3, 2014 at 10:32 am
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It would be amazing for one of the waterfronts to incorporate housing for those sensitive to toxic modern chemicals. As it currently stands there's no plan in Toronto for people with this disability (MCS).

Providing housing for people with that condition would enable more full lives and the possibility of being able to work rather than be completely or partially disabled. Waterfront housing would be helpful due to wind patterns from the lake.

For more information on the condition check the website I've listed. Cheers.
Perry Comoo / August 3, 2014 at 06:07 pm
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Call my Anil!
Ricky / August 4, 2014 at 08:33 pm
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Looks like a good plan to keep communications staff at the province employed as they tell us how much value is in this plan.
Angela / August 6, 2014 at 11:07 am
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It looks nice but there doesn't seem to be any fun things to do with kids...except walk or skate in the winter! At least the old Ontario Place had the waterpark, the log ride (or flume as some people call it), bumper boats etc...People would have come if you make it more accessible and updated! I even remember when the indoor maze was there! Had a lot of fun here!
sw / August 7, 2014 at 11:59 am
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This is all due to an amazing plan put forth by JOHN TORY. I think these plans are incredible - and a not a condo in sight!

My one complaint is the city should really look into keeping Echo Beach, or creating something similar. It's SUCH a magical venue with Toronto's city skyline shining beyond the stage and the planes taking off to the right.. Sounds absurd but actually looks so cool. I've been to so many shows there where an artist will actually comment on what a cool venue it is and how cool it is with the planes flying by (you can barely hear them over the roar of the music).

Anyway.. VOTE JOHN TORY!
Spike replying to a comment from Ontario Place user / August 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm
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Seconded

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