Breathtaking new images of Ontario Place redevelopment overshadowed by outrage
A clearer vision is emerging for Premier Doug Ford's controversial plan to rebuild Ontario Place into a corporate wonderland, to the chagrin of some who wish to stop the plan in its tracks.
A new series of glossy renderings released by Therme Group — one of the private partners selected to lead the charge on the redevelopment of the 155-acre Toronto waterfront site — is once again being accompanied by a torrent of outrage.
Therme Group quietly released the new images on its website for the Ontario Place project, a URL which recently saw a boost in traffic thanks to a very controversial survey issued by the Austrian spa and waterpark developer.
But nobody is talking about the impressive new images, as the discussion is mainly centred on the accompanying survey.
In the now-closed appeal for public input on its proposed massive indoor waterpark, spa, and beach, Therme Group asks leading questions that make zero attempts to hide their true motives. Questions seem to point to a predetermined outcome for the proposal, as noted by some comments on social media.
Nice biased wording on the waterfront survey from @ThermeCanada, the folks who want to turn a large part of Ontario Place into a spa. Sorry, building a private spa that swallows up West Island is not how we “enhance the waterfront”. Link: https://t.co/DlfFGNfxZp #topoli #onpoli pic.twitter.com/X2PROiS6fl— Norm Di Pasquale (@normsworld) November 18, 2022
Among those speaking out in opposition to the project is a grassroots organization known as Ontario Place for All (OP4A). The group's co-chair, Toronto politician Norm Di Pasquale, ridiculed the survey and the overtly transparent bias evident in its questions' wording.
You can see they’re really trying to sell a new beach at Ontario Place in exchange for the surrender of public parkland. Don’t they know there’s already a swimmable beach on West Island at Ontario Place? pic.twitter.com/qloMDCdBKr— Norm Di Pasquale (@normsworld) November 18, 2022
Many were already displeased with the proposed corporate makeover, and this survey has only recharged opposition.
Garbage survey, terrible plan for @OntarioPlace— @DaveLikesBikes@urbanists.social (@DaveLikesBikes) November 19, 2022
Others are preemptively challenging the outcome of the survey based on the perceived (and pretty apparent) bias.
@ThermeCanada should be ashamed for conducting such a leading survey without mentioning its role at Ontario Place. Whatever the results, it is not a reputable nor a reliable survey.— Mike MacKenzie (@MWMacKenzie) November 19, 2022
The Ontario government selected Therme Group, along with California-based concert promoter Live Nation and Quebec park and play equipment builders Écorécréo as private partners in the Ontario Place redevelopment back in June 2021.
Just 15 months later, Écorécréo walked from the project, leaving Ontario Place's proposed Adventure Park component's future in doubt, though Therme and Live Nation remain involved as of late 2022.
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