Plans to revamp Ontario Place are 'tone-deaf' and exclusionary, say Toronto residents, critics

Exactly one year after plans were announced to overhaul Toronto's Ontario Place with a massive water park and indoor spa, among other attractions, the latest designs set to go to city council in the fall are igniting concerns of equity and accessibility for downtown residents.

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chillymoose
chillymoose
164 · 6 days ago · Reddit

According to the plan, which is still in its design and approval phase, construction on the site will move from west to east, taking roughly 10 years to complete.

This is going to be our next Union Station, isn't it?

morenewsat11
morenewsat11
127 · 6 days ago · Reddit

More comments from mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa on the proposed design. The waterfront belongs to all Torontonians, not just those who can afford to pay for access. From the article"

While assessments and public consultations are ongoing, Urbanist and mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa says the current designs present issues of equity and accessibility. He is pushing for the attraction to be moved.

"What the province is coming up with now is something that is completely isolated, all exclusionary, only for wealthy people, not for the everyday Torontonians," Penalosa told CBC Toronto.

"That same park could be north of the highway or on the parking lot of Exhibition Place. The waterfront does not add or subtract anything from the proposal of the province."

The development application will be filed with the City of Toronto in October, while the municipal election is underway. It will then go to the next council in fall 2023.

"This is public land. That means it belongs to all of us, all of the citizens. So we need to do whatever is good for all citizens. And we urgently need more space, more green areas, more free areas," Penalosa added.

Jaded_Promotion8806
Jaded_Promotion8806
72 · 6 days ago · Reddit

I'll always maintain the gold standard for Ontario place is South Bank in Brisbane. To quote Stefon, it has everything. Park space, museums, event space, shopping, restaurants, public transportation, and yes, even a ferris wheel (booooo!). This vision for Ontario Place is a significantly watered down version of that and a missed opportunity to do something visionary.

jtgyk
jtgyk
67 · 6 days ago · Reddit

From the same guy that pitched a goddamn monorail, we have a waterpark and indoor spa (????) which will be enjoyed by few but paid for by all. It's the Ford way.

neontetra1548
neontetra1548
50 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Much of those sheer glass walls is going to end up mostly grey spandrel panels almost guaranteed when it comes to realistically building this. I don’t know why it’s not false advertising for renders to portray unrealistic things they can’t build, especially when the public is the client. But this is a completely unrealistic proposal and will end up looking like a heap of junk much more than this infinity glass vision.

They don’t have Apple Headquarters money and engineering to pull off their vision of building with floor to ceiling all glass like they have here. It’s 100% a lie that they can build what they are proposing in the renders. It’s bait and switch and we’re the suckers paying and will have to live with the junky result. Doug’s friends will be laughing to the bank and we’ll have an ugly tacky private attraction for decades that likely won’t even survive as a business long term. Looking forward to exploring its ruins in the future but it’s tragic we’ll obliterate Ontario Place for this.

Area51Resident
Area51Resident
40 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Palm trees, yea that will work. Just plant new ones every spring...

penny4thm
penny4thm
36 · 6 days ago · Reddit

I expect no less from a Ford government. Say one thing and do another.

methreweway
methreweway
30 · 6 days ago · Reddit

The scale of this waterpark is gigantic. I do think they should have approached this differently instead of focusing on one vendor providing an indoor spa on the water. Divide it up and add different activities.

bewarethetreebadger
bewarethetreebadger
18 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Toronto is quickly becoming a city only for the wealthy.

Edit: as opposed to being a city MOSTLY for the wealthy.

sirprizes
sirprizes
14 · 6 days ago · Reddit

So long as they don't touch Trillium Park, I don't really care about this. I enjoyed running and walking through there during pandemic but even then they would close Ontario Place sometimes.

Can you still go through Ontario Place as a pedestrian or not? Article doesn't really say.

Furthermore, while I agree that we need more greenspace in the city, I would say that it's other areas of the city that are more lacking than this area. I lived in that area for years and there's quite a bit of greenspace - it's why I wanted to live there in the first place. There's Coronation Park (my favourite), Trillium Park, Little Norway Park, Music Garden and Fort York. For Fort York in particular, with the pedestrian bridges they have now you can walk up to Stanley Park on King and almost all the the way up to Trinity Bellwoods going through parks.

FutureMilitaryWorld
FutureMilitaryWorld
13 · 6 days ago · Reddit

The area is absolutely wonderful the way it is. A free and still beautiful park.

jtrain2500
jtrain2500
9 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Doesn't seem like a terrible idea. Wasn't ontario place a Waterpark for years where families would go in the summer? They are bringing that back. This article seems to argue for an open space park with no revenue or economic development. I actually think that is more tone def. A few cyclists and joggers go through it now. It's not being used and it's prime real estate.

AndrewsQuest
AndrewsQuest
8 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Have they started digging the Ontario Line? couldn't They just make a new island next to Ontario place with the tunnel fill, like with Tommy Thompson?

december_karaoke
december_karaoke
7 · 6 days ago · Reddit

Can we focus on improving infrastructure any time soon? Jfc GTA is probably one of the worst so-called "world level city" with such a trash level infrastructure