My brother Jim built Ontario Place, so I have a familial interest in the fate of the theme park on Toronto’s shore whose future is being loudly fought over. I also have friends on both sides of that debate.
What’s incontestable is that you should take an active interest in its future – not just because Ontario Place will likely be part of your leisure life, but because it will signal so much of what kind of city Toronto is and can be.
While Ontario Place is owned by the province, which is pushing forward on its plans for a new theme park to open as early as 2027 and serve up to five million people a year, last week Toronto’s planning department issued a critical report on the facility’s new spa in particular.
In 2019 a citizen’s group, Ontario Place for All, was formed, and Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail’s architecture critic, has written a number of gloves-off reviews of the park’s design and funding. Meanwhile, Therme Group, the Austrian-based spa designers, have already made alterations to their original design.
One big question is whether Toronto’s next Mayor will support the new Ontario Place the way our last one did.
There’s a lot at stake here. Well worth some time to study up on the issues and the facts.