Pine Trees not Palm Trees at Ontario Place
Ontario Place for All says the government’s plans for Ontario Place are a total insult to the memory of former Premier William Davis, who opened the lakeside park fifty years ago this summer.
Spokesperson Cynthia Wilkey says when the Ford government first announced its plans to redevelop Ontario Place, Davis said, “It would be a shame and a disservice if commercial gain replaced the public interest on the present site of Ontario Place.” Wilkey says that is exactly what the Ford government has done.
“The public has clearly identified the post-COVID need for more open and accessible parkland, but the Ontario government is instead turning two-thirds of Ontario Place over to commercial interests.”
Ontario Place for All says the plans of the three winning companies, Therme Group, Live Nation, and Écorécréo Group, desecrate the original vision of Ontario Place.
“It was supposed to celebrate Ontario,” says spokesperson Suzanne Kavanagh. “But under the current proposals, we are getting a spa with palm trees, instead of pine trees. There’s also no word on how they are going to preserve the award-winning landscape at Ontario Place. How does this celebrate Ontario?” asks Kavanagh.
Another member of the Ontario Place for All coalition says the government is treating the current facilities, such as the Cinesphere and the Pods, as orphans.
“There is no Conservation Management Plan,” says planner Ken Greenberg, “and no indication about how the new facilities are going to be integrated into what is already at Ontario Place.”
Ontario Place for All says supporters need to get ready for a new and critically important phase of the battle to save the lakeside park. It begins on September 6, Labour Day, with a World Monuments Fund “Watch Day” at Ontario Place sponsored by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and The Future of Ontario Place project. Visitors and supporters will be invited to explore Ontario Place and participate in a scavenger hunt and match drawing of Ontario Place with their memories and hopes for its future. More details can be found at https://acontarionextgens.ca/ontario-place-watch-day/.