Congratulations – You Did It!
Ontario Place for All (OP4All) wants to thank all its members and supporters for the important victory they won yesterday – the Ontario government’s announcement that there is not going to be any wholesale destruction of Ontario Place.
Thousands of you joined OP4All in demanding the government preserve Ontario Place’s unique heritage landscape, including the Cinesphere, the Pods, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail.
Yesterday, Lisa MacLeod, the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries agreed, and in a White Paper, promised that “key heritage and recreational features will remain, such as the Cinesphere, the pods, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail.”
Bill Greaves, with the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, says the government has come a long way from its “nothing can be saved” talk of 2019. “We look forward to working with the Ministry to develop a Conservation Management Plan to manage change and build on the value of what is already there. That’s what governments around the world have done in similar circumstances.”
While yesterday’s announcement is an important victory, the fight for Ontario Place isn’t over yet.
The Minister says there will be some announcements in the New Year, even though there have been no public consultations on the future of Ontario Place. OP4All’s Cindy Wilkey says it must remain as a park and open public space. “The Minister said yesterday her government recognized the tourism potential of Ontarians’ new embrace of nature and the outdoors during the COVID lockdown. Ontario Place offers an opportunity to capitalize on that momentum.”
OP4All believes yesterday’s announcement was a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. The Ontario government needs to recognize that Ontario Place is an essential public space and that there needs to be meaningful public engagement in determining its future.