Overwhelming Support from Toronto City Council

Last week, Toronto City Council unanimously endorsed the fight to keep Ontario Place as a publicly accessible jewel on Toronto’s waterfront. Every Councillor at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting supported a motion by Mayor John Tory that established a strong City policy on the proposed revitalization of Ontario Place.
The good news is the City’s policy aligns with the principles adopted by Ontario Place for All. It calls for the City and the province to:
  • restore the purpose of Ontario Place as a showcase and destination for Ontario;
  • enhance public access to the full-length of the Ontario Place shoreline, and protect its natural heritage features;
  • develop a mix of non-residential uses and activities that reflect its waterfront location;
  • include Ontario Place on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register;
  • link Ontario Place with Exhibition Place in order to realize the natural synergies between the two sites;
  • consult with Indigenous peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation; and
  • improve transit access to, from and between Ontario Place and Exhibition Place.
Most importantly, Mayor Tory argued that any decision by the Ontario government has to be done through a fully-transparent public process, that is responsive to the broader community. “I am really hopeful that the province will, in a genuine way, adopt a different approach that what has been done in the budget. That was unilateral, that was retroactive, it was done without consultation.
The Councillor for Spadina-Fort York, Joe Cressy, was key to developing the City’s position on Ontario Place and ensuring the unanimous support of his fellow councillors.“If you want to reimagine Ontario Place, it has to be led by and driven by clear principles based on public policy and public interest. We have been proactive in articulating a series of principles related to public access, connection to the waterfront, heritage preservation, expansion of parkland, arts and culture with year-round animation… I have been blown away at the thousands of Torontonians and Ontarians who have responded on his, from the Ontario Place for All organizing group, just ordinary residents who come out to town halls.
The City’s move supporting an accessible future for Ontario Place has already had an impact. Infrastructure Ontario was expected to release its expected Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) last week, giving developers direction as to what the Ontario government sees as the future of Ontario Place. But Ontario Place for All has learned that, under pressure from the Mayor’s Office, that REOI has been delayed until the end of the month.

Ontario Place for All would like to thank Mayor Tory, Councillor Cressy and City Council for their leadership and strong support for Ontario Place.
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