Ontario Place for All says it is going to fight any attempt by the Ontario government to turn Ontario Place over to private business interests.
The community group says the Development Proposal released today by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport will allow developers to ban the public from any or all of the 155-acre waterfront park. It will also allow them to destroy significant heritage landmarks, such as the Cinesphere, the Pods and the recently-built Trillium Park. The only thing protected is the privately-run Budweiser Stage.
“If the government succeeds with this wholesale destruction of Ontario Place,” says Cynthia Wilkey, a member of the Ontario Place For All Steering committee, “Ontario Place could be turned into a gated entertainment community, accessible only to those who can afford to pay.”
Ontario Place for All (ontarioplaceforall.com) is fighting to preserve public access to Ontario Place, ensuring the park remains a jewel in Toronto’s system of Waterfront parks.
“Not only is the government turning Ontario Place over to private business interests,” says Suzanne Kavanagh, another member of the Steering Committee, “but it is offering the developers a subsidy, by paying all the costs of soil remediation and the necessary utilities.”
Urban planner Ken Greenberg says today’s announcement is a slap in the face for the City of Toronto. “City Council unanimously approved a set of principles for the redevelopment of Ontario Place, that called for full community consultation, a recognition of the site’s Indigenous heritage, and it’s joint development with Exhibition Place. None of these are now going to happen.”
For more information,
Cynthia Wilkey – firstname.lastname@example.org – (416) 892-8941
Suzanne Kavanagh – email@example.com – (647) 309-4365