Use Ontario Place to Help Fight COVID
Ontario Place for All says, in light of the Covid outbreak, the provincial government should reconsider its plans to redevelop Ontario Place.
“One thing became crystal clear over the past weekend,” says Ken Greenberg, urban designer and member of the Steering Committee of Ontario Place for All (OP4A). “The overcrowding at Trinity-Bellwoods showed Toronto needs more park space. Unfortunately, a lot of the greenspace currently at Ontario Place could be lost under the government’s redevelopment plans.”
Committee member Cynthia Wilkey says there should also be some immediate improvements to the lakeside attraction, now that it has been opened for the summer.
“We think by building shade structures and adding safely managed food and refreshment trucks, the Ontario government could make Ontario Place a signature item on an agenda of helping people through the summer.”
Wilkey says it would bring much-needed relief to people who have been socially isolating for more than two months.
The President of Swim, Drink, Fish says Ontario Place should also bring the beach on the West Island up to standard and hire full-time lifeguards. Mark Mattson says Toronto is facing a critical shortage of beaches this summer.
“People can’t get to the four beaches on the Toronto Islands because there is no ferry service. That increases the urgency of using the beaches that we have.”
Mattson says Ontario Place has some of the cleanest water on the lakefront, and Swim, Drink, Fish will resume it’s testing for water quality next week.
Ontario Place for All is calling on the government to abandon its plan to allow the private redevelopment of Ontario Place.
“Amusement parks everywhere have been shuttered,” says Wilkey. “In a world that could see more virus outbreaks, open park space is a better investment.”