Ontario Place is a multiple use site under development in Toronto, Ontario. It is located on the shore of Lake Ontario, just south of Exhibition Place, to the south-west of downtown Toronto. It opened on May 22, 1971 and consists of three artificially constructed, landscaped islands.
The facility is owned by the Government of Ontario and is administered as an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It takes its name from the original Ontario Place, an annual exhibition and entertainment complex that operated on the site from 1971 to 2011. Currently the site includes the Budweiser Stage, event facility "Atlantis", and a marina. Buildings on the site include "pods" designed by Eb Zeidler and a geodesic dome, that contained the Cinesphere IMAX theatre.
2010 request for information
In the summer of 2010, the provincial government issued a Request for Information calling for ideas from private bidders to completely redevelop the park. Ontario Place general manager Tim Casey told the Toronto Star that "2011 will be our 40th anniversary. It definitely needs a revitalization, that’s no surprise. It’s a blank slate, we’re open to just about anything.” A formal Request for Proposals process began that fall. The government intends to transform the park from a largely seasonal facility to a year-round attraction. Redevelopment was to have included the tearing down of the Cinesphere as well as other long standing attractions.
On February 1, 2012, the government announced that the public sections of the park will be closed and redeveloped, with a targeted completion date of 2017, in time for Canada's 150th anniversary. John Tory was announced as the chair of a Minister's Advisory Panel on Revitalization. All Ontario Place facilities will be closed except for the marina, the Molson Amphitheatre, the Atlantis entertainment venue and parking.
Minister's Advisory Panel Report
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Following the provincial elections in June, the government announced the plans in July for Ontario Place to be developed as an urban parkland with Molson Amphitheatre, Cinesphere and the pods retained.
The West Channel at Ontario Place was a venue for the 2015 Pan American Games (Athletics -marathon/race walk, cycling (road race), triathlon (cycling/run), open water swimming, triathlon (swim), water skiing and 2015 Parapan American Games (Cycling). Minor and temporary upgrades were made to accommodate use during the games. Construction was begun in March on the park and a waterfront path, which was named the William G. Davis Trail, after the Ontario premier who opened the original Ontario Place in 1971.
- "Ontario Place to be torn down and rebuilt", Toronto Star, July 15, 2010
- "Minister's Advisory Panel on Ontario Place Revitalization". Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Queen's Printer for Ontario. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Parts of Ontario Place to be closed for overhaul". 680 News. 1 February 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Bradbeer, Janice. "Will this lakeside gem glisten again?". Toronto Star, May 15, 2016. page IN7
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