Today Sat Sun
It is forecast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on August 22, 2014
Chance of Rain
It is forecast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on August 23, 2014
Chance of Rain
It is forecast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on August 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy



The Province Announces A New Park for Ontario Place

The majority of the ex-amusement park remains in redevelopment limbo.

There was a brief flutter of excitement this morning when it was revealed that there would be an announcement about next steps for Ontario Place, the aging entertainment complex that the province closed for redevelopment in February 2012. Hope for some kind of bold revamp dimmed the moment Tourism Minister Michael Chan took the podium to inform reporters that all Queen’s Park is committing to, for the moment, is a 7.5-acre public park.

The Star reports that this park would be built on the site of a former parking lot, and that, according to Chan, “it will be a moderate park.” Global adds that it will include a waterfront trail. The idea is for it to be complete in time for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games.

The groundwork for Ontario Place’s revitalization was laid last year when a special advisory panel, led by John Tory, held some public consultations and then released a report detailing a number of recommendations for the site. That report called for the majority of Ontario Place’s 155 acres of land and water to be turned into a public park, with the rest given over to businesses, residences, entertainment venues, and maybe a resort hotel.

The report also called for “design excellence.” A “moderate park” doesn’t sound as though it will live up to that standard. And 7.5 acres is far from a majority of Ontario Place’s landmass—though to be fair, we don’t know whether more parkland will be announced in the future.

The province has yet to announce where funding for the park will come from, nor has it announced any specifics about what might happen to the rest of Ontario Place, except that there won’t be a casino.


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    7.5 acres? Plenty of space left for cookie cutter condos.

  • OgtheDim

    The Star report said that this parking lot has been closed for 40 years?

    We’ve had 7.5 acres of land down there not used since the days of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon..” ?!?!?!

    • dsmithhfx

      Perfect! Stick some potted plants and picnic tables and call it a “park”.

  • Lee Zamparo

    They also want to complete what was announced by 2015, in time for the Pan Am games. It would be totally unrealistic to expect anything more involved than a 7.5 acre park to be complete by then. They just want to save some face by setting modest expectations. Are we so cynical?

  • lovetoronto

    I think it’s IMPORTANT that we remain calm and add to the conversation rather than criticize. This is one of the most important green spaces we have. We need to make sure it’s developed for the enjoyment of ALL Torontonians and Visitors to this great city. Get involved and add your voice. www Rethinking Ontario Place.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      This is one of the least important green spaces we have, which is what people want to change.

  • treptower

    I think it’s the parking lot south of the parking lot, next to the parking lot, just west of the parking lot.

  • HotDang

    It can’t be the one at the east end of the island. That only appears to be an acre or three of land.