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An Updated Vision for Ontario Place

New designs revealed for Ontario Place's urban park.

When public consultations were first held about the design of the urban park planned for a portion of Ontario Place, one of their key findings was that Torontonians felt the space should honour the city’s First Nations heritage.

New renderings, presented yesterday during the final round of public consultations [PDF], reflect new efforts to establish connections with the city’s native heritage. First Nations–inspired carvings adorn the walls of the gateway to the “ravine” at the north end of the park—the carvings will be part of a provincial “moccasin identifier” project, which marks First Nations sites in urban areas with moccasin symbols.

Other new elements include a floating dock for canoeists and kayakers near the park’s entrance, and a firepit at the central beach.

Documents suggest the park’s central esplanade and programming space will be used for various different purposes and activities, including festivals, food trucks, a farmers’ market, and art fairs. The park’s south end could host events such as kite festivals and outdoor film screenings.

As with the previous rounds of public consultation, an online survey has been posted—it will be available until March 31. The final design is scheduled to be revealed by this summer.

Images courtesy Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.


  • dsmithhfx

    Zombie theme park?

  • OgtheDim

    What….no parking lot for the Casino?

  • tomwest

    “First Nations-inspired” – what does that actually mean??? Somethign that looks like native art, but isn’t? Surely that’s deceitful?

  • Paul Kishimoto

    I know absolutely nothing about architecture or public space design, but I feel like the first question asked of anything in Toronto (especially near the lake) has to be: Will this, or will this not, be a blasted, empty wasteland in the winter which sane human beings will shun?

    Serious bonus points should accrue if the answer is “no.”

    • Mark

      I think they deserve your bonus points, then.

      The idea of the ravine is ultimately about this–the lake will be on the one side, while a sheltered path will be on the other. On days when the winds are mild or non-existant, a winter walk on the lakeside will be fine, but for the 99.9% of the winter when that’s not the case, you have the sheltered path.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Christie Pits is a blasted, empty wasteland in the winter, except on rare days when there’s enough of a snow pack and pleasant weather to justify dragging the magic carpets and toboggans out of storage. Should we get rid of it? What about the city’s beaches and all the open spaces on the islands? We’d be a much poorer city if our public spaces had to be designed for summer-like levels of use in the middle of winter: they’d all be indoors.

      • mariapd

        Hey, dog owners use the park in the winter too!

        • mariapd

          Oops, the comment should go above.

      • Paul Kishimoto

        “Bonus points” is as opposed to a strict requirement; places can be satisfactory without them.

  • AnnMarie Marchand

    What about the kids – Ontario place (in the early days) was a place where kids could run, jump, climb- where are the kids areas?

  • Spek

    Wonderful! I haven’t played Myst in years!

  • estta

    Maybe it’s the same person who made up a word for the zoo’s polar bear naming poll.

  • tazcubed

    So, let’s get this straight. They’re going to put a sliver of a park, right next to another park. Roughly 80% is undetermined, most likely to go condos (from my understanding of it) – so this is the “buy in”. A group is thinking of making a indoor/outdoor park somewhere in the GTA, so why not simply take a portion of this area and redevelop it as opposed to yet another condo development? There’s so little accessible family-friendly entertainment in the downtown area, losing Ontario Place doesn’t make sense. The Toronto Island park isn’t truly accessible because of the long lines that form to use the ferry and of course, there’s no relief to that fiasco.

  • Spek

    When I was a kid, one of my favourite parts of Ontario Place was Ontario North Now, which did the Canadian Shield thing…