Most adult Toronto residents view Ontario Place with a true sense of nostalgia. Over the course of several decades, the inner city theme park delighted visitors with it’s water park, IMAX movies and beautiful lake side views. However, over the last 5 to 10 years, Ontario Place has begun to lost some of it’s lustre. Despite decent attendance on the weekends, Ontario Place can often be quite empty throughout the week. Recently, according to this Toronto Star article, the Provincial Crown corporation has started to look at overhauling the entire Ontario Place complex. The extremely unfortunate thing is that this may mean that all the buildings currently on the Ontario Place property may be torn down.
The Provincial Crown corporation is looking for ideas to redevelop the site and are hoping to make a decision by 2011. I have heard rumours of such developments as a high end condo complex and a hotel to accommodate all the convention goers at Exhibition Place. However, it seems quite alarming (and disheartening) that the idea of simply improving the amusement park hasn’t been considered. There are many buildings on the site already that are considered an icon of Toronto and to destroy all these buildings seem like a somewhat ludicrous thing to do. Thus, it seems to make more sense that if they want to make better use of the space, they simply need to improve what they already have.
Ontario Place is an extremely popular spot for families and provides Toronto with a central amusement park for everyone to enjoy. It is also a cheaper alternative to the overpriced Canada’s Wonderland outside of Toronto. And it seems that there is a growing community who want to make sure that site of Ontario Place continues to be a place for everyone to enjoy. I have already found (and joined) a Facebook group entitled ‘Save Ontario Place‘ and I urge those who don’t want to lose this important piece of Toronto to join. And while I am intrigued to hear all the different proposals, I truly believe the best one is one that improves what is already there and not one that takes away a true piece of Toronto history.