Earlier this year, you had an opportunity to share your ideas for the Ontario Place redevelopment. Now, the provincial government is seeking proposals and concepts from around the world.
Ontario issued an international Call for Development to find a private sector partner to work with to flesh out the master-plan for the Ontario Place site.
"Our government promised to move quickly to bring Ontario Place back to life and we are delivering on that promise," says Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "We are inviting partners from around the world to submit their designs and ideas for a reimagined Ontario Place."
When Ontario engaged the public back in January, the call for submissions requested that ideas be based on making Ontario Place a destination for sport, entertainment, landmarks, public spaces, parks, recreation facilities, and retail.
At the time, the province was not considering new residential development - and they’re still not. Ontario seems pretty adamant about not building condos or any type of affordable housing at the prime waterfront site.
We can’t help but think that a mixed-use master-plan involving residential would be a good idea for the site. If there’s going to be public spaces, recreation facilities, parks, and retail, why not have some housing component?
Making the waterfront location a desirable place to live could help prevent it from becoming a tourist trap that Torontonians and even other Ontarians end up avoiding. There’s also the opportunity to build some much needed rental housing.
Something that wasn’t off the table earlier this year, but is now black balled like residential development, is a casino. The province’s Call for Development plainly states that casino concepts will not be considered.
So, if you were hoping for new condos, it doesn't look like it’s going to happen. If you’re the gambling type and were looking forward to heading down to the water to try your luck, then you’re out of luck.
"The former government ignored this gem and let it deteriorate for far too long," says Tibollo. "We have a real opportunity here to unlock the great potential of Ontario Place as a year-round, world-class destination that can attract visitors from Canada and abroad, as well as Ontarians."
The submissions for the Call for Development are due September 3, 2019, so we’ll have to wait until closer to the end of this year to see what the future holds for Ontario Place.