Construction work to start on Ontario Place revitalization’s first phases – a $100 million project

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GTA Construction Report staff writer

The provincial government has released concept plans and announced it plans to start construction work on the first phases of the Ontario Place revitalization – a project with an estimated $100 million budget.

The 68 ha. public area on Toronto’s waterfront opened in 1971, but closed in 2012 as the government battled its increasing deficits and the costs of running the operation.

“The government’s plan does not include residential development of any kind on a space that should remain public,” a provincial news release said, clearly indicating this site won’t be used for new condo developments.

However, the government released images showing possibilities for the site, originally created on landfill under different construction and environmental standards.

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The government says the project’s first phase involves transforming about 7.5 acres of the a portion of the east island, previously used for staff parking and storage, into an urban park and trail that will link to the existing waterfront trail system.  Multi-disciplinary design firms LANDinc. And West 8 were selected in 2013 as designers.

The overall project’s concept plan released this August includes these features

Greater public recreational space – a collection of green spaces and a blue park for water activities, as well as a waterfront trail.

  • A celebration common – an area for cultural activities, festivals and community events.
  • Live music legacy – expansion of live music options that will include continuing performances at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, as well as exploring options to bring live music acts to the site year-round.
  • A hub for culture, discovery and innovation – new facilities that have an eye towards the future, focused on learning and research.
  • Cinesphere and pods – will be conserved as an important part of the site’s cultural heritage.
  • A canal district – a waterfront promenade lined with stores and restaurants.

Improved connections – including a landscaped pedestrian bridge that doubles as a gathering space extending across Lake Shore Boulevard and linking with Exhibition Place.

The next stage of work includes an environmental assessment and land-use planning process, further consultations with Ontarians and sole remediation.

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