Province to advance Ontario Place plans regardless of who wins mayor’s race: House Leader

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario government house leader Paul Calandra says no obstacles will derail the province’s plans to redevelop Ontario Place, including if Toronto’s next mayor opposes the project.

Calandra says the province will use all available tools should Toronto’s new mayor seek to halt the build.

Ontario Place has become an issue on the campaign trail in Toronto’s mayoral byelection that is set for June 26.

Some candidates such as Olivia Chow and Josh Matlow have said they will oppose the province’s plan to build a spa and waterpark as well as move the Ontario Science Centre to the site.

The City of Toronto owns a small parcel of the Ontario Place lot while the province owns the balance of land.

Calandra says the province wants millions of people to flock to a redeveloped Ontario Place and will not stand for anyone getting in the way.

“It is going to be an awesome place for the people of (the) province of Ontario, and we will not let obstacles get in the way,” Calandra said.

“We’ve seen this far too often in municipalities across Ontario and when they get in the way, we’ll remove the obstacles and get it done.”

Fences went up recently on part of the Ontario Place site, restricting access through the marina that connects the West Island to Trillium Park, as the province prepares to re-develop the site into a private spa and water park.

A QR code posted on the barriers connects to a government website with a message that “construction activities have started across the site” as part of the redevelopment of Ontario Place.

The message says “site servicing construction work will begin soon to upgrade critical infrastructure, such as sewage, water, electrical and gas services” and that the work will require heavy machinery and construction equipment.

The blocked-off portion of the island includes the Ontario Place Marina, Cinesphere, and the areas around the shuttered log ride, which have been used for large public events and festivals in past summers.

With files from Canadian Press

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