Save original Ontario Science Centre, building’s architect firm urges

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The firm of the architect who designed the Ontario Science Centre is calling on the province to save the building and build on its legacy.

On April 18, the provincial government announced the Ontario Science Centre will move to the redeveloped Ontario Place as an anchor tenant – housed in a new custom-built, state-of-the-art facility, as well as in the iconic Cinesphere and Pod complex. Construction is expected to begin in 2025, with an opening slated for 2028..

“We are looking forward to working with our staff, visitors and communities over the coming years to imagine what the new Ontario Science Centre will become. This is a wonderful opportunity to set us on an exciting path where we will continue to inspire curiosity, innovation and discovery for generations to come,” reads a statement on the Science Centre website..

The move would eventually see the current science centre, which opened in 1969, demolished.

The firm of architect Raymond Moriyama, who designed the science centre, says the “landmark” facility should be regenerated in a way that builds on its heritage, celebrates its architecture and affirms it as a neighbourhood amenity.

Moriyama Teshima Architects writes in a statement that the mission and footprint of the science centre can also be expanded if there’s a need for a new public institution along Lake Ontario.

Ford has said he hopes the eventual demolition of the current science centre will make way for housing in the area.

Construction on the new science centre at Ontario Place is set to begin in 2025, with its opening scheduled for 2028  – the current centre is set to remain open in the interim.

The province is also finalizing an agreement with Live Nation that will create a new, year-round concert venue attraction. Building on 25 years of memories, the brand-new amphitheatre will welcome 20,000 fans to an all-season venue, increasing its capacity, while also protecting its beloved grassy amphitheatre.

“Our government has a mandate to bring Ontario Place back to life,” said Kinga Surma, minister of infrastructure. “With today’s announcement, we are continuing to make progress on our vision to create a cultural and recreational landmark that will, once again, be fun for everyone. Together with the Ontario Science Centre, Live Nation and Therme Canada, we are creating an iconic destination on Toronto’s waterfront that will bring visitors from Ontario and around the world together, providing people of all ages with something to enjoy.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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