In the past few days, the topic of a potential casino venue built on site of the former Ontario Place is becoming progressively popular in the area. Province lawmakers are expressing their position regarding the possible gaming facility introduction and Toronto Mayor John Tory recently joined the opposition of this project.
This Monday brought his official statement letting the public know that the region might not be the best environment for casino construction and development. He stated his personal opinion that a gambling venue situated in Downtown Toronto is not the best decision for both the area and the community at this time.
Furthermore, he claimed that the construction of such a facility and the subsequent launch of business is not the most convenient use of the available space.
Casno Venue Considered Inappropriate for Ontario Place
The waterfront area of Toronto is one of the most picturesque locations in the region and thousands of people coming from near and far make their way there on a regular basis. Many tourists also prefer it as a spot providing some of the best views, which is why the Mayor considers a gaming venue redundant. He stated that the gambling field in Toronto is quite developed as it is now and for the time being there is no demand for new venue.
Woodbine Casino recently introduced a brand new offering for the area with the launch of Toronto’s first live table games, a move which drew quite the attention to the location. In this sense, Mayor Tory claimed that the waterfront area of Toronto should focus on its economic development, as this has been the ultimate goal all along. The introduction of the aforementioned casino in Northwest Toronto was able to provide many new job positions, impacting positively the employment market.
A new casino venue on site of the former Ontario Place would provide an even stronger boost to the field, but it could also result in the cannibalization of the gaming sector in the region, a strongly undesirable outcome. Mayor Tory also claimed he will defend his opposition of the proposed gaming venue and ensure the Conservative government of Doug Ford is well-acquainted with the fact.
We know that John Tory is in cahoots with Doug Ford. He will support Doug Ford's plans to build a casino at Ontario Place, and take over the TTC subway system (and possibly charge a tithe to the city's taxpayers for usage). John Tory will be Doug Ford's quisling. #topoli
— Michael Bednarski (@mikebednarski) September 16, 2018
Past Discontent with a Gaming Venue Remains
Opportunities for development of the parcel of land situated in the waterfront area on the shore of Lake Ontario are vast and the project should not shy away from diversifying the entertainment offerings available in Downtown Toronto. The artificially built islands further make the area appealing. It could be recalled that the conversation regarding Ontario Place’s future has been an ongoing one, striving to meet the expectations of all parties involved.
Remember that both Doug Ford and John Tory want to redevelop Ontario Place, our beautiful public space. Tory was in charge of the committee looking to redevelop that area.
Tory and Ford are in the same boat.
— Voice Of Dem (@VoiceOfDem) September 17, 2018
Such a goal is rarely feasible and back then plans for a casino facility built at Exhibition Place north of Ontario Place were considered. A primary goal for the overall renovation was the positive economical impact. Mayor Tory’s position aligns with the concerns expressed by many members of the community. What should also be taken into account is that any casino licensing will have to be thoroughly negotiated with the remaining casino permit holders in the region that will be affected by the launch of a new venue.
There is a prohibition of gaming licensing issuing according to an arrangement between Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which complicates matters even more. Upcoming weeks will see more development on the subject, as the conversation includes more officials.