This weekend was a crucial one for community members willing to learn more about Ontario Place and the plans for its renovation which have been swirling around for many months now. Some of them are more controversial than others, which had prompted the congregation, where people claimed that the location should maintain its family-friendly mood and not swerve towards gambling elements willing to attract more funds.
Saturday was a date eyed by everyone interested in the project in its future phase of development, as Waterfront For All, a non-profit organization organized a special congregation on the subject. Everyone interested in learning more and sharing their personal position on the subject had the chance to do so at the Metro Hall where the rally took place.
Right now the project is at a point of its development where it could head anywhere, an opportunity eyed by those concerned for the responsible gambling rates in the region.
Ontario Place Should Maintain Its Nostalgic Air
Ken Greenberg is an urban designer that used the organized rally to point out that the location is in need of a breath of fresh air to it. It should also make the best of the current situation and utilize the offerings available at the moment, such as the emblematic Cinesphere. It was closed for business in 2012, but subsequent partial renovation brought it back to life. In this sense, there is a partial renovation in the past few years.
Recent comments made by the new Ontario Place Chairman James Ginou raised concerns among individuals directly affected by the renovations on site. He stated that the location could be influenced by Premier Doug Ford’s vision and all possibilities are considered at the moment, as the project is in need of reconstruction and revamping. In previous statements, Premier Ford had pointed out that shopping centers and even a casino venue might provide a positive boost to the local economy.
According to him, these venues have the potential to draw more people to the already attractive location, but many people beg to differ. Joe Cressy, City Councilor claimed that the introduction of a gaming venue would alter the overall direction of development. Right now people want to make the waterfront area of Lake Ontario appealing to everyone, giving them something to enjoy. Gord Edgar Downie Pier was given as an example of a project done right.
Rally Attendants Make Their Projections
During the rally people shared their opinions and outlook on potential development, stating that the location should not end up being too busy with many new venues constructed. People want to have the opportunity to enjoy the lake, wade, or even swim, as previous tests have shown that the water is safe for people.
The majority of individuals support the idea that Ontario Place should be brought back to life with many new offerings while maintaining its signature look and feel. According to many people present at the meeting, there is no need for rebuilding it as something completely different and irreversibly changing an icon for Toronto’s residents and guests. The area should remain a family-friendly location where gambling has no place.
Casino location was among the proposed projects for Exhibition Place, but the two locations are situated closely and Ontario Place visitors can easily make their way there. This September saw speculations on which Canadian casino developer and operator could develop its venue at Ontario Place if the opportunity appears. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has a contract for the operation of three casino facilities in the Toronto area.