Ontario Place Just Turned 50 And It Never Looked So Different

"Kids just wanna have fun."

Contributor

As that old TV commercial jingle went, it was a place where "kids just wanna have fun."

In this episode of Then&Now, Toronto historian Morgan Cameron Ross looks back at the iconic spot that has been a staple of Toronto for five decades.

Designed by Eberhard Zeidler, the architect behind the Toronto Eaton Centre, Ontario Place opened its doors 50 years ago in 1971 and went on to have significant appeal to both adults and kids.

Among the attractions were the Forum concert venue, which was eventually replaced with the Molson Amphitheatre — now called the Budweiser Stage — as well as numerous amenities for kids including Children's Village, a water park, and the Wilderness Adventure log ride.

But the good times would not last, as the government ultimately announced in 2012 it would be closing and redeveloped.

While there have since been some welcome additions to the area like Trillium Park, as well as some unwelcome proposals including the opening of a casino, the future of the site remains largely up in the air.

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