Doug Ford’s plan to turn one of Toronto’s most beloved landmarks, Ontario Place, into a casino or a condo lot has now been scrapped. It was announced this Tuesday that the historic spot would still be replaced and though retail opportunities weren’t entirely thrown off the table, Ford’s original ideas for the spot bit the dust during the announcement. Instead, it's likely that the Ontario Place casino-condo plan will be replaced by something far different.
Michael Tibolla, who serves as the Provincial Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport announced during a press conference Tuesday that Ford’s government would be conducting a global search to source new ideas on how to reinvent the once popular Toronto hang out.
According to CityNews, a number of ideas are still being floated for the former amusement park’s replacement. The ideas include an NFL complex, a new public park, an entertainment landmark, recreation facilities and retail space.
Ford’s casino-condo concept or Ontario Place was put to rest during the announcement with Tibollo, who stated firmly that the location would not become a hub for gambling. "I want to be clear: our vision for Ontario Place does not include residential developments or casinos," said the Minister, according to CityNews. "Once again, I want to repeat that: our vision will not have casinos or condos included as part of the Ontario Place site."
The new development guidelines will not require the latest project to preserve the city’s iconic Cinespehere. Sadly, the parts of Ontario Place that the government is trying to rebuild include the mainland, meaning its pods, islands, and of course, the Cinesphere. It'll be dealer's choice when it comes to the monument.
The new effort is the latest redevelopment project for the Ontario Place site since the province closed it to the public back in 2012.
According to a report by CBC, Ontario Place was shut down due to reduced revenue and restrictive provincial finances. At the time of its closure, the Liberal government claimed that the spot’s attendance had dipped drastically from 2.5 million when the park opened in 1971 to around 300,000. Hopefully, whatever gets built at Ontario Place in the future will bring life back into this special city landmark.