TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government released new details about its exciting vision for the redevelopment of Ontario Place into a world-class, year-round destination, complete with expanded parkland, beaches, waterfront access and family-friendly entertainment.
“We’re bringing more to Ontario Place with more beaches, more greenspace, more trails and more fun with the Ontario Science Centre, a year-round Live Nation concert venue and expanded food and beverage offerings so families can enjoy a meal together,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together with our partners, we’re building a world class, year-round destination that’s fun for families, students and tourists to enjoy for generations to come.”
The Ontario Science Centre will find its new home in a custom-built, state-of-the-art facility, as well as in the preserved and upgraded iconic Cinesphere and Pod complex. It will bring exciting science-based educational programming to the heart of Ontario Place, sparking curiosity and innovation for a new generation of visitors, while inspiring young people towards the jobs of the future.
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.”
As part of the global Call for Development to reinvigorate Ontario Place that launched in 2019, the province is actively discussing partnership opportunities with Ontario Live to provide family-friendly, world-class social, hospitality, and entertainment services. Made up of recognized leaders in their fields, including LiUNA, expert architects and the City of Toronto’s food, beverage and entertainment vendor for Exhibition Place since 2004, Ontario Live is positioned as a great partner to deliver on this exciting vision.
Ontario is also sharing new recommended design concepts for the future public spaces, including on the East Island and the expanded shoreline of the West Island, made possible by upgrades completed by Therme Canada. The concepts include Indigenous culture and place-keeping features and illustrate how the site will be revitalized and enhanced with new public trails, parkland, beaches and swimming areas with better access to the waterfront.
The province will also engage with the market about opportunities for a new and improved public marina at Ontario Place, which will include retail, dining and family-friendly activities, making it a place where people can socialize, grab a meal and enjoy the water, year-round.
The new Ontario Science Centre will be integrated with an underground public parking facility designed for the future with electric bus and vehicle chargers. This underground parking facility will be self-financing, revenue generating and will round out and complement the many transit and transportation options to get to and enjoy Ontario Place. This includes new pedestrian and cycle paths, as well as new transportation and transit options to connect Ontario Place and the Exhibition grounds directly to the Ontario Line subway. Alongside the new and improved marina and with Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport just down the street, people will benefit from unprecedented choice and convenience in how they travel to Ontario Place to enjoy fun for everyone.
Moving the Ontario Science Centre also creates a generational housing opportunity at the future site of a terminus station of the new Ontario Line with additional planned community infrastructure. The province will work with the City of Toronto on realizing this new opportunity and hopes to bring more affordable and attainable housing to the neighbourhood.
To prepare for redevelopment, site servicing work will also begin this spring to upgrade and modernize Ontario Place’s existing infrastructure, such as water, electrical and gas services. A construction company will be selected soon to undertake the site servicing, following a competitive procurement process that was launched last year.
By taking these next steps, the province will build an iconic space that will bring friends and families together for more fun right here in Ontario, while also attracting tourists from around the world. Once complete, Ontario Place will create thousands of new jobs and attract an estimated four to six million visitors each year.
- Additional details about the Ontario Science Centre’s relocation will be provided at a later date.
- Therme Canada and Live Nation were selected in 2021 as development partners through the 2019 Call for Development process to lease land at Ontario Place from the Government of Ontario.
- Work is underway to repair the exterior of the historic Cinesphere and Pod complex, in order to preserve and protect these important heritage features.
- The redevelopment of Ontario Place will create approximately 5,000 new jobs, during both construction and permanent operations stages, yield millions of dollars in new revenue for the province and attract an estimated four to six million visitors each year.
"Ontarians expect us to deliver on our promise to bring Ontario Place back to life. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to shovels in the ground: work that will bring the full vision of the site to life. We are building an Ontario Place for everyone to create year-round memories and experiences that will last a lifetime."
- Vijay Thanigasalam
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure
"For more than 50 years, the Ontario Science Centre has been an icon in this province and inspired a love of science and technology in visitors of all ages. Once complete, the state-of-the-art facility at Ontario Place will be a major step forward for a globally recognized institution that will provide exciting new opportunities for hands-on learning experiences that can engage and captivate visitors, while inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals."
- Neil Lumsden
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
"Live Nation Canada is proud of its history at Ontario Place, presenting and playing host to the biggest and best Canadian and international artists for close to 30 years. The revitalization of Budweiser Stage will turn the iconic amphitheatre into a modern, year-round, sustainable live music and entertainment venue. We expect to welcome many more fans than we can today, create jobs, and provide significant ancillary economic benefits to the broader community."
- Wayne Zronik
President, Business Operations at Live Nation Canada
"We’re thrilled to have LiveNation and the Ontario Science Centre as our future neighbours at a revitalized Ontario Place. Our proposal -- to create a family-friendly wellbeing destination on the West Island, that will restore and reconnect visitors with water, with upgraded and improved public parks – is made even more exciting by today’s announcement. Together we can create a special place by the lake with activities for everyone all year around."
- Dr. Robert Hanea
CEO of Therme Group
"We have a mutually respectful relationship with those involved in the redevelopment of the site and have found a willingness to work toward common ground. I believe when it is all said and done it will be viewed as a success."
- Stacey LaForme
Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation