Ontario Place makeover, major renovation on the way

ontario place

Ontario Place has been a popular destination for budget-minded family fun since the day it opened on May 22nd, 1971. While several tweaks have been made along the way, the general concept has stayed the same. But it now appears that big changes could be in the offing for the entire Ontario Place development and concept.

Truth be told, Ontario Place was born out of jealousy. The Ontario government watched as millions of dollars were spent on Montreal's waterfront and infrastructure as it prepared to host Expo '67. There was growing concern at the time that Ontario was not doing enough to make Toronto's waterfront family-friendly. In many ways, Ontario Place was a direct response to Montreal's Expo '67 facelift.

This is what Montreal Expo '67 looked like back in...1967:

Montreal Expo 67 on Video.ca

Construction of Ontario Place started in March 1969 and completed in May 1971 at a cost to the provincial government of $29 million.

Fast-forward four decades and Ontario Place stands just shy of its 40th Anniversary. Annual attendance has dropped considerably in recent years as the general concept of Ontario Place ages and tires. It's time for a complete conceptual rethink, and if recent comments on the future is any indication, that is precisely what is coming to Ontario Place.

There is significant social, cultural, and economic value in revitalizing Ontario Place ... It has the potential to create a vibrant mix of public spaces, parkland and entertainment venues, and commercial establishments such as restaurants and stores. ... 2011 will be our 40th anniversary. It definitely needs a revitalization, that’s no surprise. It’s a blank slate, we’re open to just about anything."
CFTO Ontario Place Promotion early-1970's

Labatt 50 Commercial: Ontario Place 1971

Toronto Ontario Place footage - Exhibition on Video.ca

photo credit: alexindigo

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