The first phase of the Ontario Place redevelopment project is set to open in July, just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
Tourism minister Eleanor McMahon made the announcement on Wednesday, when she also provided a tour of the not-yet-complete site.
After years of declining attendance, the government closed the provincially funded park in 2012, promising to reopen a newly designed space in time for the country’s sesquicentennial birthday. But with less than eight months to go, there’s still lots of work to be done.
Although McMahon hasn’t committed to a timeline for the rest of the development, the initial phase will feature a winding cycling and walking trail, which will provide free access to that part of the waterfront for the first time in more than 40 years. It will also be connected to the Martin Goodman Trail that currently runs along the GTA’s waterfront.
Once complete, the new site will also include a 1,700-tonne granite rock wall that was designed and built by hand at a quarry in Dwight, Ontario, as well as a new lookout that provides near-360-degree views of the city’s skyline and lake.
“This is a jewel of an island, an absolutely beautiful urban landscape, and we’re doing everything we can to realize the vision that people told us they wanted,” McMahon told the Toronto Star.
In October, the NDP accused the Liberal government of burying a clause in an omnibus bill that would allow them to privatize the property, but McMahon maintains that the government is still planning to keep the site publicly owned and revenue neutral. According to the Star, she also swore that no condos would be built. Who else might move in in the future, however, is still up for debate.
To find out more about the redevelopment project, check out the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s website.
Images via Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport