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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

The past. Our present. Your future.

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Ontario Place; Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail

LAST UPDATE: November 4 2020

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Trillium Park, January 2019 (Photograph courtesy of Jessica Young)

Trillium Park, January 2019 (Photograph courtesy of Jessica Young)

AT RISK INFORMATION
At risk status:
This building is at risk

Info:

Watch The History of Ontario Placea new video exploring the architecture of Ontario Place, brought to you by ACO Toronto and Old Toronto Series.

Concerns about the future of Ontario Place have re-emerged early in 2019 after Jim Ginou, re-appointed board chair of Ontario Place, stated: “There is nothing that can be saved. Because it has to be rebuilt, it can be rebuilt in any way that [Doug] Ford wants it to be rebuilt.”

Mid-January 2018: The Provincial government opened the site to international proposals for redevelopment. The guidelines dictate that the land will not be sale but available for long-term lease. Other restrictions include no residential development and a requirement to keep 7.5 acres (of the site's total 155 acres) of park land. Proposals can incorporate part or all of the space (except for the Budweiser Stage). 

May 28, 2019: Michael Tibollo (Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport) made an announcement at Ontario Place, re-opening the global call for submissions to develop the Ontario Place site. Minister Tibollo referred to Ontario Place as a 'diamond in the rough' and outlined a vision to revive the site into a destination for locals, Canadians, and tourists. Minister Tibollo reassured that this redevelopment would not include residential units or casinos. The deadline for proposals is September 3, 2019. The Call for Development informational package posted to ontarioplacedevelopment.com outline that the majority of the Ontario Place site is open to redevelopment: "The areas available for development include the entirety of the East Island, the West Island, the mainland, the pod complex, and the Cinesphere cinema. There are no limitations on the use and / or retention of existing assets on Site, with the exception of the Budweiser Stage, as set out below." When asked whether the construction could impact the Cinesphere, Minister Tibollo reiterated that all options are on the table. This means that the architecture and landscape architecture of the site is still at risk of demolition and redevelopment. At the announcement, there was no mention of the City of Toronto Council approving the addition of Ontario Place to the Heritage Property Register earlier in May. 

July 8 2019: John Alschuler, Chairman of HR&H Advisors in NYC, has helped develop waterfront plans for cities around the world. He spoke with CBC Metro Morning\'s Matt Galloway about Ontario Place and approaches to its redevelopment ahead of a meeting in Toronto with City officials and experts to discuss the future of the site.

October 29 2019: Ontario Place is one of 25 sites added to the World Monuments Fund's 2020 World Monuments Watch list of at-risk sites of historical significance. ACO's Bill Greaves made the nomination. See Ontario Place's listing here.

View sources at the bottom of this page for more information and articles about the threat to Ontario Place. Slides from Ken Greenberg's Alternative Futures: Ontario Place and Exhibition Place Ambitions and Vulnerabilities presentation at the Rally for Ontario Place (January 12, 2019) can be viewed through this link.

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
Ontario Place; Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail
955 Lake Shore Boulevard West
Niagara, Toronto

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Alternate names:
Trillium Park/ William G. Davis Trail

Notes:

In 2017, Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail opened on 7.5 acres of land that used to be a parking lot on Ontario Place\'s East Island. Ontario Place was a project designed to revitalize Toronto\'s waterfront. The site consisted of over 90 acres of artifically-made islands and lagoons. A break-water was formed using sunken ships.

Features of the site include:

  • The Ravine with Moccasin Identifier: Two stone walls connected by a bridge. Designed to reflect the First Nations heritage of the site, a moccasin identifier is carved into the stone.
  • The Pavilion: An open-air pavillion
  • Romantic Garden: Open space
  • Bluff: Stacked boulders and rocks replicating Ontario\'s natural landscape
  • William G. Davis Trail: 1.3 km trail along the lakefront, linking to the Martin Goodman Trail and the Pan Am/Parapan Am Trails
  • Marker Trees
  • Summit: Highest elevation of the park with views of the skyline and lake
  • Hough’s GladeTribute to Ontario Place\'s original landscape architect, Michael Hough
  • Fire Pits: For public use by permit

 

On May 14, 2019, Toronto City Council carried a motion to include Ontairo Place on the Heritage Property Register. 

On October 29, 2019 it was placed on the World Monuments Fund 2020 Watch list.

Status:
Completed

Year Completed:
2017

Map:
Loading Map

Companies:
The following companies are associated with this building
  • Landscape architect - LANDinc

BUILDING DATA
Current use:
Other

Former use:
Parking Lot

Heritage:
Listed

Sources:

Sources

  1. Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail
    Author - Ontario Place
    Notes - Ontario Place´s website for the park and trail.
    More information

  2. Trillium Park & William G. Davis Trail
    Author - LANDinc
    Notes - Project lead consultant LANDinc´s webpage for the site.
    More information

  3. Ontario Place – Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail
    Author - Infrastructure Ontario
    Notes - Detailed timeline (and accompanying documents) of the site´s revitalization into a park and trail. 
    More information

  4. Moccasin Identifier Project
    Author - Carolyn King
    Date - April 22, 2017
    Notes - Carolyn King delivered the following presentation at the ACO Toronto 150+ event on April 22, 2017 at the Ontario Science Centre. For the audio/video click on For More Information.
    A recording of the presentation can be found by clicking on ´More Informa
    Document - CarolynKing ACO 150 Symposium Slides
    More information

  5. Cirque du Soleil coming to Ontario Place this fall
    Author - Robert Benzie
    Date - February 11, 2019
    Notes - Toronto Star article announcing that Cirque du Soleil will be performing 80-90 shows at Ontario Place starting at the end of summer 2019.  Article quotes Doug Ford, who claims that this is a step to "bring family-oriented entertainment and excitement
    More information

  6. Ontario Place Statement by MPP Adam Vaughan
    Author - Adam Vaughan
    Date - February 6, 2019
    Notes - Statement by MPP Adam Vaughan to the Speaker about the need to keep Ontario Place as a place for all. 
    More information

  7. The History of Ontario Place
    Author - ACO Toronto & Old Ontario Place Series
    Date - 7 March 2019
    More information

  8. Inclusion on the City of Toronto´s Heritage Register
    Author - City of Toronto
    Date - April 12, 2019
    Notes - Recomendation by Heritage Preservation Services to place Ontario Place on the Heritage Register. 
    Document - Inclusion on the City of Toronto´s Heritage Register –955 Lake Shore Boulevard West (Ontario Place)
    More information

  9. Inclusion on the City of Toronto´s Heritage Register
    Author - City of Toronto
    Date - April 12, 2019
    Notes - Recomendation by Heritage Preservation Services to place Ontario Place on the Heritage Register. 
    Document - Inclusion on the City of Toronto´s Heritage Register –955 Lake Shore Boulevard West (Ontario Place)
    More information

  10. Waterfront park at Ontario Place nominated for major architecture award
    Author - Greg Ross; CBC News
    Date - 20 July 2018
    More information

  11. Ontario Place: Building On Our Legacy
    Author - Helena Grdadolnik
    Date - May 8, 2019
    Notes - "Toronto’s iconic Ontario Place is up for redevelopment. Is there a better alternative to tearing it down and starting afresh?" Article in the May 2019 issue of Canadian Architect (https://www.canadianarchitect.com/). 
    Document - Ontario Place: Building On Our Legacy
    More information

  12. Toronto Waterfront Opportunity: Ontario Place Call for Development
    Author - Government of Ontario
    Date - May 28, 2019
    Notes - On May 28, 2019 the Ontario Government re-released their Call for Development of the Ontario Place site. The attached document is the information is the Call for Development informational package
    Document - Toronto Waterfront Opportunity: Ontario Place Call for Development
    More information

  13. Expert advice on what to keep at Ontario Place
    Author - Matt Galloway, CBC Metro Morning
    Date - 8 July 2019
    Notes - John Alschuler, Chairman of HR&H Advisors in NYC, has helped develop waterfront plans for cities around the world. He´s in Toronto to meet with City officials and experts to discuss the future of Ontario Place.
    More information

  14. 2020 World Monuments Watch
    Author - World Monuments Fund
    Date - 29 October 2019
    Notes - When it opened in 1971, Ontario Place gave Toronto’s citizens the opportunity to experience the city’s waterfront like they never had before. Creating a new urban amenity was envisioned as a celebration of Ontario’s cultural and economic
    More information

  15. Ontario Place added to international list of ‘at-risk cultural heritage sites’
    Author - David Rider, Toronto Star
    Date - 29 October 2019
    More information

  16. The Future of Ontario Place: Towards an Inclusive Preservation Dialogue
    Author - Aziza Chaouni, William Greaves, and Javier Ors Ausín, Azure Magazine
    Date - 9 October 2020
    More information

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