Ontario Public Service: Rethinking Ontario Place

It is time to rethink the future of Ontario Place.

November 14, 2012

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and other interested parties are set to create a vision for Ontario Place that makes it a public place for the enjoyment of visitors and the residents of our province alike. 

To considerable opposition from those who wished to see it remain in public hands, the Liberal government earlier this year announced it would close down Ontario Place on Feb. 1, 2012. To make matters worse, the Ministry’s Advisory Panel released a report in July titled “Ontario Place Revitalization,” which without inspiration or vision recommended the lakefront lands be redeveloped with the construction of even more hi-rise condominium towers and a hotel / resort.

 “The way to strengthen the Ontario’s economy is by investing in public structures and not by selling them off to the highest private sector bidder,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The proposed plan for Ontario Place wildly missed a golden opportunity to leverage the full potential of this unique public gem on Toronto’s waterfront.”

Motivated by the government lack of vision for the Ontario Place lands, OPSEU, the Martin Prosperity Institute, and the Design Industry Advisory Committee will host a Design Charrette on December 1, 2012 along with other leading design experts. The purpose of the charrette will be to create an alternative vision for Ontario Place.

A charrette is a collaborative session in which a group of designers draft solutions to a design or architectural challenge. While the structures of charrettes can vary, most commonly they involve dividing the attending experts into smaller groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full body as material for dialogue. Charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. 

An exhibit of the charrette results are planned for public viewing and comment in early 2013. Please share your vision and ideas about Ontario Place with us at Rethinking Ontario Place.  


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