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Design

What’s Next For Ontario Place, a Treasured Toronto Amusement Park

Premier Doug Ford wants to see Ontario Place redeveloped. A preservation battle over the vital piece of Canada’s postwar architectural history is looming.
Architect Eberhard Zeidler delivered a concept based around five interconnected floating exhibition pods and a triodetic dome containing the world’s largest movie screen and the world’s first permanent IMAX installation.
Architect Eberhard Zeidler delivered a concept based around five interconnected floating exhibition pods and a triodetic dome containing the world’s largest movie screen and the world’s first permanent IMAX installation.City of Toronto Archives

Coated in grime and rust, Ontario Place is a sorry shadow of its once exuberant past. It’s little wonder the provincial government under Premier Doug Ford is targeting the site for redevelopment.

For almost a decade, Toronto’s Space Age amusement park has sat forlorn and mostly dormant on its downtown waterfront. Its artificial islands, theme park rides, and floating exhibition pods are closed to the public and in dire need of restoration. Only the domed Cinesphere and the outdoor performance venues are open to the public on a regular basis. To get there, movie and concert goers must schlep across a sea of empty parking lots and over a busy highway.