Ontario Place’s feedback-driven redesign blends nature and heritage

Aerial view of Therme Canada’s proposed Ontario Place redesign.
Aerial view of Therme Canada’s proposed Ontario Place redesign.Photos courtesy Therme Canada.

Therme Canada has revealed a new design for the West Island of Ontario Place, which will become a year-round family-friendly destination attraction with additional public parkland space.

The updated features and new areas, spanning 1.62 ha (4 acres), are designed with input from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) and feedback from public meetings, community engagement, and the City of Toronto planning staff. When complete, the Ontario Place public parkland will become the largest public gathering space on Toronto’s western waterfront.

The new changes include:

  • A campus-style layout of the West Island, with increased green space, including parks, rooftop trails, and gardens—more than what currently exists on the West Island.
  • The introduction of a land bridge, connecting the West Island to the mainland, and a series of green roofs with pathways shaped like the Credit River, designed in partnership with the MCFN.
  • New design features celebrating the history and heritage design of the original Ontario Place, including enhanced views of the Pods, Cinesphere, downtown skyline, and Lake Ontario.
The rendering of the Wetlands in the new Ontario Place redesign.
The rendering of the Wetlands in the new Ontario Place redesign.

Here are the details on the proposed Ontario Place enhancements:

  • More public parkland and larger public spaces. The public parkland area has been increased by 35 per cent, to 6.43 ha (15.9 acres), meaning there will be more public space on the West Island after the revitalization. Public pathways on the West Island have been made even wider and spaces for additional food concession areas are also included.
  • Larger rooftop public realm. The additional public park space will now run over and through the middle of the Therme buildings, providing additional direct pathways to the water’s edge. The park and landscaping will flow up the roof of the building and will offer new views.
  • Redesigned bridge and plaza. The bridge to the West Island has been redesigned to be a greenspace and public pathway that takes people from Lakeshore Boulevard West and through the entry pavilion to the West Island. The bridge and pathway recreate the path of the Credit River, to honour its significance to MCFN, who continue to live on the north shore of Lake Ontario. This path includes a large plaza designed in collaboration with MCFN for future programming.
  • Larger Eastern Headland gathering spaces. The Eastern Headland has been re-designed in collaboration with MCFN, who identified the eastern direction (waabinoong). The updated design features a larger gathering space and better protection from the elements.
  • Reduced building volume. The volume of the Therme building has been reduced by 25 per cent. Instead of a single, large structure, the design is now composed of a campus of buildings.

“The design that we revealed today delivers the same great waterpark and wellbeing attractions, but thanks to feedback, it has even more open parkland, more natural spaces, more public trails, and more places for people to gather,” says Dr. Robert Hanea, CEO and chairman of Therme Group. “After this revitalization, there will be more public space than [what] currently exists on the West Island, and we are proud to advance a project that responds so meaningfully to the feedback we have heard so far.”


Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *