Earlier this summer, Ontario Place was transformed into in art experience.
It showed the space utilized in a different way, especially since Ontario Place closed back in 2012. Two years later, a plan to revitalize the site was announced by the government.
And this week, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport revealed renderings of the new urban park and waterfront trail project. The first phase of Ontario Place’s revitalization is now underway, as construction has begun to create a “green space that evokes Ontario’s natural landscapes, as well as embraces the location’s stunning views of the city scape and Lake Ontario.”
The plan includes a waterfront trail running through the park, named the William G. Davis Trail, in honour of Bill Davis who was the Premier when Ontario Place first opened in 1971. The first phase of revitalization is expected to be completed in 2017.
The ravine is the gateway to the park, offering the first glimpse of Lake Ontario. Developed in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the ravine walls celebrate First Nations’ heritage and culture with the Moccasin Identifier, a visual reminder to recognize and honour the past.
An open-air pavilion inspired by evergreen forests and the iconic structures of Ontario Place, frames the romantic garden and provides a space for shelter, activities and gatherings.
The open space designed for rest or play, features windswept pine trees and smooth rocks inspired by Ontario alvars.
Nestled along the water’s edge is a rocky beach with a fire pit, inviting visitors to enjoy the water’s edge, participate in evening bonfires and take in the views of the city.
The waterfront trail continues along the water’s edge to the Rocky Scramble, a bluff made up of stacked boulders and rocks designed for spontaneous play. A long communal sitting area within the bluff provides a place to enjoy the beautiful views out over the lake.
The waterfront trail winds around the summit and connects to the upper trail. The upper trail, with its evergreen trees, will create a natural shelter along the upper park. Within the upper park, three marker trees – a traditional First Nations’ way of navigation – will be planted to guide and direct visitors on their journey through the park towards the summit.
Located at the southern tip of the park, the summit is the highest elevation in the park and provides gentle slopes to sit on while taking in expansive views across the park and out to the lake.