Ontario Place: On-to-our Next Adventure
Victoria Cardoso, Student Associate | University of Toronto, M.Arch. candidate
Erman Akyol, Student Associate | University of Toronto, M.Arch. candidate
Eugenia Wong, Student Associate | University of Toronto, M.Arch. candidate
Ontario Place is an expression of the province’s rich cultural and architectural history. Its future should contribute to the liveability and appeal of a multicultural, sustainable, and equitable province. Unfortunately, its current management has resulted in several architectural elements being demolished, a decrease in visitors, and the degradation of a sense of community.
Taking full advantage of its location, this plan proposes to conserve and enhance this historic site while suggesting opportunities for contextually appropriate growth. To emphasize Ontario Place as a symbol of change and adaptability, the site could be converted into an innovation hub—a joint effort amongst various Ontario universities and colleges to develop ideas for studies such as environmental biology, aquatic ecology, and limnology. The existing pods could be repurposed into public venues, focusing on new cultural programs. The site is a local cultural icon and nostalgic memory for many generations, and we have the responsibility to preserve this example of Modernist ingenuity and adapt it to fit our contemporary society. Its architectural styling is unique and widely-celebrated, making it an ideal film setting for Toronto entertainment industries. With a perpetual flow of business opportunities and services, the economic “burden” will not fall on the shoulders of casual visitors.
Recognizing Toronto’s need for indoor and outdoor recreational spaces, this project introduces newly amalgamated programming that supports existing functions. To achieve better external public access, year-round public transit services and connection to the Toronto Islands must be enhanced to improve connectivity to the city and integrate with the current social fabric.