TORONTO — Therme Canada has contributed to the Government of Ontario’s development application for the revitalization of Ontario Place, which was submitted to the City of Toronto last Friday. The application includes detailed plans of Therme’s proposed plan to re-develop Ontario Place as a world-class year-round destination. Therme Group was selected by the Government of Ontario through an international bidding competition held in 2019 and subsequently signed a long-term ground lease at Ontario Place.
“Therme Canada, our partners at the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, and our consulting partners, have been working for over a year to reach this important milestone and we’re excited to be taking this step forward today with the province,” says Mark Lawson, vice-president, Communications & External Relations, Therme Canada. “Having signed a long-term ground lease at Ontario Place, we are delivering on our commitment to create an iconic, global attraction along with new privately funded and maintained public space that will allow everyone to enjoy Ontario Place year-round.”
Therme Canada/Ontario Place proposed West Island development includes:
- Shoreline restoration to protect the West Island from flooding, erosion, and high-water levels
- 47,540M2/11.8 acres of year-round, freely accessible public space
- 1.35 km of enhanced trails around the entire West Island, including the extension of the William G. Davis Trail and connection to the Martin Goodman Trail. This is a 36-per-cent increase in the West Island trails compared to what existed previously
- A 3,426M2/0.9-acre public beach right in downtown Toronto
- 5,400M2/1.3 acres of new wetlands to help return clean water to the lake, support local wildlife, and build climate resiliency
- 16,463M2/4.1 acres of green roof that connect the building to the surrounding natural landscape
- Restoration and improvement of existing heritage gathering areas on the eastern and western sides of the Ontario Place West Island
- The creation of 25,566M2/6.3 acres of new aquatic habitat for native species
Therme Canada/Ontario Place will be a family-friendly experience focused on fun, relaxation, and wellbeing. There will be indoor and outdoor pools, waterslides and a wave pool, natural spaces to relax, sports performance and recovery services, and botanical gardens.
Programming will include activities for all ages, and affordable wellbeing therapies to meet all needs. Delicious, healthy, and sustainably produced food is a cornerstone of the Therme experience and guests will be able to enjoy family meals, dinner with friends, or date-night entertainment right on the shores of Lake Ontario. When Ontario Place was first built, getting access meant buying a ticket. When it re-opens, the public space on the West Island will be free to access year-round.
Designed over the past 12 months in partnership with landscape architects STUDIO tla, and with input from the public, stakeholders, the City of Toronto, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN), Therme Canada is proposing to create nearly 12 acres of public space including parkland, a beach, and gathering spaces, making Lake Ontario easily accessible for everyone. More details on the project:
- Respecting Heritage – Heritage at Ontario Place starts with the land and water, and indigenous plants that existed along the lake long before Toronto existed, and pre-dating the development of Ontario Place some 50 years ago. The new West Island public realm has been designed based on input from water advocates, public opinion, focus groups, and with input from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). While it respects the heritage values of the original Ontario Place design, it brings back to these lands’ plants and trees native to this area of Ontario.
- A New Bridge – The Therme Canada/Ontario Place bridge to the West Island will feature a wide public promenade to give people the opportunity to walk on the William G. Davis Trail across the entire Ontario Place site and connecting people with the Martin Goodman Trail, allowing people to seamlessly enjoy more of the waterfront and Ontario Place year-round.
- A New Beach – One of the cornerstone features of the new public space will be a new pebble beach on the western shore. The beach will be adjacent to wide programming spaces, have room for food vendors and picnic areas, and offer free access to public amenities such as family changerooms and washrooms.
- New Large Gathering Spaces – The East and West Headland gathering spaces are original elements of Ontario Place’s landscape design and are not only being preserved but enhanced. These areas will each allow small concerts, art shows and other public gatherings year round.
- Community Programming Spaces – The wide swath of public space on the southern shore of the West Island will create new areas where community programming can occur year-round.
- Wetland Innovation Zone – For the first time, the creation of a wetland is proposed for Ontario Place. This wetland is being designed to manage run-off so that clean water will be returned to the lake, and the new wetland will also create new habitat for native birds, fish, and other wildlife. Wetlands are a critical element in climate resiliency and will help to support the revitalized public spaces well into the future. Visitors will be able to enjoy the wetland zone on a new network of boardwalks.