Group seeks legal injunction to stop Ontario Place redevelopment


Published November 22, 2023 at 12:50 pm

ontario place

A grassroots organization has filed for a legal injunction in an attempt to stop the province’s planned redevelopment at Ontario Place.

The province announced redevelopment plans for the park in 2021, including upgrades to the concert venue and plans for Austrian development company Therme Group to build a spa and parkland on the west island.

Community group Ontario Place for All has voiced strong opposition to the redevelopment, saying the space should be kept “vibrant and publicly accessible” and alleging that the new development “will involve the complete obliteration of the naturalized ecosystem on the west island.”

On Tuesday, Ontario Place for All announced that it has filed for a legal injunction to put a pause on the redevelopment until a full environmental assessment is completed.

“Ontario Place for All is committed to using all possible avenues to hold the provincial government accountable for their actions at Ontario Place and ensuring that they follow the proper process which would involve public consultation on the west island redevelopment,” said Norm Di Pasquale, co-chair of Ontario Place for All.

“This filing is one of those avenues. We just want the government to follow its own laws.”

The group is concerned that the redevelopment will require the removal of approximately 840 trees on the west island, vegetation, and the filling of lagoons and small waterways.

In a statement to CBC Toronto, Minister of Infrastructure spokesperson Andrea Chiappetta called the attempted injunction “unfortunate.”

“It is unfortunate that special interest groups would attempt to use the court system to tie up a project that has been subject to so much collaboration from our partners,” said Chiappetta, who says more than 40 different “studies, reports, plans and drawings” related to the redevelopment have been completed to date.

Images and video released in August show a glimpse at what the proposed redevelopment is expected to look like. Changes include increasing the public parkland area by 35 per cent, to 15.9 acres on the West Island Public pathways on the West Island have been made even wider and spaces for additional food concession areas have also been included.

The plan also includes a redesigned bridge to the West Island. The design includes green space and public pathway that takes people from Lakeshore Boulevard West through the entry pavilion to the West Island.

Plans include new areas designed with input from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and incorporating feedback from public meetings, community engagement and City of Toronto planning staff, Therme said in a press release.

“We are very pleased with the unveiling of the design for the West Island at Ontario Place,” said Gimaa (Chief) Stacey LaForme in the press release. “Our deep and ongoing partnership with Therme continues to bring us closer to our shared vision for cultural revitalization and place-keeping.”

With files from Karen Longwell

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