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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Making the case for Ontario Place: Part 1

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There’s been much discussion and debate lately of MGM Resorts International’s recently released proposal for Exhibition Place and Ontario Place. But of course the casino lobby isn’t the only group to have developed a detailed vision for these sites.

As part of an urban design studio led by Claire Weisz, Mark Yoes, and Talal Rahmeh, students at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design were asked to create their own proposals for the area. The course, entitled “Design of the Public Sphere — The Case for Ontario Place,” required students to put together videos showcasing their schemes. We’ll present three of the videos here over the next three days, and are interested to hear what you think of these alternate visions.

Today’s video was created by Christina Pascoa.

Pascoa’s proposal would see Ontario Place transformed into a public park with open and programmed space that would be usable year round. Wetlands, reforested areas, and beaches would help to re-naturalize the shoreline and provide an ideal stop-over location for migratory birds. In order to help fund the revitalization of Ontario Place as a public park, Pascoa has proposed that the Province and City form a partnership to coordinate the selling and leasing of public lands. A new, vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood would be created on land currently devoted to the parking lots that service Ontario Place and Exhibition Place. This self-sustaining neighbourhood would include a walkable grid with shops and cafes, and office spaces with residential units above. Historic buildings would be kept intact, while a land bridge over Lakeshore Boulevard would connect Exhibition Place and Ontario Place.

This video includes footage from Credit Valley (, which can be found here.




  1. Interesting. One major error. @2;25 it identifies barriers as Lake Shore Blvd, Gardiner Expressway and Canadian Pacific Railway. In fact, it is the Toronto Terminals Railway which is owned by the City of Toronto and used by GO Transit and VIA Rail. The CPR pulled out of downtown Toronto years ago.

  2. I think that Ontario Place should stay the way that it is, and that a way to keep as it is should be tried by the provincial government.

  3. I totally disagree bringing in living spaces.I firmly believe it should remain a provincial showcase refurbished.

  4. I think it is discusting even putting one house on this land IT belongs to the city of TORONTO not only a few. There is almost no green space left in the fast becoming concrete jungle. Get with the program Toronto.

  5. I do not believe that we should ever allow privatization on these public lands, once they are lost to privatization they will never be returned, This is land that was built by tax payer money, not private money and therefore should be kept in public hands for the enjoyment of the many not to benefit the few elite.