TORONTO, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - John Tory's recommendations for the
revitalization on Ontario Place will likely result in affluent condo
owners having their own private playground.
The report of the voluntary advisory panel, led by the former Ontario
Progressive Conservative leader, contained few concrete details.
Besides condos, Tory recommends that a music venue similar to the Forum
be built, the iconic Cinesphere remain, and that the public have access
to the waterfront.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said with condos going into the
space, the public will have little or no access to one of the
province's most beautiful waterfront areas.
"Those wealthy enough to afford to live there will likely demand and
receive exclusive access to the waterfront," Thomas said. "Public
access will be an afterthought, and most of the decisions will be made
by the private condo developers themselves. Ontario Place, once the
prime public event space in the province, will become nothing more than
a playground for the rich."
No details on funding were released in the report, as Tory's panel
assumes money will come from private investors. Also not addressed was
the lack of proper public transit to the area, which would cost in
excess of $100 million to rectify. Tory confirmed that transit is not a
priority of any government.
"Private money, private developers and a lack of proper public transit
all adds up to a big loss for the people of Toronto and the rest of
Ontario," Thomas said. "It's sad to see what was once a space free for
all to enjoy become essentially Toronto's newest gated community."
On February 1, 2012 the provincial government announced the park was
shutting its gates after 40 years of public operation after it spent
$10.8 million to improve the park in 2010. Last June, participants in a
packed town hall meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre told
John Tory they were adamantly opposed to condominiums and retail
For further information:
Laurie Miller, OPSEU: 416-443-8888