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Ontario Place revitalization won't feature condos: Wynne

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne said that if re-elected, her revitalization plan for Ontario Place won’t include condos, but rather, will be home to a year-round waterfront destination.

At a news conference on Monday morning, Wynne said the plan would include creating a music destination that would bring live music throughout the year. She would also aim to create a “major cultural attraction.”

“It would become a tourist destination that creates jobs and brings economic development to the community,” Wynne said.

The Liberals will make an initial $100-million investment for the pre-development phase of the revitalization.

They previously announced plans to build a 7.5-acre urban park, which is expected to be completed by the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The revitalization plan would also include a waterfront trail that would connect Ontario Place to the existing Martin Goodman trail, and a waterfront canal district with stores and restaurants.

“We would create a year-round waterfront community and urban park. It would include bike and walking trails, playing fields and parks, which would give families more recreational options and opportunities to enjoy our waterfront,” Wynne said.

The Liberal leader said the revitalization is a “balanced approach to development and planning.”

Wynne also vows to expand the Green Belt and protect the Great Lakes, as well as increase access to trails. She also said that her party would invest in a $25-million cycling strategy.

Ontario Place opened in May 1971, but was closed in the summer of 2012 due to dwindling tourists and a lack of funds as it struggled to rein in a $15-billion deficit.

Over 300,000 people are employed in the province’s tourism industry.

Wynne, along with Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made campaign stops in the GTA on Monday.

Hudak addressed the media at Ritcey Custom Cabinetry on Royal Windsor Drive in Mississauga, while Horwath, along with NDP York West candidate Tom Rakocevic, spoke with voters in North York.

Hudak said that if he’s elected premier, he would reduce red tape for small business owners.

“My campaign is all about jobs, putting people back to work — and that’s why I’m back here in Mississauga talking about exactly how we can create 84,000 more jobs by draining the swamp of regulation, hassle and runaround,” he said.

On Sunday, Hudak said that he’ll call a judicial inquiry into the Liberals’ cancellation of two gas plants that cost Ontario’s taxpayers $1.1-billion.

Horwath rolled out NDP ads that attack the Liberals’ record, while Wynne denied Hudak’s charge that she’s running a negative campaign and using ads to make personal attacks.

Ontarians head to the polls on June 12.

With files from Fil Martino and The Canadian Press