Plans to revitalize the old Ontario Place waterfront location are well underway, with Phase 1 to be unveiled in the summer of 2017.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport says the 7.5-acre Urban Park and William G. Davis Trail will feature a canyon, a bluff and a summit.
“We’ve created some hills and some rock formations that kids can play on,” Tourism Minister Eleanor McMahon said. “Some beautiful grassy areas, a gorgeous trail that will be part of people’s access in the morning if you live here.”
More than 1,240 trees and plants local to the area will also be planted including oak, basswood and sugar maple trees.
Back in the summer of 2014, the province announced its vision to turn the site into a year-round waterfront destination.
McMahon said phase one of the project will be ready by next summer but wouldn’t go into further detail about what else will be on the property.
“The fact that it’s taken some time I hope indicates to people that we’re being very picky about who we choose to partner with to come here because it is so highly prized,” she explained. “I wish I could share more about that at this time, but I can tell you — stay tuned.”
However, there are two things McMahon insists will never be part of the plan.
“Ontario Place will not have condos. Absolutely not. We’ve rejected that,” she said. “No casino. Not happening.”
The waterfront trail is named in honour of Bill Davis, who was premier when Ontario Place first opened.
Ontario Place opened in May 1971 but closed in 2012 as the number of visitors dwindled.
The Ontario government was struggling to rein in a $150-billion deficit and said it could no longer afford to keep the space open.