Therme Canada, the Austrian company redeveloping Ontario Place’s West Island released an updated design featuring a smaller main building and more public park space.
The update features new areas designed with input from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) and also incorporating feedback from public meetings, community engagement and City of Toronto planning staff. When complete, the Ontario Place public parkland will become the largest public gathering space on Toronto’s western waterfront.
- New campus-style layout of the West Island with four more acres of public space, including parks, rooftop trails and gardens, bringing the total to nearly 16 acres – more than currently exists on the West Island.
- New public gathering spaces designed in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
- New design features that celebrate the history and heritage design of the original Ontario Place – including enhanced views of the Pods, Cinesphere, downtown skyline and Lake Ontario.
“The design that we revealed today delivers the same great waterpark and wellbeing attractions, but thanks to feedback, it has even more open parkland, more natural spaces, more public trails, and more places for people to gather,” said Dr. Robert Hanea, CEO & chairman of Therme Group. “After this revitalization, there will be more public space than currently exists on the West Island, and we are proud to advance a project that responds so meaningfully to the feedback we have heard so far.”
With the introduction of a land bridge connecting the West Island to the mainland, and a series of green roofs with pathways shaped like the Credit River, the updated design recognizes the important role of Indigenous heritage on the site. These areas and more were designed in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN), and represent the first look at how our shared journey towards honouring Indigenous presence on the waterfront continues to shape Therme Canada’s approach.
“We are very pleased with the unveiling of the design for the West Island at Ontario Place. Our deep and ongoing partnership with Therme continues to bring us closer to our shared vision for cultural revitalization and place-keeping. We look forward to our continued collaboration and to advancing the design of the West Island in a meaningful and culturally significant way,” said Gimaa (Chief) Stacey LaForme.
Details on Proposed Therme Canada | Ontario Place Enhancements
- More Public Parkland & Larger Public Spaces – The public parkland area has been increased by 35 per cent, to 15.9 acres – meaning there will be more public space on the West Island after the revitalization than there was before. Public pathways on the West Island have been made even wider and spaces for additional food concession areas have also been included.
- Larger Rooftop Public Realm – The additional public park space will now run over and through the middle of the Therme buildings, providing additional direct pathways to the water’s edge. The park and landscaping will flow up the roof of the building and will offer new views of the Pods, Cinesphere, downtown skyline and Lake Ontario.
- Redesigned Bridge & Plaza – The bridge to the West Island has been redesigned to be a greenspace and public pathway that takes people from Lakeshore Boulevard West through the entry pavilion to the West Island. The bridge and pathway recreate the path of the Credit River, to honour its significance to MCFN, who have lived and continue to live on the north shore of Lake Ontario. This path includes a large new plaza designed in collaboration with MCFN for future programming.
- Larger East Headland Gathering Spaces – The Eastern Headland has been re-designed in collaboration with MCFN, who identified the eastern direction (waabinoong). The updated design features a larger gathering space and better protection from the elements.
- Reduced Building Volume – The volume of the Therme building has been reduced by 25 per cent. Instead of a single, large structure, the design is now composed of a campus of buildings.
Featured image: Artist’s rendering of Therme Canada’s updated design for the Ontario Place redevelopment. (Therme Canada)