Key objectives include:
- Updated utilities to allow for both ongoing and future use of the site.
- Repairs to the exterior of the Pod complex and Cinesphere to help prevent further deterioration.
Why do the utilities and site servicing need to be replaced?
The site services at Ontario Place were installed over 50 years ago. They are at their end of life and no longer meet current standards. Services in need of replacement include water, sewer, gas, and electrical systems.
The project includes a comprehensive program to renew all services at Ontario Place to ensure continued operation of existing attractions and prepare it for redevelopment. The scope of work will include the decommissioning and removal of out-of-date infrastructure and replacement with new infrastructure that meets current standards and codes.
The project is currently in the design phase. Detailed planning is underway, including consultation with key stakeholders and authorities having jurisdiction (like the City of Toronto, Toronto Water, Hydro, etc.).
A Category B Environmental Assessment (EA) has been undertaken for the proposed site servicing upgrades, which included engagement with Indigenous communities, consultation with key stakeholders and development of a Consultation and Documentation report (C&D Report). Construction is targeted to commence in 2023.
How are the pods and the Cinesphere being repaired?
As part of the redevelopment project, the province is committed to protecting key heritage features such as the Cinesphere and Pod complex.. Most Pods have been vacant for decades and need extensive interior and exterior renovation. Maintenance and repair work is planned to stabilize and prevent further deterioration of the Cinesphere, Pods and adjacent bridges while the redevelopment project progresses.
An experienced team has been retained to commence repair work in Fall 2022, which will focus on the exterior of the Pods and Cinesphere. An independent cultural heritage expert, Steven Burgess Architects, has been retained to ensure the work is sensitive and appropriate given that these structures and features are heritage attributes. A natural heritage consultant, Morrison Hershfield, is also advising on how to ensure that wildlife occupying the structures and surrounding areas are protected and any impacts are lawfully mitigated.
There may be some restrictions to public access around these features during the work, which should continue throughout the rest of 2022 and 2023, but efforts will be made to minimize disruptions where possible.
A Construction Management firm, Elite Construction, is currently on site to carry out the repair work. The work involves repairs to structural elements, including the tension cables, roof and stairs, as well as repairs to exterior cladding and providing new lighting and exterior paint. The repair work started in Fall 2022 and is expected to continue until early 2024.
To learn more about the early construction works happening at the Ontario Place site, visit: https://ontarioplace.com/en/about/visit-us/site-access/cinesphere-pods-bridges/