Early construction works

The Ontario government is repairing and updating the site’s existing infrastructure so that the structures are brought up to modern standards and can support future redevelopment.

Illustration of construction pilon

Key objectives include:

  • Update utilities to allow for future use of the site.
  • Repairs to the exterior of the Cinesphere, Pod and bridge complex 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  The scope of work will include the decommissioning and removal of out-of-date infrastructure and replacement with new infrastructure that meets current standards and codes.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 procurement phase to engage a construction manager to deliver the project. 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 Spring 2023 for site servicing.

How are the Pods and the Cinesphere being repaired?

As part of the redevelopment project, the province is 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 and the repair work commenced in Fall 2022, focusing 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, but efforts will be made to minimize disruptions where possible.

Current status

A Construction Management firm 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.

To date structural repairs on bridge 5 have been completed, a temporary bridge and crane have been installed at Cedar Cove, scaffolding erection has commenced on the structures, and work is underway to repair the Pod roofs and install new glazing in the bridges and Pods. 

The Cinesphere will receive new acoustic and thermal insulation, cladding panels and exterior lighting to restore it to its original condition. 

Work 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/