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Turning a Parking Lot into a Piece of Waterfront Paradise

Jul 29, 2015

Turning a parking lot on the eastern edge of Ontario Place into an urban park and trail that looks across the water to Toronto's downtown.

Turning a parking lot on the eastern edge of Ontario Place into an urban park and trail that looks across the water to Toronto’s downtown.

By Carol Webb

“This is our place, this is your place, this is Ontario Place.”

If you’re of a certain age, this may ring a faint bell. In 1971 a theme song and promotional video were produced to commemorate the opening of Ontario Place in May of that year. I remember hearing that song on the radio for years. Listening to it today stirs up great memories of languid summer days spent at this treasured spot on the waterfront.

Last summer, the Province of Ontario announced its long-term vision to revitalize Ontario Place. Working collaboratively with Infrastructure Ontario and Waterfront Toronto, the province has developed plans for the first phase of the revitalization – an urban park and waterfront trail.  

At a special unveiling in June, the trail was dedicated in the name of William G. Davis who was Premier when Ontario Place first opened in 1971.

Dignitaries at the dedication ceremony for the William G. Davis Trail.

Pictured above (l-r): Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Mayor John Tory; Penny Lipsett, Chair Ontario Place Corporation; Premier Kathleen Wynne; Chief  M. Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation; Eberhard Zeidler, original architect of Ontario Place; and, former Premier Bill Davis (seated).

The William G. Davis Trail will connect the new urban park with Ontario Place's history as a public space for all Ontarians and will link to the existing trail system that includes the Martin Goodman Trail, the Pan Am Path and the Waterfront Trail, as well the Trans Canada Trail in Ontario. The design will turn a parking lot on the East Island into a 7.5-acre naturalized green space celebrating Ontario landscapes.

Waterfront Toronto led the public consultation and managed the design processes on behalf of the Province. Site demolition is already underway and the park will be completed by fall 2016. Until then, check out this Facebook Gallery to see renderings of the park and trail design.



post contributor

  • Carol Webb

    Carol Webb is a Senior Manager, Communications and Public Engagement with Waterfront Toronto.