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NEWS: Much of Ontario Place to be shut down


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It was announced this morning that most of Ontario Place will not open this summer. As it stands now, Molson Amphitheatre, the marina, the Atlantis Club and parking facilities will remain open, the other facilities will be closed (including all rides, waterpark and Cinesphere).

 

A new task force has been created to discuss future redevelopment options. They hope to have a report available for the Ontario government by this spring. Over the past 40 years, attendance has dropped from 2.5 million in the 70's to around 1 million in 2011.

 

http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/325684--parts-of-ontario-place-to-be-closed-this-season

 

A major revamp of Ontario Place is underway.

 

The Ontario government announced, Wednesday, that certain sections of the park will be closed, and that former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory will be in charge of the refurbishment.

 

While the Molson Amphitheatre, the marina, the Atlantis entertainment venue and parking facilities will remain open, the other facilities will be closed.

 

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan made the announced at a news conference Wednesday morning, along with Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan.

 

"We're subsidizing $20 million a year and we need to redevelop the site so it's more accessible for families, more accessible to the entire community. We can't continue, when we're trying to improve education, health care, to subsidize the parts of the park that don't generate revenue," Duncan explained.

 

The John Tory-led advisory panel will consider all plans for the park, including a much rumoured casino.

 

Forty-eight permanent jobs will be lost as a result of the closure, as will 600 summer student positions.

 

The government hopes to have the newly refinished park open by 2017, for Canada's 150th anniversary.

 

Ontario Place opened in 1971 and drew 2.5 million visitors that year, but attendance has declined in recent years.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Going to miss the Wilderness Adveutre Ride.

 

One rumour going around is that a casino may be placed on the lands. What I really hope for is an upgraded water park that can become a bigger tourist draw and become THE summer place to visit. Wild Water Kingdom and Splash Works are too small to support the population of Toronto and the GTA.

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I visited this summer for the first time (Got free ride tickets from a friend). The place was pretty run down and wasn't looking to nice. It was also completely dead. Thankfully I got the Whacky Worm credit and rode the log flume which was actually really good! Can't really say I am surprised this is leaving.. I wonder what they will do with the new pro slides they installed this year.

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The province is so broke, the water park and playground area being the only draw are just not enough to keep the entire massive property open. Thankfully and hopefully, this 'crisis' situation caused by over two decades of ignoring the place, has kick started the revitalization planning that was announced over a year ago.

 

Ontario Place opened as a mini Expo '67 or Epcot type showcase, highlighting Ontario's past present and future. It's never been an amusement park--that's left to the CNE next door and Centreville. Time and reality have leap-frogged over the past, present and future and this "Place" just got left way behind. There's nothing really left. I remember the Lego pavilion and playground were great draws. One of the main draws, since torn down, was the Forum concert venue inside the park. It actually brought people into the central areas of the park, who spent money at the outlets. It's been replaced by the Molson Amphitheatre, which isn't even inside Ontario place, just sitting on the edge. The Amphitheatre also took the headliners away from Canada's Wonderland, but they managed to keep Kingswood and the park alive. Atlantis and Ontario Place used to apparently be an awesome nightspot a long time ago but that moved downtown Toronto.

 

I still think it can become a modern take on an Expo by modelling it like an Epcot. It just takes money to do that and the province has none, so seeing restaurants or maybe a hotel will help. Condo development is forcing a lot of clubs and nightspots to close in the Entertainment District downtown, so maybe there's a chance to pick up some displaced business again.

 

I don't think the Cinesphere, water park or flume are going anywhere. They just need refurbs and/ or upgrades, which the province again has no money to do. They could try out a public-private partnership to kick things off.

 

A little trip down memory lane:

 

Ontario Place Theme Song

The government actually made and sold this on 45s--this was the B side! People actually bought these. Who would have thought?

 

Ontario Place 1971 in a Labatt's 50 Commercial

Unfortunately, not much has changed since...

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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This is very sad news. They had one of the best log flumes of all time!

Oh, COME ON!!!! Give me an effing break! It was NOT one of the "best log flumes of all time." If anything, I doubt most people outside of Toronto even knew the place existed, and even fewer knew it had a log flume.

 

It really annoys me so much that when a ride, that most people have never heard of, ever really cared about, is all of a sudden billed as the "BEST FREAKING RIDE EVAR!!!!!" as soon as it is announced the park is closing.

 

Really? The place was a dump. Hasn't really been looked after in YEARS, and the design is something right out of the 60s, which doesn't even apply today.

 

This place NEEDED KILLING and hopefully whatever they do with the property will serve the Toronto area much better.

 

--Robb "The log flume was average...at best..." Alvey

 

ps. The log flume at MGM Grand Adventures was the BEST OMFG LOG FLUME IN THE WORLD!!!!! No, wait... the log flume they took out of Great America to put in Stealth was the BEST OMFG LOG FLUME IN THE WORLD!!! OH! OH! OH!!! The Log Flume at Cedar Point was the BEST EVER!!! SCREW MAVERICK!!! I WANT MY LOG FLUME BACK!!!!! No! Wait again!!! Log Jammer at SFMM was the BEST FREAKING LOG FLUME EVER!!! BASTARDS FOR RIPPING OUT THAT RIDE!!!!

Edited by robbalvey
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It is actually completely random that I was able to go on the log flume ride. We were on a family vacation probably in the late 80's and we happened to drive by the place and I saw it and begged to ride it. Or maybe we were going there anyway because of the Cinesphere, either way it was certainly an out-of-the-way log flume credit for me.

 

I will say it was good enough to remember after all these years, but I wouldn't expect any "Save teh Big Dipper" type campaigns to save it.

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I will say it was good enough to remember after all these years, but I wouldn't expect any "Save teh Big Dipper" type campaigns to save it.

Not like it deserves em', but I will say that I too still remember it despite not having been on it for some time, and I do remember it actually being really cool. Sad that it's closing, but I doubt there'll be riots in the street about it.

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:roll: Yes, you're all correct. Its the most amazing log flume ever to be created. An effort should be started immediately to save it.

 

LOL So true and really funny! Always seems to be the initial reaction. Tried it a few years ago for the first time and don't really remember anything special about it other than it took forever to find it and you had to walk through the wasteland that is Ontario Place to get there. I do admit, the theming was the best I've seen on a log flume outside of Europe, so it definitely has that going for it. The only reason I tried it was because admission to Ontario place was free during the CNE, as is tradition. The flume at Wonderland seemed a bit more memorable and no one said anything when it was torn out for Top Gun/ Flight Deck.

 

The place opened in '71 and became irrelevant after that decade. I remember it being boring and couldn't think of a reason to go as a kid or adult other than seeing a show or concert. Sure, the views from the property are awesome, but to pay that admission price to get in just for a view? Obviously that stopped working.

 

No one knows what's going to happen to the property but it's become clear that it's dead since the government is broke and not in the Expo/ amusement park business. The management still thinks it's 1971 in 2012. The fact is that there is no money to keep it open under its current form since no one is coming. A small water park, a log flume and a kids playground can't sustain an entire property. It's a great spot with a lot of potential and here's hoping that whatever they do will be great for the public in the end.

 

If anything, I doubt most people outside of Toronto even knew the place existed, and even fewer knew it had a log flume.

 

This describes me exactly. Needless to say, I won't miss it terribly.

 

So true! But thanks to sites like this, people can see what happens when an attraction is left to die decade after decade, sucking taxpayer money.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Going along the night life avenue mentioned... A few years back, Ontario Place had the nightly Chinese Lantern Festival. It was an impressive display and I remember it being fairly crowded on the few occasions I went. Just goes to show that if you have a unique night life, people will definitely come.

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