Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Ontario Place in 2020

This picture was taken as I left Ontario Place, a really nice walk along the shore with a great view of the city. 
Here is a nice panorama
This is a lookout tower with some great views
Skyline view in the distance. 
As the site has been mostly abandoned, nature has started to grow.
Construction began March 17, 1969, cost approximately $29M and involved an estimated 1.5 million hours of labour.

The park opened its gates to the public on May 22, 1971.

The park initially encompassed 96 acres of which 51 acres were land fill, 30,000 trees, shrubs and plants and 5.5 kilometres of sculpted pathways.

Ontario Place originally featured a five pod pavilion complex, The Forum, pedal boats, a marina, restaurants, and the world's first permanent IMAX® theatre, the Cinesphere.

That first brochure presented Ontario Place as a "work in progress" that would be ever changing and have something for everyone.

Admission in that first year was $1 for adults and $.50 for children.

The popular Children’s Village play area opened in 1972 on the East Island as an interactive play area for children under 12.

The West Island originally housed a reflecting pool that was filled in with concrete and a refrigeration system in the 70’s to furnish an ice skating rink.

In 1979, the rink was opened in summer as a roller rink offering a unique hangout for post disco-era teens.

Canada's first waterslide opened in August of 1978 in the south east parking lot of Ontario Place bringing the attractions right to the water's edge.

During the 80’s the park underwent a substantial transformation with the introduction of a number of new attractions aimed at giving every member of the family something to enjoy.

In 1980, the government constructed seven concrete silos linked by walkways on the West Island, featuring the wildlife of Northern Ontario.

Cinesphere features a six-storey screen and one of the most powerful sound systems in the world – its Sonic Sound System is equipped with 24,000 watts of digital power. 

In 1981, a 70mm film festival was introduced at the Cinesphere making use of the theatre for non-IMAX films for the first time.

In 1984, theming and reconstruction of the West Island introduced the popular Wilderness Adventure Ride, a fully automated flume ride complete with 40-foot splashdown.

In 1991, Ontario Place celebrated its 20th anniversary which included the introduction of a free admission program that lasted until 1996.

The waterpark’s development began in 1993 with the opening of the Hydrofuge (featured in Ontario Tourism commercials).

Waterpark expansion continued during the 90’s replacing the old waterslides to make way for Rush River Raft Ride: a five person raft experience; and two new waterslides: the Pink Twister and Purple Pipeline. Heated water was also introduced, allowing for earlier and later use of the waterslides in the waterpark.

1993 marked the introduction of the Play All Day Pass, a pay-one-price package that allowed visitors to use the attractions throughout the day for one low price.

During the winter of 1994/95, The Forum was replaced with the Molson Amphitheatre; the Amphitheatre seats 16,000 as compared to 8,000 in the old venue.

In 1995, the Atlantis Pavilions opened in the Ontario Place pod complex and included a nightclub as well as banquet and theatre facilities.

The pods also featured Grossology: an interactive display highlighting features of the human body.

1997 marked the year pay-as-you-go attraction pricing was completely replaced in favour of the Play All Day Pass®.

During the 90’s a South Beach volleyball complex was introduced, adding another venue for special events and hundreds of corporate groups hosting company picnics and teambuilding events each summer.

In 2001, Hydrofuge, Purple Pipeline, Pink Twister, and Rush River Raft Ride were merged with Water play, into one huge venue and Soak City was born. During these years the waterpark continued to expand to include a restaurant and bar patio with a total area encompassing approximately 120,000 sq. ft.

The 2000’s saw an increase in “Heritage Days” at the park, celebrating the diverse cultures that make our province such an exciting place to live.

In 2004, the award winning “Guaranteed Weather” program was introduced, giving guests a free day at Ontario Place if they purchased a Play All Day Pass® and it rained for an hour during their visit.

2004 also saw Canada Dry join Ontario Place in presenting the Canada Dry Festival of Fire: a spectacular display of fireworks replacing the popular Benson and Hedges Symphony of Fire fireworks competition.

In 2005, Ontario Place expanded the zero-depth waterplay area in Soak City to include Canada’s largest tipping bucket that drops 1,000 litres of water every six minutes.

In 2006, the world-class Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival graced Ontario Place’s West Island. This evening event celebrating Chinese culture and artistry expanded the park’s regular programming and was such a success that it was extended through 2008.

In 2009, the Event Tent in Market Square was taken down and replaced with Heritage Square. This entertainment expanse provides guests with an optimal area to enjoy much of Ontario Place’s special events and entertainment while improving sightlines through the park.

Wild World of Weather, a brand new attraction, was introduced in 2009. Replacing the Mega Maze, Wild World of Weather takes guests through an educational and entertaining journey where they experience all of the elements in Mother Nature’s repertoire.

As well, Ontario Place became the new home to Caribana with the ‘De Caribana Lime’ Island Party and Caribana Tent Village.

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