Ontario Place

Toronto, Ontario

Client: Government of Ontario, Special Projects Branch
Size: 46 acres of man-made islands plus 44 acres of protected water

The goal of the Government of Ontario for this project, after the enormous success of Montréal’s Expo 67, was to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront by creating a large urban park on a previously neglected segment of the shoreline. Consisting of 90 acres of man-made islands and lagoons, the centrepiece of the complex is the exhibition pavilion suspended high above the water. It features five exhibition pavilions with a total of 90,000 sf of space and the world’s first 800-seat Cinesphere IMAX theatre. In addition, on the islands is a two-acre Children’s Village play area, a 300-boat marina, boutiques, restaurants, bars, snack bars, picnic areas, beaches, and three large parking lots. Ontario Place also originally included the award-winning, 2,500-seat Forum amphitheatre with 12,000 lawn seats.

A 1/4 mile breakwater was formed by the sinking of three obsolete Great Lakes freighters, sweeping around the most southerly portion of the site to protect from severe winter storms.

Ontario Place is now visited by over 3,000,000 people annually. The firm was also responsible for the design coordination of all landscaping and the extensive artwork distributed throughout the site.

Awards:

  • Ontario Association of Architects - Landmark Designation Award, 1999
  • Ontario Association of Architects - Design Excellence Award, 1976
  • American Society of Interior Designers - International Design Award, 1975
  • American Society of Landscape Architects - Merit Award, 1975
  • American Iron & Steel Institute - Design in Steel Citation for Excellence in Engineering, Low-rise Construction, 1973
  • Canadian Architect Yearbook - Award of Excellence, Projects in the Design Stage, 1969