Ontario Place

Toronto, Ontario

Design Thinking: 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 square feet of space and the world’s first 800 seat Cinesphere IMAX theatre.

Key Features: In addition, the original design featured a two-acre Children’s Village play area, a 300 boat marina, boutiques, restaurants, 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.

Completed as Predecessor Firm: Craig, Zeidler and Strong
Client: Government of Ontario, Special Projects Branch
Size: 46 acres of man-made islands plus 44 acres of protected water
Awards:
• Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and The National Trust – Prix du XXe Siècle for the Cinesphere and Pods, 2017
• 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