Letter on Rebuilding Ontario Place Act

June 28, 2024


RE: Rebuilding Ontario Place Act

On behalf of the Toronto Society of Architects, we write this letter to express our concerns with regards to the Rebuilding Ontario Place Act. We do this in fulfilment of our role as advocates for the built environment.

Established in 1887, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) is a non-profit volunteer-led organization dedicated to bringing people together to discuss, learn and explore around our shared passion for the built environment. We are committed to the betterment of our city and have played an important advocacy role throughout Toronto’s history. We do this through a wide range of programs which foster welcoming and inclusive forums for debate and the exchange of ideas, stimulating critical thinking about the design and building issues of our time.

For the past many years, we have been closely following the redevelopment proposals for Ontario Place, a world-renowned architectural and landscape landmark which we are fortunate to have as part of Toronto’s waterfront. We are in support of the revitalization of this important public asset—indeed we believe Ontario Place is owed decades of deferred maintenance, repairs, and investment—but we are concerned with how the government has decided to approach this process. These concerns were expressed in our Open Letter issued May 30, 2023, and they have grown given the introduction of the Rebuilding Ontario Place Act.

In 2019, when the Ontario government first announced an Expression of Interest seeking development concepts for Ontario Place, the TSA held a design charrette open to both design professionals and the public to work together towards a shared vision for this landmark’s future. While no two groups produced identical schemes, this exercise did reveal a number of key elements that formed a shared vision for Ontario Place: one that preserved the architectural and landscape heritage of this internationally significant complex and built on its history of innovation.

Rebuilding Ontario Place Act will allow the government to bypass many of the processes that have been set in place to ensure the integrity and quality of our built environment, many of which have been put in place by the provincial government itself such as the Ontario Heritage Act and the Environmental Protection Act. It is our belief that this is not only unnecessary for the revitalization of Ontario Place, but contrary to the principles of building a shared vision for this public asset.

Public assets should be held to the highest standards, and Ontario Place should be an exemplary revitalization that not only falls in line with provincial and municipal criteria but exceeds them and leads the way to a more sustainable and vibrant province.

On behalf of the Toronto Society of Architects Executive,


Ana-Francisca de la Mora, OAA, FRAIC

Barbora Vokac Taylor, OAA, MRAIC
Vice Chair

Pamela Bruneau, OAA

Joël León Danis, OAA, FRAIC
Executive Director