WATCH ABOVE: After opening Ontario Place in 1971, former Premier Bill Davis is honoured by having a new trail along the waterfront named after him. Mark McAllister reports.
TORONTO – The first phase of revitalization at Ontario Place has started with a new trail being named in honour of the man who first opened the park in 1971.
Former premier Bill Davis was presented with a plaque on the site where the future William G. Davis Trail will exist along the eastern portion of the land.
“We’re removing a parking lot and we’re creating a park,” said current Premier Kathleen Wynne. “This naturalized green space will give people access to a section of the waterfront that has been gated off for more than 40 years.”
Ontario Place was closed in 2012 after attendance numbers went down and it was no longer considered the waterfront destination it was originally designed to be.
The provincial government announced last year that $100 million was to be invested in the first phases of the land’s revitalization.
The new park will include a garden, a bluff with stacked boulders and rocks as well as a ravine celebrating First Nations heritage and culture.
“I think it is a very fitting thing for this beautiful piece of our overall waterfront,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “It’s a very special, peaceful, natural place in a big city.”
The William G. Davis Trail will link to the existing Martin Goodman Trail along Lake Ontario.
“I want to say on behalf of myself and my family how much I appreciate this honour,” said Davis. “It couldn’t be more appropriate.”
The park is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2016.