First phase of Ontario Place revitalization complete with new urban park and trail

Government officials attend a ribbon cutting ceremony to open Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place on June 19, 2017. Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official opening of Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place on Monday.

The 7.5 acre urban park and a waterfront trail is part of the Ontario government’s $100 million investment to rejuvenate what was once a key Toronto tourist destination.

“We’re transforming Ontario Place so that a new generation can continue to build memories and can see the beauty of a capital city from a new perspective,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said during a press conference at the Toronto waterfront Monday morning.

Ontario Place opened in 1971 but closed in 2012 as annual visitor numbers dwindled to 300,000 from a peak of 2.5 million and the province said it couldn’t afford to keep the struggling attraction open.

READ MORE: First phase of Ontario Place revitalization underway

The first phase of the revitalization project involved turning a parking lot into a sprawling urban green space.

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“This park and trail brings the beauty and serenity of Ontario’s landscape to the heart of downtown Toronto,” Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said.

READ MORE: Reboot of Ontario Place begins this fall with urban park and trail

“In a city this size, it is important to have public spaces where people can gather and spend time outside.”

The newly designed William G. Davis Trail located on the east island includes an open-air pavilion, garden, boardwalk and a summit at the southern tip of the park.

The long-term vision for Ontario Place includes the addition of a culture, discovery and innovation hub, a canal district with shops and restaurants, a waterscaped park around the Cinesphere and pods, a celebration common and a green pedestrian land bridge over Lake Shore Boulevard connecting to Exhibition Place.

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