Is Toronto ready for a year-round water park?
Video shows Ontario Place look-alike facility with retractable roof
A Toronto group is floating an idea for a $60-million indoor water park for the city in a slick new online video, but offer few other details about its location, funding or construction.
The idea has nonetheless raised eyebrows as Toronto still ponders what to do with its recently defunct waterfront park Ontario Place.
The group's press release says the park would operate year-round — thanks to a retractable roof — and provide a 100,000 square-foot indoor water play area featuring "sandy beaches, wave pools, cabanas, restaurants, lazy rivers, vendors and live entertainment."
Posted on the website is a video featuring computer-generated graphics of a large water park with a retractable roof in a lakeside location that resembles Ontario Place. Owned by the provincial government, Ontario Place was closed in February 2012 due to falling attendance.
A panel headed by John Tory, now a mayoral candidate, looked into options for Ontario Place and issued a list of recommendations calling on the majority of the site to be set aside for public use, with limited private-sector development. The report also ruled out a casino for the site and pointed out that Ontario Place is poorly served by transit. Most of the funding for any redevelopment would likely have to come from the private sector, the report said.
The water park project does not appear to be backed by any specific developer but is partnered with marblemedia, a content and branding company committed to "telling great original stories in new and exciting ways."
The release says the company is looking at three locations, but does not name them. The release also says the company is in talks with "officials in Mississauga and Toronto."
The release says backers of the project are "looking for a location that offers the easiest access for tourists as well as finding an ideal site for local residents."
“People in the GTA are hungry for new entertainment experiences,” said John Barrack, listed as a MarbleLive partner in a quote published on the website. “We’re going to give them a dynamic year-round attraction that’s part-water-park, part-theme-park and all fun, all the time.”