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Cirque du Soleil coming to Ontario Place this fall with Alegria

Cirque du Soleil is bringing one of its shows to Ontario Place this fall.

Company will perform 90 shows between September and December

Ontario Place will host Cirque du Soleil this fall. A performer is pictured here in the show 'Toruk,' which premiered in 2015. (Cirque du Soleil)

Cirque du Soleil is bringing one of its shows to Ontario Place this fall.

The Ontario government says it has signed a deal that will see the entertainment company put on 90 performances at the Toronto waterfront venue from September to December.

The company says it will be performing Alegria, a show it first premiered in 1994.

The announcement comes as the Progressive Conservative government explores ways to redevelop the Ontario Place site, with Premier Doug Ford saying he wants it to focus on family-oriented entertainment.

The government launched an "expression of interest" two weeks ago to create a long-term plan for Ontario Place, in which people or companies can pitch ideas on how to utilize the attraction's unused space. 

"It's a gathering of ideas exercise," said Kinga Surma, PC MPP for Etobicoke Centre. "We have this wonderful spot at this wonderful site." 

Kinga Surma, PC MPP for Etobicoke Centre, spoke to reporters Wednesday about the short-term rental agreement between the government and Cirque du Soleil. (CBC)

Surma said the company's tent will be set up in a parking lot on the east island, between the Budweiser stage and the Trillium Park trail.  

Ford tweeted Monday about the Cirque du Soleil arrangement, saying he couldn't think of a better suited company to partner with to bring excitement back to Ontario Place.

The government closed Ontario Place to the public in 2012 due to falling revenues at the government-owned theme park and tight provincial finances. At that time, the government said attendance had fallen from 2.5 million when it opened in 1971 to about 300,000.

"It's been sort of sitting there for quite a long time," Surma said. "This will give us time to develop a long-term concept."

With files from CBC News

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