Massive $60M water park planned for Toronto area
Angela Hennessy, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014 7:12AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:31PM EDT
TORONTO -- Developers say they expect a new Greater Toronto Area theme park designed to offer summer 365 days a year will be up and running by the fall of 2016.
The 9,300-square-metre attraction will offer sandy beaches, wave pools, cabanas, restaurants, lazy rivers, vendors and live entertainment.
Developers say the $60 million indoor/outdoor complex is designed to fill a void in the GTA's tourism market, and will be equipped with a retractable roof, allowing it to operate every day of the year.
Apart from the new Ripley's Aquarium, they point out that there haven't been any new attractions in the GTA since Canada's Wonderland 30 years ago.
The site of the massive complex is still undetermined, but has been narrowed to the three locations and developers of the MarbleLive project say they're in talks with officials in Mississauga and Toronto.
They say they're looking for a location that offers the easiest access for tourists as well as finding an ideal site for local residents.
"We're trying to build a crown jewel so the location really matters," said Toronto entrepreneur John Barrack, a managing partner of MarbleLive.
"After you go through the winter that we just went through you realize that you really need to give people of all ages something to do in the winter," said Barrack.
Mark Bishop, a co-CEO at MarbleLive, said their research has found that Canadians are looking for more things to do in their own backyards.
"The challenge we face as people who live in this area (GTA) is that there really isn't a lot to do," said Bishop.
Once fully operational, the theme park is expected to employ 230 full time personnel and attract more than 500,000 visitors within its first year of operation.