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City staff to explore relocating proposed Ontario Place spa to Exhibition Place


Members of the city’s executive committee have voted in favour of exploring the possibility of building the proposed Therme spa and water park on Exhibition Place instead of Ontario Place.

The motion by Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York councillor Ausma Malik adopted during Tuesday's meeting directs the city manager to consult with other staff, including the CEO of the Exhibition Place and the Canadian National Exhibition Association, to conduct a preliminary feasibility assessment “on the siting of the proposed Therme facility at Exhibition Place, including within the Better Living Centre site.”

The Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, in which Malik is chair, endorsed the motion during their Oct. 27 meeting.

“Exhibition Place’s vision as an inclusive and accessible parkland and business destination for conventions, exhibitions, entertainment, recreation and sporting events and public celebrations is fundamentally connected to the future of Ontario Place, a treasured green space and site of international heritage significance,” Malik said in a letter to the executive committee.

She noted that the site has been one of the alternative locations for the Therme facility identified during public meetings.

“Exhibition Place may benefit from and provide an improved location for this use due to factors such as proximity to transit, hotel accommodations, parking, existing servicing and other infrastructure.”

City staff is expected to report back on Dec. 5.

Infrastructure Ontario is currently leading a development application process with the City of Toronto that includes a proposed private spa and waterpark by Therme for the West Island.

The project has faced criticism from community groups and local politicians who said that the proposed facility, which includes a large parking lot, will result in the loss of public space.

The Ontario government has said it plans to move ahead with preparing the site this fall, including the removal of many trees. The province believes that a revised application it submitted to the city addressed concerns raised during public consultations, including the design of the building.

Last week, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma said in a statement to that “significant progress” has been made on work at the Ontario Place site.

“The vision to rebuild Ontario Place is well underway, with shovels in the ground to repair and replace the underground critical infrastructure. We’ve made significant progress on this work so far and we’ll continue to work with the City of Toronto to execute that vision,” the statement read. Top Stories

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