Opened in 1971, Ontario Place was built as a theme park to highlight the province of Ontario with exhibits showcasing its unique features. In 2012, the park closed for redevelopment, and has changed from a theme park into a free public park filled with walking trails.
In 1967 the International and Universal Exposition was held in Montreal. The government of Ontario set up a pavilion that was so successful that they decided to create a permanent showcase of the province. The park was announced in 1968, and opened in 1971. It was designed by the architect Eberhard Zeidler and built directly into Lake Ontario, anchored by a chain of three manmade islands, representing an incredible feat of engineering.
In the past, the complex served as a Children’s Village playground and water park as well as an exhibition hall. It contains a concert amphitheatre, known today as the Budweiser Stage, and movie theater, known as the Cinesphere, that are both still in use.
Starting in 2012, the park closed for several years while a number of changes were introduced. It reopened in 2017 with the addition of a new walking path. Today, the majority of the complex has been turned into a public walking park where guests can stroll along the waterfront and admire the decaying 70s futuristic architecture and explore the remnants of the old theme park.
Know Before You Go
The park has paid parking and multiple entrances. Its hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.