After five years of construction and remodelling, Ontario Place has redeveloped their parking lot into a recreational park and conservation area.

The local attraction closed down in 2012 after the number of incoming visitors decreased. However, this summer Ontario Place has re-opened their doors and welcomes visitors to 7.5 acres of green space.

The new Ontario Place addition features Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail, named after Bill Davis, the former acting Premier when Ontario Place was first introduced to citizens. The trail extends past its 1.3 kilometre distance to connect to prior existing trails, such as the Martin Goodman and Pan Am Trails, adding up to 2,000 kilometres in distance.

Trillium Park has six key hallmarks that visitors can look forward to: The Ravine, the Pavilion, the Romantic Garden, the Fire Pit, the Bluff and the Summit.

The Ravine was developed alongside the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and acts as a pathway to the newly revitalized park. The walls within the Ravine include visual representations of First Nations culture and is also recognized as the Moccasin Identifier. Within the park are marker trees that represent the Indigenous Peoples and their use of the marker trees for both identifying Indigenous sites and navigational purposes.

Whether it be resting or participating in activities, the Pavilion and Romantic Garden are green spaces where visitors can gather for occasions of all kinds. On the other hand, the Fire Pit and the Bluff are both on the edge of the waterfront, giving visitors a clear view of Lake Ontario. Lastly, the Summit is called to be the highest point in the park, allowing visitors to oversee the entire conservatory area and waterfront.

After having experienced the features of the former park and the transformation of the new one, former Ontario Place employee David Cheung said, “I have many fond memories of Ontario Place. My brothers and I would spend hours running wildly through the playground at Children’s Village or getting lost in the Mega Maze. With its revitalization, I look forward to making new memories with my family.”

Ontario landmarks and contributions from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation were taken into consideration for the revitalization of the park. Although the opening of Trillium Park has changed Ontario Place significantly, plans to further revitalize the park are already in place. This includes an increase in space available for festivals and events and the enhancement of the iconic Cinesphere with an IMAX projector.

Ontario Place is currently hosting events at their venue to celebrate Ontario 150, including the Art & Music Ontario Festival from August 4-7 and the Active Ontario Festival from Sept 1-4.

The Art & Music Ontario festival celebrates a diverse range of Ontario art and music in honour of the province’s 150th anniversary.

The Active Ontario festival offers visitors a chance to partake in various outdoor sports and healthy lifestyle activities.

Both free admission 4-day festivals offer great entertainment for the whole family.

For details on these events and the new park visit www.ontarioplace.com.

By Stephanie Liu