Christian & Paul: Design of the Public Sphere — The Case for Ontario Place

Students Christian Rutherford and Paul Willem van der Grient propose that provincial and municipal governments work together to create a coordinated development strategy for Ontario Place and Exhibition place, or OP-EX for short. Redesigning Ontario Place and Exhibition Place together would better connect Exhibition Place to the water, and Ontario Place to the rest of the city.

This proposal recommends that a municipal-provincial partnership be established to develop a planning framework to ensure an urban fabric with a variety of quality urban spaces. Zoning and building criteria should be established to shape private development. Over time, a series of neighbourhoods would form, bringing life to the Western waterfront.

It is proposed that Dufferin Street and Strachan Avenue be improved and extended to create better connections with the city. Lakeshore would be maintained, with multiple bridges crossing over it to better connect Ontario Place and Exhibition Place. A grid would be introduced to Ontario Place’s east island to allow for mixed-use commercial-residential development with laneways and intimate courtyards. The northern edge of this island would be landfilled, narrowing the water to create a canal. Ontario Place’s west island would become a large wild park with existing structures repurposed for public uses.

This project was created for Created for the Fall 2012 Urban Design Studio “Design of the Public Sphere — The Case for Ontario Place.”

For more information about the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, visit us at


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