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Ontario Place
955 Lake Shore Blvd W,, Toronto
Developer: Province of Ontario

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Thread: Ontario Place Revitalization

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    I think a casino could be an asset, but not if it's designed in the typical fashion - a hermetically sealed mega-box won't do much to elevate the rest of the Ontario Place, nor would it make best use of the assets of the site. If they could somehow distribute casino functions throughout the site as part of a district-wide masterplan, and integrate new and existing entertainment/leisure functions into the mix, it could be a really exciting place. I'd like to see how they could integrate some of the bright utopianism of Ontario Place and some of the bright populism of the Ex into something new.

    If the revitalization strategy is to insert more adult-targeted entertainment, I'd like to see something more like Pinocchio's Pleasure Island and less like a Harrah's Wherever.


  2. #302
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    Hey, a casino on the waterfront worked for Springfield, why not here!


  3. #303
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Toronto
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    Default

    a casino will work
    a casino combined with low-rise hotel, making it as another tourist attraction

  4. #304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bengaijin View Post
    I think a casino could be an asset, but not if it's designed in the typical fashion - a hermetically sealed mega-box won't do much to elevate the rest of the Ontario Place, nor would it make best use of the assets of the site. If they could somehow distribute casino functions throughout the site as part of a district-wide masterplan, and integrate new and existing entertainment/leisure functions into the mix, it could be a really exciting place.
    Casino operators are unlikely to be willing to do something other than a hermetically sealed mega-box, because that is the way you get people to stay in a casino and keep gambling.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulse View Post
    Casino operators are unlikely to be willing to do something other than a hermetically sealed mega-box, because that is the way you get people to stay in a casino and keep gambling.
    Yeah, you're probably right. In which case a casino will do nothing to revitalize the existing spaces, and will contribute little to city-building. In which case, do we really want it?

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulse View Post
    Casino operators are unlikely to be willing to do something other than a hermetically sealed mega-box, because that is the way you get people to stay in a casino and keep gambling.
    Then build something like this..


    Madeira Island International Casino
    Oscar Niemeyer

  7. #307
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moncton, NB
    Posts
    61

    Default

    The Montreal casino is certainly no bunker... (Source: Montrealvip.com)


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    Quote Originally Posted by bgobgo View Post
    The Montreal casino is certainly no bunker... (Source: Montrealvip.com)
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    Yeah, thats great looking structure...i thought id post a more conservative design to fit OP...but i would take that Montreal Casino anyday on the Lakeshore side.

  9. Default

    Whether or not the casino itself is an inspiring piece of architecture is a different matter (though an important one, too). My concern is that if it does not directly encourage engagement and facilitate the use of other parts of the OP/Ex site, it won't really 'revitalize' anything as much as replace it. And I think there are things about the current site worth revitalizing.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by astroturf View Post
    Yes - a Casino would be an absolutely perfect fit and easily make the venue an all-year attraction. With a nice a revenue split between the casino / Ontario place / the city - all parties would benefit from the revenue. I can't imagine anything else that would draw a steady stream of people, especially in the dead of winter. People need to move past the myopic view that casinos are awful, and view it for what it is, just another form of entertainment.
    Funny that your name is synonymous with fake grass when what you advocate is, in many senses, fake revitalization. Cities are not just about revenue, though our current mayor may lead you to believe otherwise. The view that casinos are 'awful' doesn't stem from myopia as much as the empirical evidence we've seen in past projects with similar ambitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by bengaijin View Post
    Whether or not the casino itself is an inspiring piece of architecture is a different matter (though an important one, too). My concern is that if it does not directly encourage engagement and facilitate the use of other parts of the OP/Ex site, it won't really 'revitalize' anything as much as replace it. And I think there are things about the current site worth revitalizing.
    My thoughts exactly. The concerns of a few members here closely parallel those expressed by Ken Greenburg in his book, Walking Home (2011):

    "Politicians and planners are also lured into difficulties through the perennial attraction of quick fixes. If only we had a (blank) we would be a world class city. Casinos are a common version of this familiar litany.

    Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax perfectly illustrates how these quick fixes can do more harm than good. No doubt intended to open up the waterfront, the building presents a bleak and lifeless presences on the harbour's edge, with blank walls and dark glass windows facing the water and a large access for tour buses facing the city. With absolutely no reason to occupy the valuable waterfront site on which it's located, a site that clearly called for an extroverted and publicly minded presence, the casino has probably retarded the redevelopment of what is potentially some of the most valuable real estate in Maritime Canada."
    That said, I wouldn't mind seeing something like an observation wheel as part of that revitalization process. I think it became an easy target when proposed by DoFo since it and the monorail were representative of the absurdity of the project as a whole. Ironically, the cover image for Mr. Greenburg's book depicts the original (and I guess, current) scheme for the Portlands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgobgo View Post
    The Montreal casino is certainly no bunker... (Source: Montrealvip.com)

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    I agree the Montreal casino is a great looking one .... but bear in mind that building wasn't "built" to be a casino, but rather the structure was re-purposed from the former Expo'67 French Pavilion, hence the architectural statement?
    Miss you forever EE (1949-2011.10.14) and DaoDao (1998.03.28-2009.11.27)

  13. Default

    I didn't get to Ontario Place this year, but was there a few times last year with kids, primarily for the waterslide as it is close to our home. Interesting cinesphere and pods aside, the rest of the place is laughably bad as an amusement park but there is a lot of potential, especially now that there is so much density, existing and planned, on the waterfront. Presumably there is a critical mass for an alternative entertainment district of sorts.

    I am not saying I think a casino is a good idea for Ontario Place/Exhibition, but presumably as this is government-owned land and operating a casino is about as regulated an enterprise as there is, the form that the casino takes could be mandated by the government as opposed to the casino operator. If the powers that be concentrated on urban development rather than maximum revenues from a casino (big if), there could be multiple smaller casinos spread around the OP/Ex grounds, intersected by the many other entertainment options in the area, such as concert venues, cinesphere, arenas, BMO field, trade centre, etc. Other developments like restaurants and other entertainment options could be developed as part of it, all set out in an urban grid (at least on the Ex side) and trying to make the best use of the historical buildings on site. Even those drawn primarily to the casinos would walk from one to the other, creating a lively enviroment.

  14. Default

    The first thing you do in Sim City when you need a few extra bucks is to Legalize Gambling. The first thing you do when you have a city that doesn't need it anymore - is turn off that setting. Now I'm not saying it's that simple - but a Casino close to downtown would not be a great move for Toronto. Traffic is already a mess along that stretch - I can't imagine what this would do.

    Just my two cents.

  15. #315

    Default

    There are two kinds of exhibition pavilions: extroverted, and introverted. For all its external pyrotechnics, Expo's French Pavilion was introverted--a gift-wrapped space container. Bucky Fuller's US Pavilion's extroverted, as are the Ontario Place pods. There's a reason why a casino suits one and not the other...

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