Friday February 3, 2012
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday February 3, 2012
Ontario Place Closed
By the standards of government communications, as we know them today, it was downright poetic.
“Ontario Place is Ontario,” the advertisement in the Nov. 10, 1970, edition of The Globe and Mail proclaimed. “It will show us and the world where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going.”
If we’re going to be honest, even in its heyday the lakeside complex never did quite live up to those lofty dreams. It was a great place to see a concert, at least back in the era of the quaint little Forum and its revolving stage. It offered a unique movie-going experience, until commercial chains put in Imax theatres of their own. It had bumper boats and a waterslide and a “punching bag forest,” which all held a certain magic for kids. None of this really made it the beacon to the world – Toronto’s answer to Expo 67 – that its creators envisioned.
But there was something noble about those ambitions. And there is something depressing about how they ultimately panned out: the provincial government of the day announcing Wednesday that it’s indefinitely shutting most of Ontario Place’s current operations, because it’s tired of losing $20-million a year.
This is what it’s come down to for a province $16-billion in the hole, scratching and clawing for any dollar it can save. Rob Ford, the hawkish mayor of Toronto, likes to talk about keeping things we “need to have,” while letting go of ones that are just “nice to have.” Dalton McGuinty’s provincial Liberals don’t speak quite as bluntly, but with the odd exception – an ongoing investment in the Pan Am Games – they increasingly find themselves forced to embrace a similar philosophy. (Source: Globe & Mail)