The Ontario Science Centre is officially moving to Ontario Place, the provincial government announced on Tuesday.
After days of speculation, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma, and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Neil Lumsden gathered outside Ontario Place to announce the change which will come as part of Ontario Place's extensive redevelopment.
“Moving here is a fantastic opportunity in more than one sense,” Lumsden said. “It will bring unique science-based educational programming and modern exhibits to the heart of Ontario Place.”
The 1969-built Science Centre, currently located on Don Mills Road, is in need of costly repairs, Lumsden said, and moving it to Ontario place is the most cost effective way to modernize it.
The Centre will take over the existing Cinesphere and Pod complex at Ontario Place, with a new custom-built, state-of-the-art facility going up as well. Upgrades to existing infrastructure will begin as soon as this spring, with construction expected to begin in 2025. The current Science Centre location will stay open until then.
Once complete, the new Ontario Science Centre is expected to attract one million visitors each year, Lumsden said.
The Province also noted that moving the Science Centre "creates a generational housing opportunity" right outside what will be the future terminus station of the upcoming Ontario Line subway. In a release, the Province said it will "work with the City of Toronto on realizing this new opportunity and hopes to bring more affordable and attainable housing to the neighbourhood."
The idea of moving the Science Centre to Ontario Place was first publicly discussed by mayoral candidate Ana Bailão last week, who urged the provincial government to consider the move. She noted that the Don Mills lands could be used to build 5,000 homes, including 1,500 affordable homes.
“By building new homes here, residents would be able to live close to where they work with access to transit on the Ontario Line and Eglinton Crosstown,” a campaign release reads.