The entity that owns much of the land where the Ontario Science Centre currently sits says it's "unclear" what exactly the provincial government plans to do with it.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) owns 81 acres of land at the southwest corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East. With the exception of its front entrance, which sits on land owned by the City of Toronto, the entirety of the Science Centre is situated on that TRCA land.
The TRCA and the City leased the property to the Ontario Science Centre on a 99-year term, which is set to expire on June 30, 2064.
"To date, it is unclear what the province’s intentions are for development on the Ontario Science Centre lands," a spokesperson for the TRCA told STOREYS, noting that the land is considered "hazardous" due to steep slopes and a floodplain that characterize the area.
"Provincial, municipal, and TRCA policies require that future development be directed to areas outside of the hazardous lands."
On April 18, after weeks of speculation, the Government of Ontario officially announced that the Ontario Science Centre would be relocated to a "custom-built, state-of-the-art facility" at the revitalized Ontario Place. The current Science Centre site would be redeveloped to create a "generational housing opportunity."
The TRCA said there have so far been "no conversations" with the province or the city regarding moving the Science Centre, cancelling the lease, or building housing on the lands, which are home to "sensitive habitats."
Despite the seemingly official announcement that new homes would be built on the property, Premier Doug Ford floated several other possible plans for the site during a press conference on April 25, including a new community centre and a new school.
Ford said his government would work "collaboratively" with the City of Toronto on whatever redevelopment materializes, as they own the land. He did not mention the TRCA.
"The [Ontario Science Centre] is old and run down, it's a mess," Ford told reporters.
"I feel there's two options here. We work with the city and make something spectacular up at the existing Science Centre, and help out the community that's desperately in need of help up there, and we have something spectacular at Ontario Place. We're going to get it done and it's going to be out of this world."
Construction on the new Ontario Science Centre is slated to begin in 2025, with an opening date set for 2028.