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The Future of Ontario Place Colloquium

Join the Future of Ontario Place for a series comprised of four sessions working towards reimagining the future of the site through an understanding of its public identity, design values, and future challenges.

1. Lessons from Utopian Megastructures

 February 3, 12 - 1:30 pm EST

In one of his initial sketches of Ontario Place, architect Eberhard Zeidler noted his ambition to “reclaim the shoreline for people”— democratizing access to Toronto’s waterfront. The resulting architecture maintains strong formal and conceptual relationships to utopian megastructures and largely unbuilt proposals from Archigram, Yona Freidman, Kisho Kurokawa, and Superstudio. This discussion locates Ontario Place within these speculative utopian projects of the 1960’s, elucidating Zeidler’s attempts to demonstrate pluralistic thinking and democractic principles through architectural form. How can we use lessons from Ontario Place’s relationships to wider architectural movements to inform its future?

Moderated by: Aziza Chaouni
Speakers: George Baird, Tomoko Tamari, Laurent Stalder

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2. Waterfronts, Heritage, and Climate Resiliency

 February 10, 12 - 1:30 pm EST

Michael Hough’s landscape design for Ontario Place is a seminal work in the 1960’s shift in landscape architecture practice that grounded design in ecology and community use. Climate change’s accelerating effects must inform the future development of Ontario Place—its ecology, programming, and value to the public. What will the adaptive reuse of Ontario Place look like when it considers biodiversity and climate resiliency? How will these decisions impact or compliment its architectural and landscape heritage values?

Moderated by: Liat Margolis
Speakers: Robert Allsopp, Charles Birnbaum, Belinda Tato

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3. Revitalizing Iconic Modern Waterfront Sites: Toronto, Montreal, Sydney

 February 17, 12 - 1:30 pm EST

Montreal's Expo '67, the Sydney Opera House and Ontario Place are all seminal examples of public architecture that embraced avant-garde design in the 1960’s. Yet, each site has faced a specific trajectory and is now at a different stage of its evolutionary process. The Expo site—now a park with only the few permanent elements of the original site remaining, is being revitalized. The Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been carefully conserved under a Conservation Management Plan. Ontario Place’s identity has continuously shifted with different government proposals and is now at a crossroads. What can we learn from these conservation case-studies? Join us as we discuss experiences in conservation, adaptive reuse, change management, and the consideration of multiple stakeholders on iconic public sites.

Moderated by: Bill Greaves
Speakers: Patricia Lussier, Alan Croker, Michael McClelland

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4. The Future of Conservation: Critical Approaches in the Heritage Field

 February 24, 12 - 1:30 pm EST

Increasingly, heritage practitioners are bringing social, economic, and cultural systems into their work and advocating for pluralistic approaches which consider a multitude of perspectives. In the absence of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Ontario Place, how can we learn from cutting-edge approaches which consider both material and non-material systems? How can Ontario Place’s public value shape its future?

Moderated by: Javier Ors Ausín
Speakers: Desiree Valaderes, Philip Cote, Shikha Jain

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