Join us this Saturday at Ontario Place to follow the acclaimed landscape architect Walter Kehm as he leads a tour and speaks about the habitat at West Island. Wear warm clothes! Following the tour, you are invited to join the Rally for Ontario Place located at the black wall of Doom near the west drive-in entrance on Lakeshore Blvd. We are really excited about these events and encourage you to bring friends, neighbours, colleagues and family. See you there...this struggle to protect Ontario Place ain't over!
Scroll down for info on both events
Before and after. The photo on the right was taken October, 2023 & the photo on the right was taken today
19 more trees along Lakeshore Boulevard West have been disappeared. We have been vigilant, keeping an eye open for any tree-cutting activity over the course of the last few days, so we were pretty surprised to discover this allée of handsome shade trees had been obliterated without us knowing about it. Our only conclusion is that this desecration was performed late at night to avoid public protest or news coverage.
We continue to ask the public to watch for any suspicious activity and to report their observations to us as soon as possible. At this stage, most of the parking lot foliage is gone, but we know there are still lots of trees on the mainland that are slated to be removed, including the trees on the embankment you can see in the photo on the right of the “before” picture above. As we near the end of December, we expect the rate of tree removal to accelerate, including East Island and very probably West Island as well.
Don't give up the fight. Please continue to reach out to City and Provincial politicians and let them know how you feel. Write to newspapers and online media. Spread the word far and wide. In the days ahead, we hope to let you know of some protest activities you can participate in.
Thanks as always for all your support. Save the Trees at OP!
Our continuing assessment shows at least 184 trees have been decimated at Ontario Place. Will the government please explain how these mature, healthy trees are affecting their so-called infrastructure improvements for East Island and the Budweiser Stage? Maybe they forgot to tell the public that these trees need to go so they can prerpare the grounds for an underground parking garage and/or Science Centre. Hmmmmm......
Photo from arborist report compared to photo taken 12/10/2023. Note the red scars where trees once stood.
After receiving the unsettling video of the decimation of a mature tree near the east parking lot yesterday, we came early this morning to evaluate the situation and, to our dismay, discovered at least 137 trees had been removed, which confirms our fear that tree-cutting has begun in earnest. The photograph above is one of many showing the loss of trees in various sections of the mainland parking lots.
We urge all advocates for Ontario Place to organize an immediate public demonstration to convey our outrage. We must act now. Stay tuned to these pages for updates.
Note: We have adjusted the number of trees cut down from 50 to 137 after a careful review of additional photography
Unfortunately, there is evidence emerging this evening that tree-cutting has begun on the East and West Parking lots. Please see the Instagram link below. We will be monitoring this development Sunday morning and, as best as possible, ascertaining what is actually happening. Please stay tuned to this blog for any further information. Be prepared to join protestors at a moment’s notice. It might be a good time to get your posters ready.
Despite what seems like two weeks of setbacks, we are still working to help save Ontario Place. As part of the overall awareness campaign, we have been asking supporters to dedicate a tree and post a photo to send the message to Doug Ford, Kinga Surma and the rest of the Ontario government that we won't tolerate the removal of 850 trees to build the unwanted mega-spa and the decimation of another 800 trees on East Island. We realize that there are lots of supporters who have not been able to get to Ontario Place to take a photo for a whole bunch of good reasons, and so we at savethetreesatop.com have decided to encourage anybody who wants to express their support to send in a photo dedication in front of any tree, anywhere. You can just browse through the photos that are already on the site to see what you can do. When you submit your photo, please tell us where you are located and consider writing a short note about why you are making your dedication. Spread the word to friends, and let's try to build a huge gallery of supporters to show the government how we feel.
And if you haven’t yet, please sign the petition to Save Ontario Place at Change.org
Today Ontario Place for All filed an application with the Divisional Court seeking an injunction prohibiting the Government of Ontario from proceeding with its West Island Redevelopment proposal including its mega spa development until a full environmental assessment is completed!
We are demanding that the Province conduct a full environmental assessment of the ENTIRE project which until now has omitted the West Island proposal, including the razing of all trees and vegetation and destruction of wildlife currently living there, the doubling of the size of the island with lakefill, and the building of the enormous indoor mega spa facility.
We are seeking to ensure that the Government of Ontario follows its own laws related to environmental assessment and review.
Please note: This is an important step to getting the government to abide by its own rules for development on West Island. It does not guarantee that the government or Therme will change direction. If an injunction is implemented, it will certainly delay the process of demolition for the short term. It may mean that the Government and Therme have to rethink their plans, but it doesn't guarentee the court action will stop the spa entirely, nor does this action cover some of the on-going activity on the mainland parking lots or East Island. It does not address the issue of the relocation of the Science Centre, nor does it cover the plans to cut down trees on East Island. We must be vigilant and continue our attempts to protect ALL of Ontario Place. Please continue to press your city and provincial representatives to vigorously oppose the Ontario government's plans. SAVE THE TREES, SAVE ONTARIO PLACE. Spread the word among your family, friends and colleagues.
Thank you as always.....
Today was a big day bringing awareness to our mission to protect Ontario Place. Ontario Place For All has just initiated a new petition on change.org that will enable many more people to have their say to help persuade the Ontario Government to halt the privatization of West Island and the destruction of the trees and habitat that lives within and below them. Please add your name by clicking on this link: https://www.change.org/p/save-ontario-place?source_location=search
We are also catching the attention of an international audience with a superb article written by Beth Kapusta for the Cultural Landscape Foundation's Landslide list of important landscapes at risk. You can read Beth's article about the community response to the mega-spa at this address: https://www.tclf.org/imminent-threat-ontario-place