One of Ontario’s most famous landmarks is closing.
Ontario Place will shut down for five years, to be transformed “into an innovative provincial landmark,” according to its website.
The attraction opened in 1971; at the time, it cost $29 million. It was created by the Ontario government to help revitalize the city’s lakefront area. Ontario Place is located downtown, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
The provincial government built Ontario Place as a family-friendly amusement park for Torontonians and as a way to attract more tourists to the city.
Ontario Place is made up of three artificial islands. The park has many attractions including waterslides, a children’s village, water attractions like bumper boats, an outdoor grandstand for music concerts, and walking trails.
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Ontario Place is its enormous white dome, called the Cinesphere, which houses a movie theatre.
In the 1970s, Ontario Place was in its heyday, attracting more than 2.5 million visitors a year. In the last few years, attendance has sunk as low as 300,000 visitors a year. With so few visitors, the park is simply too expensive to maintain. The cost of keeping it running is too high compared with the money it brings in from ticket sales.
The provincial government has created a committee to come up with new ideas for the park, in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
All Ontario Place facilities will be closed except for the boat marina, the Molson Amphitheatre (concert venue), the Atlantis entertainment venue and the parking lots.
By Kathleen Tilly
Ontario Place is undergoing renovations in order to become more interesting, exciting and appealing to children and adults.
If you were on the design committee, what new features and activities would you want to include in the park? In your opinion, what should not be included in the amusement park?
Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words
When we read unfamiliar words, we use several strategies to try to solve them. One strategy is to look for smaller words that we know in the larger word.
The following sentences may include words that are unfamiliar or new. Read the sentences and identify what strategies you used to predict the meaning of the words that are written in italics:
1. Ontario Place will shut down for five years, to be transformed.
2. It was created by the Ontario government to help revitalize the city’s lakefront area.
3. The park has many attractions including waterslides, a children’s village, water attractions like bumper boats, an outdoor grandstand for music concerts, and walking trails.
4. Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Ontario Place is its enormous white dome, called the Cinesphere, which houses a movie theatre.
If you are still unsure of a word’s meaning, what other strategies could you use?
Junior and Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including: semantic, syntactic and graphophonic (OME, Reading: 3.2).
Grammar Feature: 5 Questioning Words
In order to provide readers with as much information as possible, journalists often try to answer the 5 Ws in their articles. The five Ws are: who, what, when, why, where. ‘How’ is also a key question.
Read carefully in order to identify where each of the 5 W questions are answered in the article.