Gambling businesses interested in remaking Toronto’s waterfront district

Gambling businesses interested in remaking Toronto’s waterfront district

September 20, 2018 9:32 AM


In Canada, gambling businesses are again expressing interest in participating in Premier Doug Ford’s plan to remake Toronto’s waterfront district.

The gambling industry has long endorsed the concept that a downtown casino should be a key element of any redevelopment of Ontario Place, the official name of the area on the shore of Lake Ontario, south of Exhibition Place and southwest of Downtown Toronto. It opened on May 22, 1971 and consists of three artificially constructed, landscaped islands.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that Ford, who supported the idea during his tenure as a city councillor, has privately hoped to revive the idea, according to two industry insiders. The long-neglected, provincially owned theme park was closed several years ago.

There have been no formal discussions with the province’s private gambling partners about an additional Toronto casino, which would need to overcome significant hurdles to proceed, according to media reports.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is opposed to a downtown casino and city council voted overwhelmingly against the idea in 2013.

Gambling industry sources also tell the Globe and Mail that a significant hurdle could be the group running the three active gambling facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, with its effective veto on casino development in the region under the terms of its contact with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.