TheTigerMaster

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Exhibition Place designed holistically with Ontario Place could be home to Toronto's first truly great park. These plans just aren't great. We're almost certainly going to end up with some mediocre corporatized nonsense here. I'm not saying these plans are bad, but Toronto deserves better than this. Look towards literally any of the world's great parks for inspiration.
 
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Northern Light

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Increasing taxes is not always the answer to raising more revenues, if the the taxes were increased as per your examples across the board our economy would retract and we would be generating less revenue.

I am unaware of any evidence in support of this position.
I am aware that when income taxes and corporate taxes were considerably higher than they are today, economic growth in both absolute and per capita terms was considerably higher than it is today.

- Gas is already sky-high

Gas is less than what I was paying at the pumps a few years ago; and as compared with inflation-adjusted pricing is well below historic highs.
I own a car and drive regularly, btw.

Ontario's Gas taxes are also not the highest in Canada

Nova Scotia is 15.5c/Per L
Quebec is 19.2/Per L
BC varies, but Vancouver is 27C per L, and Victoria is 20c per L

****

Meanwhile at the OECD level:

1627760562910.png


* on the above chart Ontario would read as .92 per gallon when adding in provincial gas taxes.

By any objective measure, Ontario's gas taxes are low on an international comparison chart, and fair on a Canadian one.
Which is not to suggest I was specifically advocating to go the same premium as in Vancouver, merely that there is ample room for an increase in a tax that has been frozen for more than 25 years.
I should add, I'd be more than content to consider the toll route in the alternative, seeing as gas is on its way out.........
The point is merely there is room for a higher rate.

-Taxing small business more will just force more small businesses to close down, as a small business owner i personally know how difficult it is to stay afloat, my payments to the province include, WSIB premiums, HST, Health Tax, Property Tax plus tax on profit if i am lucky to make a profit.

As a small business, you pay only 3.2% tax on your profit; while a low-income person making a subsistence wage pays a higher amount on their gross income before expenses.

I can't say I feel the rate is burdensome, I do agree there are other costs imposed on businesses that are; some of which are unnecessary.

I feel that government should reduce fixed-cost taxes to business that occur whether or not there is a profit and other needlessly imposed costs.
I would favour having a wholesale market for beer/wine for restos (as its absurd that they pay retail); I would remove many business licenses, as I can ascertain no logic to their purpose.
I would ditch the LLBO, (liquor licenses); I would remove the cost of any form of government mandated ID (passports, licenses etc.), I would remove many plate renewal costs as I think plate renewal should be tied to a vehicle
being road worthy, and should require an inspection every 'x' years in accordance with the vehicle's age.
I would remove education tax through property tax entirely; I also favour universal pharmacare and dental care which would eliminate most or all 'benefits' costs for employers.

I would also endorse streamlined and lower vehicle insurance, and (Federally) drive down the cost of Canada's cell/internet services to OECD norms.
I'm all for streamlining and productivity, but not for letting certain income producers pay a lower tax rate than others.

*****

we can close loopholes to generate more revenues instead of increasing taxes across the board.

On personal income tax, I completely agree with this.

If, I for instance, paid the same tax rate on capital gains as my friend does on his employment income, the government would be a lot richer.

However, for business, we do have a problem that tax is applied to profit, not gross income as it is for individuals.
If we taxed business revenue, we could lower rates and make money doing it. But that's not what we do, nor do I think that change likely.
In an apples to apples comparison, a typical small business pays less than 1% tax on gross income (revenue) of up to $500,000
That's extraordinary when you consider that same business minimum wage employee, after allowing for Federal exemption of ~15k, would pay 20% income tax (federal and provincial) on their first $15,000 (above the exemption).
Or 10% of gross income overall, not factoring in deductions for CPP/EI

- Increasing the HST will just drive more money to the underground economy,

Evidence in Quebec and the Maritimes, where rates are 2 points higher doesn't seem to indicate this to be the case.
Refer to this chart, and look at tax on goods and services for the per capita revenue of each province.


Note that while numbers are only marginally higher in Quebec, and are slightly lower in Nova Scotia, household incomes are also lower.
Newfoundland shows considerably higher per capita returns on its comparable taxes.

In my business we were bombarded with clients wanting to pay cash when HST was at 15% and we lost a ton of business to other companies because we would not accept cash so that the clients could save 15% on the final bill, when HST was lowered to 13% we still had request for cash but a lot less then before, i travel to Europe a lot and have family ties in 5 different countries and i see how people shop that are within 100 km to neighbouring borders, Portuguese will shop in Spain because VAT is lower, Spaniards will shop in France because many items are cheaper due to lower VAT , pre-covid hundreds of thousands of Ontario citizens would cross the border to shop and fill up their cars, when that happens we get zero revenue. In my opinion what we need is better enforcement to make sure that we are collecting taxes from everyone.

Yes, there are certainly border crossers, due to some jurisdictions having irrationally low taxes. That's a problem. But it needs to be said the amount of tax avoidance in Ontario has been measured and it wasn't as high as you might think, its not free to cross the border, there are tolls. So you have to have fairly large purchases for the numbers to make sense given the cost and time.

But I agree it's a concern.

-What we really need is better governance and less waste from the people we elect

Sure. I agree

Though, while I don't accept /endorse any poorly thought out expenditures or needless processes or consultant enrichment schemes; a certain amount of that seems to be baked into government of all stripes and most jurisdictions at the moment.

I would also hasten to add, the big and obvious excesses are hard to cut because of political constituencies (or cowardice, take your choice). Quebec and Newfoundland both abolished their religious/separate school systems; and Quebec is now moving to abolish school boards all together.

That would produce substantial savings here in Ontario, certainly not less than 1B per year, conservatively, though I think 2B is probably achievable. But good luck get any part other than the Provincial Greens to endorse that idea.

, i am not a fan and i did not vote for Ford but the Liberals that were in power for the previous 15 years were not any better with our money, one example, hydro cost went from one of the cheapest to one of the most expensive with a lot of backtracking and vote buying on power plants

Yes, that was foolish and irresponsible. I'm the first to say team Red and team Blue engage in much of the same nonsense while they alternate power.

, we must not forget that it was McGuinty that shuttered Ontario Place.

I've previously mentioned that in posts in this thread.

*****

Again, my point is that in terms of revenue per capita, Ontario is not a high-tax jurisdiction and there is upward room; yes, there is also room to improve 'efficiency'.
But you simply asked how the cost of investing in OP would be covered, and I think I've afforded a plausible answer.
 
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W. K. Lis

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When they relocated the Exhibition streetcar loop, they replaced it with the now Enercare Centre and an 850 vehicle underground garage.

According to this 1996 Canadian Newswire report (see link), 60,000 riders made use of the Exhibition Loop. Instead of putting the streetcar underground, at the same location, made built an underground garage for the convenience of motorists, while TTC riders got a longer walk to Ontario Place (and the CNE itself).

They could have built a garage for the automobile under the Gardiner, but I guess that would unnecessarily inconvenience them. The motorists got priority over the transit user, again.

x_015c.jpg
x_035c.jpg

x_002c.jpg

Look how much close to Ontario Place the old loop was. One reason for the decline of Ontario Place, a longer walk.
From link.
 

W. K. Lis

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I am unaware of any evidence in support of this position.
I am aware that when income taxes and corporate taxes were considerably higher than they are today, economic growth in both absolute and per capita terms was considerably higher than it is today.



Gas is less than what I was paying at the pumps a few years ago; and as compared with inflation-adjusted pricing is well below historic highs.
I own a car and drive regularly, btw.

Ontario's Gas taxes are also not the highest in Canada

Nova Scotia is 15.5c/Per L
Quebec is 19.2/Per L
BC varies, but Vancouver is 27C per L, and Victoria is 20c per L

****

Meanwhile at the OECD level:

View attachment 338380

* on the above chart Ontario would read as .92 per gallon when adding in provincial gas taxes.

By any objective measure, Ontario's gas taxes are low on an international comparison chart, and fair on a Canadian one.
Which is not to suggest I was specifically advocating to go the same premium as in Vancouver, merely that there is ample room for an increase in a tax that has been frozen for more than 25 years.
I should add, I'd be more than content to consider the toll route in the alternative, seeing as gas is on its way out.........
The point is merely there is room for a higher rate.



As a small business, you pay only 3.2% tax on your profit; while a low-income person making a subsistence wage pays a higher amount on their gross income before expenses.

I can't say I feel the rate is burdensome, I do agree there are other costs imposed on businesses that are; some of which are unnecessary.

I feel that government should reduce fixed-cost taxes to business that occur whether or not there is a profit and other needlessly imposed costs.
I would favour having a wholesale market for beer/wine for restos (as its absurd that they pay retail); I would remove many business licenses, as I can ascertain no logic to their purpose.
I would ditch the LLBO, (liquor licenses); I would remove the cost of any form of government mandated ID (passports, licenses etc.), I would remove many plate renewal costs as I think plate renewal should be tied to a vehicle
being road worthy, and should require an inspection every 'x' years in accordance with the vehicle's age.
I would remove education tax through property tax entirely; I also favour universal pharmacare and dental care which would eliminate most or all 'benefits' costs for employers.

I would also endorse streamlined and lower vehicle insurance, and (Federally) drive down the cost of Canada's cell/internet services to OECD norms.
I'm all for streamlining and productivity, but not for letting certain income producers pay a lower tax rate than others.

*****



On personal income tax, I completely agree with this.

If, I for instance, paid the same tax rate on capital gains as my friend does on his employment income, the government would be a lot richer.

However, for business, we do have a problem that tax is applied to profit, not gross income as it is for individuals.
If we taxed business revenue, we could lower rates and make money doing it. But that's not what we do, nor do I think that change likely.
In an apples to apples comparison, a typical small business pays less than 1% tax on gross income (revenue) of up to $500,000
That's extraordinary when you consider that same business minimum wage employee, after allowing for Federal exemption of ~15k, would pay 20% income tax (federal and provincial) on their first $15,000 (above the exemption).
Or 10% of gross income overall, not factoring in deductions for CPP/EI



Evidence in Quebec and the Maritimes, where rates are 2 points higher doesn't seem to indicate this to be the case.
Refer to this chart, and look at tax on goods and services for the per capita revenue of each province.


Note that while numbers are only marginally higher in Quebec, and are slightly lower in Nova Scotia, household incomes are also lower.

Newfoundland shows considerably higher per capita returns on its comparable taxes.



Yes, there are certainly border crossers, due to some jurisdictions have irrationally low taxes. That's a problem. But it needs to be said the amount of tax avoidance in Ontario has been measured and it wasn't as high as you might think, its not free to cross the border, there are tolls. So you have to have fairly large purchases for the numbers to make sense given the cost and time.

But I agree its a concern.



Sure. I agree

Though, while I don't accept /endorse any poorly thought out expenditures or needless processes or consultant enrichment schemes; a certain amount of that seems to be baked into government of all stripes and most jurisdictions at the moment.

I would also hasten to add, the big and obvious excesses are hard to cut because of political constituencies (or cowardice, take your choice). Quebec and Newfoundland both abolished their religious/separate school systems; and Quebec is now moving to abolish school boards all together.

That would produce substantial savings here in Ontario, certainly not less than 1B per year, conservatively, though I think 2B is probably achievable. But good luck get any part other than the Provincial Greens to endorse that idea.



Yes, that was foolish and irresponsible. I'm the first to say team Red and team Blue engage in much of the same nonsense while they alternate power.



I've previously mentioned that in posts in this thread.

*****

Again, my point is that in terms of revenue per capita, Ontario is not a high-tax jurisdiction and there is upward room; yes, there is also room to improve 'efficiency'.
But you simply asked how the cost of investing in OP would be covered, and I think I've afforded a plausible answer.

Hybrid vehicles use 50% less petroleum. The plug-in hybrids even less. Then there are the electric vehicles. The fuel taxes will becoming less of a revenue source for governments.
 

W. K. Lis

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The current problem with Ontario Place and Exhibition Place is all that surface parking. They should put them all underground.

The Secret Underworld of Walt Disney World

From link.

As you reach the entrance of the Magic Kingdom, you probably won’t even notice that you have been walking up a slight incline ever since you got off the monorail or ferry-boat.

You would also be forgiven for not realizing you are walking on the roof-top of a sprawling city below. A secret Disney underworld.

You probably wouldn’t have the slightest idea that by the time you reach the iconic Castle, you are already at third floor level. And that there was a whole system of Disney world tunnels underfoot.

Those clever and sneaky Disney Imagineers!

They created the Disney World tunnels. A secret network of underground Magic Kingdom tunnels completely hidden from peeping public eyes.

So how did the Disney World Tunnels come about?


Rumor Control has it that as Mr Walt Disney was wandering through Tomorrowland in Disneyland California, a Cast Member (Disney-speak for staff) dressed as a cowboy walked by him on his way to his position at Frontierland.

One glance told Walt that a cowboy dressed in checked shirt, bandana and cowboy boots twirling a six shooter looked totally out of place in Tomorrowland.

This was supposed to be the future world and not the middle 1800s.

Walt racked his brain for a solution.
He didn’t want anything distracting visitors from their magical experience. How could his cast members be transported to their designated work stations without being seen by the general public?

An underworld Disney was the answer. An impossibility in Disneyland California which was too small. But the much larger Walt Disney World planned for Florida was a different story.

So plans were hatched to build these Disney World tunnels (Utilidors) under the new Magic Kingdom.

Or rather, to build Magic Kingdom on top of the underworld tunnels.

The projected cost of creating the Magic Kingdom was rumored to be $4 million. The addition of the underworld tunnels raised that to $9 million.
construction-of-disney-utilidors.jpg

Due to Florida’s high water table, digging out a basement would have been practically impossible. Disney improvised by building the tunnels at ground level and creating the public world right on top.

To build this mini-mountain, 8 million tons of earth were excavated from the area in front of the Magic Kingdom. That big void was transformed into Seven Seas Lagoon and gave the surrounding resort hotels prime water-front positions.
The excavated earth was then distributed and molded to form a gentle incline, barely noticeable, to create a ground level illusion for visitors who were actually 15 feet above ground level.
construction-of-utilidors-at-disney.jpg

The resulting Disney Utilidors are today 9 acres of underworld tunnels in the form of a circle with spokes leading off in various directions. There’s a central path right down the middle.

The tunnel walls are color coded to make it easier for Cast Members to navigate their way underneath the park to their desired location.
disney-utilidors.jpg

Walt didn’t want his errant cowboy suddenly appearing next to Mister Depp or one of his Caribbean Pirates, hitching a ride on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet or poking his ten gallon head round Space Mountain.

The main entrance to the Disney Utilidors is behind Fantasyland or through doors known only to cast members dotted throughout Magic Kingdom.
disney-utilidor-map.jpg


For Ontario Place and Exhibition Place, we need to get rid of the sight of the automobiles parking in front of visitors. Put them underground, out of sight, along with the utilities such as the electrical. Put trees, scrubs, flowers, benches, water fountains. the buildings, and rides (and ride anchors) on the surface. Ideally, I would like to see the streetcars run underground under Exhibition Place to loop at Ontario Place, but can't see the automobile loving politicians doing that.
 

W. K. Lis

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Some cities (like The Hague Netherlands, but then again it is The Netherlands, not Canada) have elevated their tram lines. We could extend the streetcars over Exhibition Place to reach Ontario Place.
elevated-tram-structure-4311779.jpg

elevated-railway-6634720.jpg

elevated-railway-tram-hague-netherlands-48935381.jpg

speed-tram-3415693.jpg
From link.
 

gibsonm

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Some cities (like The Hague Netherlands, but then again it is The Netherlands, not Canada) have elevated their tram lines. We could extend the streetcars over Exhibition Place to reach Ontario Place.
elevated-tram-structure-4311779.jpg

elevated-railway-6634720.jpg

elevated-railway-tram-hague-netherlands-48935381.jpg

speed-tram-3415693.jpg
From link.
Elevated is more than appropriate at the CNE. It creates that Tomorrowland atmosphere and provides a great panoramic view of the city and lakefront. It also salutes the much-loved Appian Way cable cars that were removed...
 

W. K. Lis

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Elevated is more than appropriate at the CNE. It creates that Tomorrowland atmosphere and provides a great panoramic view of the city and lakefront. It also salutes the much-loved Appian Way cable cars that were removed...
Would like to add hills, valleys, and upside-down loops, like a roller coaster, but doubt they'll do that.
 

WislaHD

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To me, the Therme project looks amazing. It makes some tropical warmth and escapism available in a winter city, which will be a tourism draw. A lot of it also ties in nicely with the indoor-outdoor use of space - beaches, botanical gardens, outdoor dining. It will make amenities that have been missing from Ontario Place, like washrooms, restaurants, and shelter available. Finally, it is significant enough to draw people at all times of day and year-round, which is important. I fully support this and can't wait!
I agree on the major points that this scheme hits is overall a positive and what I was looking for in terms of destination-making at Ontario Place. I'm not going to commentate on how realistic the design and renderings are, how desirable this specific vendor is, or touch on the public vs private aspect of the plan, as pages of discussion have been devoted to that already.

But one thing that jumped to me on the project page was "800+ full time jobs" for just the Therme project alone. Once you include all the other components of this tri-part plan for Ontario Place (from the UT article - "while events are taking place (at Budweiser Stage), the new venue will support 900 jobs"), and all the restaurants and other retail that would also open alongside it, and potentially a hotel one-day on the surface parking along Lake Shore, there is no doubt that this redevelopment of Ontario Place has the potential to be a huge boon to the local economy on employment terms alone.

Therme is also promising cultural activities and live show programming on the publicly accessible lands, which along with Live Nation's plans for the Amphitheatre including year-round venue and cooperation with TIFF, will also have large benefit to Toronto's cultural scene and positive impact to those related economies.

Compared to the derelict state of affairs at Ontario Place at present, the announced plans seem like a major positive announcement. The one thing that I am going to gripe about though is that the whole site still sits isolated from public transit and that the whole affair really should have been approached from a master-planned perspective that included the Exhibition lands (and pedestrian connections from the Ontario Line terminus to Ontario Place) in the initial planning, as opposed to a very simplistic cordoning off of chunks of Ontario Place and vending them to out to the private sector.
 

Northern Light

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But one thing that jumped to me on the project page was "800+ full time jobs" for just the Therme project alone. Once you include all the other components of this tri-part plan for Ontario Place (from the UT article - "while events are taking place (at Budweiser Stage), the new venue will support 900 jobs"), and all the restaurants and other retail that would also open alongside it, and potentially a hotel one-day on the surface parking along Lakeshore, there is no doubt that this redevelopment of Ontario Place has the potential to be a huge boon to the local economy on employment terms alone.

Sure, but at what wage rate? Full-time cleaner, security guard, ticket seller etc are likely to be minimum wage or very close to that.
Lifeguards should do a bit better, but it's not typically high-wage employment either.
I would be very concerned about the quality of employment along side the quantity of same.

Therme is also promising cultural activities and live show programming on the publicly accessible lands, which along with Live Nation's plans for the Amphitheatre including year-round venue and cooperation with TIFF, will also have large benefit to Toronto's cultural scene and positive impact to those related economies.

Live Nation can cooperate with TIFF now if they choose, the possible programming of a single, late-evening movie (daylight would presumably preclude anything more) is not a particularly big difference maker.
Worth adding, TIFF rents space from Cineplex at a substantial price point; I don't see Live Nation committing to donating the space; so I'm not certain this is a material 'benefit' as such.


Compared to the derelict state of affairs at Ontario Place at present, the announced plans seem like a major positive announcement. The one thing that I am going to gripe about though is that the whole site still sits isolated from public transit and that the whole affair really should have been approached from a master-planned perspective that included the Exhibition lands (and pedestrian connections from the Ontario Line terminus to Ontario Place) in the initial planning, as opposed to a very simplistic cordoning off of chunks of Ontario Place and vending them to out to the private sector.

This is no small matter.
 

TheTigerMaster

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But one thing that jumped to me on the project page was "800+ full time jobs" for just the Therme project alone. Once you include all the other components of this tri-part plan for Ontario Place (from the UT article - "while events are taking place (at Budweiser Stage), the new venue will support 900 jobs"), and all the restaurants and other retail that would also open alongside it, and potentially a hotel one-day on the surface parking along Lakeshore, there is no doubt that this redevelopment of Ontario Place has the potential to be a huge boon to the local economy on employment terms alone.

I'm always very skeptical of job creation claims. For example, are these permanent full-time jobs (jobs that'll be around for the lifetime of the venue), or are these temporary full-time jobs (for example, jobs only needed during construction).

Just some food for thought. I haven't looked at their job creation numbers, so I'm not making any specific claims against Therme.
 

WislaHD

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Sure, but at what wage rate? Full-time cleaner, security guard, ticket seller etc are likely to be minimum wage or very close to that.
Lifeguards should do a bit better, but its not typically high-wage employment either.
I would be very concerned about the quality of employment along side the quantity of same.
And those jobs are needed all the same in this city?

I have many friends who paid their way through school due to temporary summer employment at the CNE, and neighbours who are gainfully employed and can pay their rents due to those full-time cleaning roles.

I'm always very skeptical of job creation claims. For example, are these permanent full-time jobs (jobs that'll be around for the lifetime of the venue), or are these temporary full-time jobs (for example, jobs only needed during construction).

Just some food for thought. I haven't looked at their job creation numbers, so I'm not making any specific claims against Therme.
That much is true, construction labour numbers tend to inflate such figures.
 

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