lesouris

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I've thought for years that the western island would make a great location for a First Nations history museum--and some kind of memorial/monument as well. It could incorporate some of those pretty glass domes posted upthread but they would be used to house recreations of local old growth forests, indigenous communities and what have you. The overall theme or spirit of the place would be In keeping with the original mission of 1970s Ontario educationment, but switched out with what existed beforehand. Kind of a Pre-Ontario Place, if you will.

Frankly, It's high time we properly acknowledged the people whose land we currently occupy.

I'm all for a museum of First Nations history; however, the optics of locating it on such a peripheral site relative to the core and detached from actual Indigenous historical sites aren't great. Either locate it in the thick of things downtown (e.g., the coach terminal site) where it can stand prominently amid the day-to-day or put it near a site of historical importance like the Teieiagon site or Taber Hill.

I'm glad to see Therme coming to Toronto. Our public aquatic facilities are great if you're looking for a regularly scheduled workout but very limited in leisure swim time, especially when the outdoor pools/waterparks are closed. While I'm sensitive to equity and accessibility concerns, they seem to have struck an all right balance here, and it provides an option for those of us who don't have access to a backyard pool, lakefront cottage or tropical vacations. And at the prices floated up-thread, it appears this will be much better value (not to mention much less gimmicky) than nearby also-on-public-land Medieval Times.

That said, I'm no fan of this government or the process that got us here.
 

gibsonm

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I appreciate the question (sincerely); and would argue that neither the City nor the Province are in fact tight on the cash-side, except by choice.

The Province had, pre-pandemic, an annual budget of over 150B.

It also just under-spent, its projected spending for the last fiscal year by several billion. Far less than 100% of that one-time money would cover the entire capital cost and 100% of any potential losses for 40 years.

The province also claims to be short of money and ran deficits, even pre-pandemic, while....

Running a small business tax rate of 3.2% on profit, compared with a historic norm of 12%
Running a larger business tax rate of 11.5% on profit compared with 16% prior to the mid 90s.
Having not raised the gas tax of 14.5C per L for more than a generation (it would be closer to 24c per L today had it kept pace with inflation}
Having not followed the lead of Quebec and the Maritime provinces who raised their PST/HST by 2 points when Harper lowered it federally (maintaining the previous overall rate of 15%).

If one were to adjust for the above, allowing some elasticity (you wouldn't get 100% of the perceived revenue increase due to changed behaviour or avoidance).

Ontario would see at least 17B more in annual revenues.

That does not include potential revenues from road tolls, eliminating bad policy tax deductions, raising the provincial portion education tax to its inflation-adjusted historic level, or raising income tax rates to where
they were in the mid 90s.

For the record, I would not advocate being that punitive with taxes; but I would advocate for road tolls on all provincial highways which would be windfall sum, as would eliminating all over corporate welfare, and energy subsidies.

In the end, I. am confident that the province can balance its budget, and have significant, re-investable surplus; on which I would not put Ontario Place at the top of the list $$ should go, but it can fit somewhere in the middle.

****

The City of Toronto has taxes, inclusive of fees for garbage that are lower than most municipalities in the GGH.and doesn't have municipal road tolls for the Gardiner/DVP.

Placing Toronto's tax rate at the median level for the GGH would raise a lot of $$$; and a fair road toll would represent several hundred million per year, conservatively.
What? We’re overtaxed in this country. If anything taxes should be slashed. Too many dubious Liberal pet projects. No thanks. I’ll take a big marina-casino-hotel complex over any scheme that involves multiple tax hikes, because don’t think for a second that any of those hikes would lead to a better Ontario Place. If anything it would turn out drab and sanitized.
 

gibsonm

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I've thought for years that the western island would make a great location for a First Nations history museum--and some kind of memorial/monument as well. It could incorporate some of those pretty glass domes posted upthread but they would be used to house recreations of local old growth forests, indigenous communities and what have you. The overall theme or spirit of the place would be In keeping with the original mission of 1970s Ontario educationment, but switched out with what existed beforehand. Kind of a Pre-Ontario Place, if you will.

Frankly, It's high time we properly acknowledged the people whose land we currently occupy.
It could have a giant glass Atrium like Ottawa’s Museum of Civilizations or whatever they call it now. Cardinal-inspired architecture could contain some majestic art from north and south.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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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.

- Gas is already sky-high, drivers already pay for maintaining the roads through their plates, gasoline taxes and taxes on their vehicle insurance, taxing them more with tolls for infrastructure that has already been paid for in my opinion would not be fair, i do agree that the City should be able to toll the Gardiner and the Don Valley to vehicles that are registered outside of the city as the city pays for all of the maintenance of those 2 highways through city property taxes.

-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.

-Increasing taxes on big business does not always work as they just move a big part of their operations to lower tax jurisdictions, prime example of what is now happening to states with high taxes like California and New York state, many businesses and individuals are moving to Texas and to Florida from California and New York. I do believe that we can close loopholes to generate more revenues instead of increasing taxes across the board.

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

-What we really need is better governance and less waste from the people we elect, 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, we must not forget that it was McGuinty that shuttered Ontario Place.
Better and more proactive tax reform is really what is needed if we're talking about "raising taxes", IMO. But that's another discussion for another day and a more related subject line.
 

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.
 

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