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.
 

Northern Light

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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.

Jobs in general are needed; however low-wage jobs are low-value. To be clear, I'm neither denigrating the professions, nor the people in those jobs.

What I'm suggesting is that in my experience those people who are paid subsistence wages (or even less, really) are often in poverty. If we had a reasonable minimum wage, and comprehensive healthcare and affordable tuition then that would be different situation, but we have none of those.

I'd add low-wage employment also tends to impede investment in productivity. One of the reasons that productivity per hour of work is higher in Northern Europe relative to Canada is that if you have to pay someone $22 per hour plus benefits you're more likely to invest in labour-saving technology.

Canada relies too much on cheap labour.

Another key to that productivity gap is better rested employees; which is not only a function of more generous paid vacation, but also higher wages that allow people to work only one full-time job and decline overtime.

I can't really place a value on a job where someone requires public subsidy and/or private charity to survive while working it.

Of course we don't know that that will be the case here, but my concern stands.

Creating low-wage employment is not the same as creating jobs in scientific research, advanced trades, medicine etc etc.
 

Northern Light

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EastYorkTTCFan

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Matt Elliott in The Star has a piece critical of what's on offer and the lack of public consultation that got us here.


The above is non-paywalled at time of posting.
The problem with a public consultation is the public doesn't really know what they actually want there. You could ask everyone in Ontario or even just Toronto and you would get completely different answers. It's better to present something to them or just build something. Either way you will run into the same problem with people who just want to complain that the idea they wanted didn't happen.
 

Richard White

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The problem with a public consultation is the public doesn't really know what they actually want there. You could ask everyone in Ontario or even just Toronto and you would get completely different answers. It's better to present something to them or just build something. Either way you will run into the same problem with people who just want to complain that the idea they wanted didn't happen.

I would have preferred a nudist colony....
 

C-mac

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The problem with a public consultation is the public doesn't really know what they actually want there. You could ask everyone in Ontario or even just Toronto and you would get completely different answers. It's better to present something to them or just build something. Either way you will run into the same problem with people who just want to complain that the idea they wanted didn't happen.

Plus, I thought the public was consulted. They had a website open for a least year to submit your ideas. I think the general consensus was something similar to what the Ford government presented.
 

Northern Light

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I would have preferred a nudist colony....

Are you sure you didn't get that?

Therme's page:


From same:

The Spa area & Saunas are all naturist – i.e. only for use without a bathing costume.

* note this does not refer to the entire complex, but to some areas within it.
 

Richard White

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Are you sure you didn't get that?

Therme's page:


From same:

The Spa area & Saunas are all naturist – i.e. only for use without a bathing costume.

* note this does not refer to the entire complex, but to some areas within it.

Hmm... now all we need is a brothel...
 

mjl08

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Talking with a lot of my urbanist friends, I think that the fact that the Ford proposal for Ontario Place wasn't a gaudy casino or dog track has ironed out any slight misgivings about the current proposal. A sense that we dodged a bullet, that the current project isn't perfect, and it's best to accept it and move our energy elsewhere.
 

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