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.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!
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.