Therme Group has announced the opening of a new facility in Toronto, set to combine a water-based destination centre with art experiences and preventive health solutions to revive Ontario Place’s historic public engagement.
Render of Therme Group’s model for Therme Canada at Ontario Place in Toronto
Under the architectural lead of firms Diamond Schmitt and Therme ARC, Toronto’s lakefront Ontario Place will be redeveloped to host a model of cultural and wellbeing infrastructure, developed in partnership by Therme Group. The organisation operates multiple wellbeing facilities throughout Europe with ongoing developments in Manchester, UK and Bad Vilbel, Germany, in the Frankfurt area of Germany, alongside multiple locations to be announced worldwide.
“Drawing on the energy and diversity of Toronto our design strengthens global leadership in health, wellbeing, the arts, and cultural programming for the City. It is designed to be open and accessible to all,” remarked Don Schmitt, CM – Diamond Schmitt.
Directly situated on the waterfront of Lake Ontario, Ontario Place first opened in 1971 to the public. The original structures were constructed based on the designs of the 1967 Expo in Montreal, featuring exhibition spaces in geodesic domes that are still in use today. Therme Group has worked with the local indigenous group Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation from the concept stage development, to expand their knowledge on the Mississaugas, the history of Ontario Place, and its regional significance.
Chief R. Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) commented on Therme Group’s advancements:
“I am pleased that Therme Group has recognised and embraced the importance of ensuring an accurate accounting of the history of the MCFN as it relates to these lands. The commitment shown by Therme Group encourages us to move forward with them in their proposed redevelopment plans. The MCFN is excited about deepening a positive, productive and long-lasting relationship with Therme Group as it will allow for a reconnection to the Toronto waterfront.”
Therme Canada | Ontario Place will carry on and improve traditions of public access to Ontario Place. Through the planned creation of over eight acres of public spaces, including a free-access public beach and enhanced pedestrian and cycling access, the aim is to allow people to reconnect with the Lake. The celebrated historical Pods and Cinesphere structures of Ontario Place will be retained, alongside the Therme development.
Therme Group’s cultural incubator, Therme Art, will present a cultural programme comprised of multi-sensorial and immersive art experiences into the development of this facility, integrating groundbreaking installations into its structures, through ongoing collaborations with Ontario’s local art scene and Therme Art artists. Therme also looks forward to continuing its engagement with people in Toronto to understand what other features or experiences it might be able to bring to this new public space on the waterfront.
“The design for Ontario Place inspires me to take new risks as an artist. It feeds my love for water, infrastructure, architecture and organic movement,” commented artist Torkwase Dyson. “The site feels like a gateway for experimental immersive art experiences that speak to and are inspired by a more livable future. I’m excited to think with and alongside my community in Toronto and collaborate with Therme Art in Canada.”
Supported by Therme Art, the urban botanical solutions provider Pnat, led by plant scientist Prof. Stefano Mancuso, will work to implement their presented Mutual Aid installation from the 2021 Biennale Architettura in Venice into a functional plant based solution for the Therme Canada | Ontario Place facility, to actively purify the air inside the space through natural plant processes and cycles.
“We created Botanical Solutions, a joint venture between Therme Group and Pnat whose plant-based solutions will be widely used in the Toronto project. We are sure Toronto will become a practical manifesto of the city of the future,” said Stefano Mancuso, Author and Botanist.
The new development will centre around the Therme Canada | Ontario Place facility, to be built on the West Island. Conceived as a downtown oasis of pools, experiential art experiences and botanical gardens, the facility will be surrounded by parks, waterfront and beach areas, linked by a pedestrian and cycling bridge to a new entrance pavilion that grants access to the waterside area and to the historical structures of Ontario Place.
“Therme Art will work closely with Toronto’s local scenes, through synergic expansion in relation to the environment and its communities, by proposing long-lasting alternatives for the improvement of people’s lives at the core of cultural enhancement,” stated CEO of Therme Art and Vice President of Therme Group, Mikolaj Sekutowicz.