Skip to main content

A Public Park or Private Spa: A City Debates the Future of an Island Oasis

·1 min

It was an unusually mild winter day in Toronto when a group of swimmers gathered at Michael Hough Beach. Despite the icy waters of Lake Ontario, they still took the plunge. However, their ritual came to an end after a construction fence closed access to the pedestrian bridge leading to Ontario Place’s West Island. The province of Ontario has leased West Island to an Austrian spa developer, who plans to build a large “well-being oasis.” The project has faced criticism from local politicians and park users who believe public access to the lake should be prioritized.