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Steven Evans : As it is : A precarious moment in the life of Ontario Place


Architectural and documentary photographer Steven Evans is releasing his self-published documentary project about Ontario Place, Toronto with essays by John Lorinc and Maia-Mari Sutnik. The 160-page book features 102 black-and-white photographs that Evans produced between November 2021 and June 2023.

The release of this book comes at a time when current provincial government plans will fundamentally change the public purpose of Ontario Place. In his preface, Evans states:

“These photographs show Ontario Place at a physical, political and economic crossroads. It is an important moment to record it comprehensively, to understand it as it was, as it is, and to thoughtfully consider what it might become.”

An up-coming exhibition is planned at Helio Gallery in Toronto this December


About Ontario Place

Inspired by the success of the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, the government of Ontario undertook a project to create a new permanent facility in Toronto to promote the virtues and accomplishments of the province. The government budgeted $29 million and engaged the architecture firm Craig, Zeidler and Strong (with Eberhard Zeidler as the chief design architect), with Gordon Dowdell & Associates as the structural engineer and Michael Hough (Hough Stansbury) to implement a design on the Lake Ontario shoreline for a publicly owned exhibition space and an urban park that integrated built form with nature.

Despite a promising opening season, Ontario Place soon began to suffer from financial shortfalls and mismanagement and after 41 years of struggles, it was closed in 2012. Subsequent provincial governments have entertained various proposals to restore and revive the facility. Several plans proposed updating the site while maintaining its essential function as a publicly accessible park. In 2020, after languishing unattended for eight years, the World Monuments Fund added Ontario Place to its watch list of heritage sites needing preservation.


As it is : A precarious moment in the life of Ontario Place
Photographs by Steven Evans
Essays by John Lorinc, Maia-Mari Sutnik and Steven Evans
Edited by Beth Kapusta

Books available at: Swipe Design |Spacing Store | Helio Gallery | Stephen Bulger Gallery

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