Written by 04:35 World

A New Home for the Story of the Boats That Shaped Canada

Waters have been choppy recently for some of Ontario’s museums. This week, the provincial government abruptly, and permanently, closed the Ontario Science Centre over what it said were dangers posed by the stability of the concrete used in some of its roof panels.

The fate of the building, which is integrated into a ravine in one of the city’s inner suburbs, remains uncertain. But the provincial government, led by Premier Doug Ford, had said that the museum was being moved to a new, smaller building as part of its redevelopment of Ontario Place on the Lake Ontario shoreline. (Last month, I wrote about the backlash to the government’s decision to effectively turn over the West Island of Ontario Place to an Austrian company that plans to build a spa.)

The science center’s closing led to protests demanding its reopening and repair as well as questions about the government’s risk analysis of the roof.

But, more atypically, there were offers to assist in reviving the building, which had been neglected to the point where visitors had to be shuttled by bus to a back door rather than enter through its dramatic woodland bridge. The architectural firm that designed the building during the 1960s has offered to restore it free of charge. Geoffrey Hinton, one of the leading pioneers of artificial intelligence and a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, pledged 1 million Canadian dollars toward the repairs.

While its fate was never quite as uncertain as that of the Ontario Science Centre, four years ago the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, slammed into a roadblock with its plan for a new building. The canoe museum wanted to replace the former outboard motor factory and offices that had been its home since 1998.

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Last modified: 30 June 2024
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