Apr 14, 2023
The urgent need to address climate change calls for action, and two established public institutions, the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place, have the potential to make significant contributions to this cause. By transforming these facilities into state-of-the-art research and education centers and partnering with the federal government, they could become world-class climate change research hubs.
This would support scientific research and economic development in areas such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, and sustainable transportation. The Ontario Science Centre's exhibits could also be used to educate the public about climate change while Ontario Place's waterfront location, as a Great Lakes Institute, could be used for studying the effects of rising sea levels.
I am proposing a multi-level, multi-stakeholder partnership for Climate and Scientific Research that would modernize the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place to educate future generations of scientists and build everlasting curiosity in the scientific and industrial arts. The ultimate goal is to drive progress in the fight against climate change by bringing together researchers from different fields to exchange knowledge and foster innovation.
6 Steps to Transforming The Ontario Science Centre
Reimagine the Exhibition Spaces
The Ontario Science Centre could start by reimagining its existing exhibition spaces to create a more modern and interactive experience for visitors. This could involve incorporating the latest technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, interactive displays, and immersive environments.
Build a Makerspace
A makerspace is a collaborative workspace that provides access to tools and resources for people to create, invent, and prototype. The Ontario Science Centre could build a makerspace that includes 3D printers, laser cutters, and other tools and equipment that can be used by visitors, students, and researchers to create and experiment.
Establish an Education Centre for Industrial Arts
The Ontario Science Centre could establish an education centre for industrial arts that focuses on hands-on learning in areas such as woodworking, metalworking, electronics, and robotics. The centre could provide workshops and classes for both adults and children, as well as host maker fairs and other events.
Create a Dry Lab for Life Sciences
The Ontario Science Centre could create a dry lab for life sciences that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the latest research in the field of biology, genetics, and other life sciences. The dry lab could include interactive displays, simulations, and other tools that allow visitors to explore and experiment.
Scientists in Residence Program
By adapting the Ontario Science Centre's two large parking lots between two upcoming subway stations, Flemingdon Park and Ontario Science Centre, we can create a thriving community in the Don Mills/Eglinton area that includes new offices, apartments, and community amenities for local residents, scientists, and budding entrepreneurs.
Host Events and Workshops
The Ontario Science Centre could host events and workshops that bring together scientists, educators, and makers to share their knowledge and expertise. These events could include hackathons, science festivals, and other gatherings that promote innovation and creativity.
Desired outcomes for The Ontario Science Centre:
Increase the presence of scientists and “makers” with new micro-factory and laboratory space made in Scarborough
Create more interconnected workspaces for research and development
Modernize the Ontario Science Centre programming and service offer
Expand access to STEM training to young students and parents
Optimize land usage around the Ontario Science Centre
Develop additional revenues for ongoing local research and development activities
Create a space for prototyping inventions and innovation in Scarborough
Overall, transforming the Ontario Science Centre into a dry lab for life sciences, modern science museum, makerspace, and education centre for the industrial arts would require a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise. However, with the right vision and strategy, the centre could become a hub for innovation and creativity that inspires the next generation of scientists, makers, and entrepreneurs.
Similarly, the redevelopment of the 155-acre waterfront park, Ontario Place, will have a large urban park, a Great Lakes Institute for a wet lab for life sciences and blue economy, and an aquatic education centre for year-round activities that attracts investment and create jobs in the region, while promoting a healthy lifestyle and generating economic benefits.
3 Steps to Transforming The Ontario Place
Engage with stakeholders and develop a master plan to guide and outline the scope of the project, the proposed uses for the site, and the design of the new facilities to get their feedback and ensure that the project is aligned with the needs and interests of the community.
Repurpose the Cinesphere, pods and construct new facilities into an auditorium for lectures or lecture halls and presentations, including state-of-the-art research and development labs, meeting rooms for researchers.
Provide education and training opportunities to promote the centre to potential investors such as post-secondary workshops, seminars, work residencies, marketing and advertising campaigns, outreach events, and partnerships with other organizations interested in conducting research and development in the life sciences and blue economy sectors.
Desired outcomes for Ontario Place:
Improve public awareness regarding sewage pollution
Introduce real-time monitoring for combined sewer overflows
Increase the research and development of combined sewer mitigation strategies
Address debris and floatables in the Toronto Harbour and Lake Ontario
Increase access to swimmable waters in Toronto’s west end
Implement research methods that support shoreline restoration and water conservation
Continued and increased monitoring of Toronto’s recreational waters
Researchers and students would have access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities, allowing them to conduct experiments and collect data in a controlled environment. This would help promote sustainable practices for the benefit of the environment, create new economic opportunities and support innovation in these important fields.