Ontario Newsroom

Former Premier Honoured at Ontario Place

Archived News Release

Former Premier Honoured at Ontario Place

Province Names New Waterfront Trail in Tribute to Bill Davis

Office of the Premier

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that Ontario is recognizing the vision and leadership of former Premier Bill Davis with a dedicated waterfront trail along the East Island of Ontario Place.

Davis was Premier in 1971 when Ontario Place first opened. The William G. Davis Trail will connect a new urban park with Ontario Place's history as a public space for all Ontarians. Under the final design for the park and trail unveiled today, the builders will turn a parking lot on the East Island into a 7.5-acre naturalized green space celebrating Ontario landscapes. The park, slated to open in the fall of 2016, will provide access to this section of the Toronto waterfront for the first time in more than 40 years.

The park and trail will be the first phase in a long-term project to transform Ontario Place into a vibrant year-round waterfront destination that engages residents and visitors of all ages. Last July, the government released its vision for a revitalized Ontario Place that builds on its legacy of entertainment and innovation. This vision proposes a mix of outdoor and indoor features, including more green space, a blue park for water-based recreation and a waterfront trail around the perimeter of the entire site.

Revitalizing Ontario Place supports the government's four-part plan to build Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Bill Davis was Premier from 1971 to 1985, the second-longest serving Premier in the province’s history.
  • The William G. Davis Trail will link to the existing trail system that includes the Martin Goodman Trail and the Pan Am/Parapan Am Trails, a continuous route of more than 2,000 kilometres along the Trans Canada Trail in Ontario.
  • The new park will include a garden, a bluff with a scramble of stacked boulders and rocks designed for spontaneous play, and a ravine celebrating First Nations heritage and culture developed in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“It is so fitting to name the William G. Davis Trail in honour of our 18th Premier. The new urban park and waterfront trail will capture our imaginations just as Ontario Place did when it opened under Bill Davis’s leadership in 1971. Ontario Place is an important public asset whose legacy is reflected in this new landmark destination.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“We are moving forward with our vision to revitalize Ontario Place into a world-class, year-round destination for everyone to enjoy. Finalizing the park and trail design — which reflects the ideas of Ontarians — takes us one step closer to realizing this vision. The new park and trail will offer access to green space on a spectacular stretch of the waterfront.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“This is a great first step for the revitalization of Ontario Place.”

Bill Davis

former Premier of Ontario



Arts and Culture Government Home and Community Travel and Recreation