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Canada's Ontario Science Centre shuts down over reports pointing serious structural issues
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Ontario Science Centre

Canada's Ontario Science Centre shuts down over reports pointing serious structural issues

| @indiablooms | 24 Jun 2024, 10:55 pm

Toronto/IBNS: Ontario Science Centre has suddenly shut down owing to findings of serious structural issues with all its three buildings by a new report from professional engineers that could materialize as early as this winter.

As a result the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Science Centre have recommended, approved by the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Science Centre, to close the facility at 770 Don Mills Road effective end-of-day Jun 21.

Previously scheduled private events will be permitted to occur over the weekend.

“The actions taken…will protect the health and safety of visitors and staff at the Ontario Science Centre…supporting its eventual reopening in a new, state-of-the-art facility…we are making every effort to avoid disruption to the public and help the Ontario Science Centre,” Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure has said.

Commissioned by Infrastructure Ontario, the report by Rimkus Consulting Group report found that due to roof structure in parts of the facility using outdated construction materials and system, Ontario Science Centre, more-than-50-year old, is at risk of potential deteriorating roof panel failure due to snow load as early as this winter requiring staff to vacate the building.

“Infrastructure Ontario and its predecessor agency have worked for decades to assess…As in all the public buildings we manage, the safety of everyone visiting or working in those buildings…Through planned diligence with our facility managers and engineers, we discovered material issues, in addition to existing issues, at the Ontario Science Centre that would require significant investment and a vacant facility to remediate.” Michael Lindsay, CEO of Infrastructure Ontario has said.

Due to this sudden closure, all members of the Ontario Science Centre and summer camp participants would be reimbursed by the province within 30 days.

Having also identified a nearby school, the province would house similar programming as an alternative location for summer camps free of charge for previously registered campers.

A request for proposals to help identify a temporary location for the Ontario Science Centre, will be released by Infrastructure Ontario to ensure families, students and youth can continue to access and benefit from science-based programming and education.

Work would continue, in the meantime, to build a new permanent home for the Science Centre at Ontario Place with an opening slated for as early as 2028.

Opportunities for alternative programming, such as mobile, pop-up experiences and virtual are also being explored by the Ontario Science Centre.

For more than five decades, said Paul Kortenaar, CEO of Ontario Science Centre, the centre has been a beloved landmark and an integral part of our community with building itself being a cherished space for generations of visitors, sparking wonder and curiosity about science and the world around us, every day and the foundation on which we will build our future.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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