Guerrilla Youth: On the Streets to Save Ontario Place
The closure of Ontario Place is making a lot of young Torontonians unhappy. Just ask the seven students from Malvern Collegiate Institute who came together on Sunday, April 1, 2012, to protest its closure.
Clad in red ‘Save Ontario Place’ T shirts, these young activists roamed the Yonge-Dundas Square area to hand out balloons, stickers, leaflets, postcards, and other Save Ontario Place swag. They spoke to the public about the supposed plans for an Ontario Place-situated casino, and rallied to bring the cause the attention they believe it deserves.
“Ontario Place is where we went as kids, to have fun and enjoy ourselves, not where our parents would go to waste money on casinos!” says Matt Miller, one of the students handing out Save Ontario Place literature on Sunday.
Smokey Thomas is encouraging the youth involvement, saying that “this kind of support is exactly what the Save Ontario Place campaign needs. It’s great to see people of all ages taking an interest and making an effort to preserve something they care about. I applaud the young activists and am sure this will have a lasting effect on the cause.”
Statistics show that 72 per cent of the park’s yearly attendants live within the GTA. A staggering 69 per cent of Ontarians who responded to a Toronto Star poll said they did not want to see the OLG increase gambling in Ontario by means of building new casinos in its larger cities. Clearly, Ontario—and in particular, Toronto—does not want their Ontario Place to be turned into a hot spot for gambling. And the students’ impromptu activism is further proof that the fight to stop the Ontario Place closure is well on its way.