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HomeCANADAOntario Science Centre to Shut Down Amid Roof Collapse Risk

Ontario Science Centre to Shut Down Amid Roof Collapse Risk

Ontario, June 21: The Ontario Science Centre is set to close immediately following an engineering report warning of a potential roof collapse. The assessment highlighted that certain outdated construction materials used over 50 years ago are deteriorating, particularly under heavy snow loads expected this winter. Rinkus Consulting Group, the engineering firm, estimated that replacing the compromised roof panels could cost between $22 million and $40 million and take over two years.

Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma stated that the closure ensures the safety of both visitors and staff, with plans to relocate the centre to a modern facility at Ontario Place by as early as 2028. In the meantime, Infrastructure Ontario will seek proposals for an interim location to continue the science centre’s operations.

The science centre, which first opened in 1969 and pioneered the interactive science museum concept, has been allowed to fall into disrepair, leading to criticisms from community leaders like Mayor Olivia Chow. She expressed disappointment over the deterioration and noted the importance of the centre in fostering a love of science across generations.

Despite the closure, previously scheduled private events will still occur this weekend, and the province will compensate members and summer camp participants for 30 days. Alternative summer programming will be provided at a nearby school at no cost to those already registered.

This closure follows a broader pattern of maintenance issues at the centre, with a 2022 report outlining $369 million in necessary repairs over the next 20 years, including critical deficiencies in several structural and operational areas. Additionally, a pedestrian bridge at the site was closed last June due to safety concerns.

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