I've been in total despair about this Ontario Place situation knowing we had no leadership that could meaningfully stand up against it since John Tory seemed to not care at all and not even comment on it. But with a new mayor the dynamic here could change.
Of course Toronto doesn't have much actual power to stop the province doing what they want to do in the end, but a new mayor could be more strongly politically oppositional about this, speaking publicly about it in the press, or even pick up the issue and use it as a major war against Doug or make it into an election issue. I still don't have much hope, but the situation here might become more of a flashpoint if we get a new mayor who has a bit more courage and less of a submission-by-default approach towards the province. I hope candidates bring it up in the election campaign.
The other thing that's on my mind about the upcoming obliteration of the West Island and all its trees is what will the public reaction be like when that actually becomes a reality — a thing that people can see happening, take photos/videos of, post about on social media, post news stories about. We saw a furor recently around the Osgoode Hall trees, but that reaction was also mitigated by the space never even really seeming like a public space in the first place (behind the intimidating gate and associated with Osgoode Hall) and also mitigated by the argument that they were being cut for transit, which weighs much more significantly in the other ledger — so much so that there was a strong counter-furor of people saying these politicians complaining about a few trees is why we never get transit built.
But the situation is very different with Ontario Place.
First of all it's cutting down way more trees, and right on the lakefront. It is destroying basically an entire ecosystem, and entire beautiful location of the city will be razed. And for what? Not transit here, but instead a private spa recreating an indoor fake nature simulacrum done in a terrible-for-the-public deal transferring public land to a private company. And Ontario Place is very much more a public place and in the public consciousness vs the Osgoode Hall gated trees.
People might not be paying attention to this issue, or not care, but when the chainsaws start coming out and this entire island is razed to the ground for a private corporate spa, what's that moment going to be like? Especially if there is a new even somewhat more oppositional towards Queen's Park mayor. And in this climate of everyone seeing pretty clearly how corrupt and against the public interest Doug Ford's government is, how will people react to seeing this island and all its trees destroyed for a private deal? (And a bad one at that with the province paying so much money for remediation, parking, and letting the public be scammed by fantasy renderings.)