Province provides update on Science Centre closure after Ford says it would be ‘foolish’ to repair it

Province provides update on Science Centre closure after Ford says it would be ‘foolish’ to repair it

The province is expected to hold a technical briefing on the closure of the Ontario science centre, a day after Premier Doug Ford defended the government’s decision to close it and called the building old and dilapidated.

Ford announced Wednesday that the original technical report has been peer-reviewed and that officials including Ontario Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma and Ontario Science Centre Board Chair John Carmichael are among those scheduled to attend the virtual technical briefing at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The premier said it would be “stupid” to repair the Ontario Science Centre instead of closing it completely due to what the government calls structural problems with the roof, among other issues.

“It’s amazing to see the problems we have there, and not just on the roof,” Ford said Wednesday.

“It’s not as simple as just saying, ‘Go out there and throw down some shingles, and we’re done.’ You’ve got to listen to the technical briefing. That place is just a total mess from top to bottom, front to back, every building — even the bridge is closed, the air conditioning is gone. It would be a fool’s decision (to fix it).”

The provincial government has faced widespread criticism for its decision to close the science centre instead of addressing the problems and keeping parts of it open.

A deal last year between the city and province to have Ontario take over operation of two freeways in Toronto included discussion about keeping some form of science programming at the science centre’s original location. But Ford indicated Wednesday that he no longer supported that.

“The City of Toronto owns (the property), and whatever they decide to do — short of building another science centre — we will be there to support them,” Ford said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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