April 13, 2023
Premier Doug Ford
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Re: Protecting the Science Centre to support Thorncliffe, Flemingdon Park and the Don Mills Area
Dear Premier Ford,
I am requesting that your government reconsider moving the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place and meet with parent groups and community leaders in Thorncliffe, Flemingdon Park and the wider Don Mills area. Community members have shared with me serious concern about this plan. The Science Centre delivers programs to young people in these underserved neighbourhoods, and is an important part of a burgeoning cultural district that includes the Aga Khan Museum.
The Science Centre offers many programs that introduce and engage young people in STEM fields, which I know is a priority for your government. The Youth-for-Youth (Y4Y) Innovation Program provides Grade 7 and 8 students an opportunity to learn about the many professionals and apprentices who keep the Science Centre running, including individuals with expertise in science, technology, engineering, math and skilled trades. The Science Centre also offers a Science School for Grade 12 students with special interest in Science and Math that allows youth to earn high school credits.
The Science Centre ensures that all residents from the surrounding neighbourhoods have the ability to participate and learn through the Community Access program, which offers free and reduced passes to engage equity deserving groups with a particular focus in engaging Indigenous Peoples and children that have just arrived in Canada.
And, importantly, the Science Centre serves as an important economic driver of this community by bringing visitors from across the city and around the world to Don Mills and Eglinton. It would be a serious blow to this community to lose the Science Centre just as the opening of the Eglinton Crosstown’s “Science Centre” station is about to make the attraction more accessible to the entire city.
We understand and support the need for housing and other community amenities such as daycare on this site, and strongly encourage the planned redevelopment of the parking lots. But that work does not preclude the importance of retaining the Science Centre in this area of the city and the potential to make it a more vibrant attraction at its current home.
Thank you for your consideration of the local communities that would be impacted by this decision.
Cc: Hon Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport
Please consider signing Team Matlow’s petition to keep the Ontario Science Centre in Don Mills.