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Former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders appointed Ontario Place Special Advisor

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TORONTO — The Ontario government has appointed former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders special advisor to Ontario Place. Mr. Saunders will provide guidance and expert advice to Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, while working closely with the City of Toronto and Indigenous communities, as well as stakeholders and businesses involved in the redevelopment project.

“Mr. Saunders’s intimate knowledge of the diverse communities in Toronto and across Ontario will bring important perspectives to the project, as well as a level of expertise that will help turn our vision for the site into a reality,” said Minister MacLeod. “Clearly, a modern new Ontario Place will attract local, provincial and international visitors, playing a key role in our post-pandemic recovery while creating unforgettable memories for a new generation. When complete, Ontario Place will regain its iconic status as an integral part of the province’s identity.”

Recently retired from the Toronto Police Service as Chief of Police, Mark Saunders brings 38 years of exemplary public service to this new role. Mr. Saunders will provide strategic advice as the province advances its plan to deliver a spectacular world-class, year-round destination on Toronto’s waterfront.

Given the complexity of the Ontario Place redevelopment project and the numerous stakeholders involved, Mr. Saunders will be able to leverage his senior-level experience in a major organization, experience in large-scale transformation change management, and in the execution of complex project management initiatives to effectively advise the Premier and Minister.

As the Call for Development process continues, Minister MacLeod has confirmed that the vision for Ontario Place will not include casinos or condos, the land will not be sold, and key heritage and recreational features of the site will remain, such as Trillium Park, the William G. Davis Trail, and the Cinesphere and the pods, which will be preserved for future use.

“We will be sharing more exciting news this spring. The 50th anniversary of Ontario Place is the perfect time to provide the people of Ontario with a preview of the tremendous plans for the site’s future,” said Minister MacLeod.

Quick Facts

  • Over his last five years with the force, Mark Saunders was appointed Chief of Police, leading the largest municipal police service in Canada and the fourth-largest in North America.
  • A vocal proponent of the need to adapt to the changing environment, Chief Saunders spearheaded the modernization of the Toronto Police Service, a long-term vision that demonstrates public service excellence.
  • In December 2020, Mr. Saunders was appointed to the government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force to advise on the planning and execution of the province’s COVID-19 immunization program.
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