A court has thrown out a legal challenge to the Ford government’s Ontario Place redevelopment plans, concluding it is “plain and obvious” that it has no chance of succeeding in the face of a new provincial law.

A decision released by Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday quashed an attempt by the advocacy group Ontario Place for All to force the province to undertake detailed environmental studies before building a spa, concert venue and science centre on Toronto’s waterfront.

Ending the legal court challenge removed one of the final barriers for the government to realize and begin building its controversial vision to redevelop Ontario Place.

The province’s plans for Ontario Place centre around a private spa and waterpark operated by an Austrian company, Therme. Live Nation will also redevelop its Budweiser Stage music venue, while the Ontario Science Centre is set to be relocated to the site.

In its decision, a panel of three judges found the grassroots challenge had no chance of succeeding because of a law introduced by the government at the end of 2023 to exclude Ontario Place from environmental studies.

The Ford government introduced the Rebuilding Ontario Place Act in December 2023, a week after Ontario Place for All filed its legal challenge to the project. The law excluded redevelopment work from the Environmental Assessment Act and handed zoning powers to Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma.

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After tabling the new law, the government then brought a motion to quash the group’s challenge.

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“The question for the court is whether it is plain and obvious the application cannot succeed in the face of ROPA,” the decision said.

“I conclude it is plain and obvious the application cannot succeed. I also find that the question of whether to issue a declaration is moot and that the court should not exercise its discretion to decide it.”

Norm Di Pasquale, co-chair of Ontario Place for All, said he was frustrated the government had tabled legislation to have the grassroots challenge thrown out.

“We are disappointed, concerned, and in the process of reviewing the decision to decide on next steps,” he said in a statement.

“I’m disappointed that the Rebuilding Ontario Place Act, which was brought to the legislature seemingly in response to our legal action, was used as the basis to quash our action. This bill which aims to strip all rights and protections from Ontario Place sets a terrible precedent for the future of Ontario’s Public Institutions.”

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Ontario NDP MPP Chris Glover said “the fight for Ontario Place” was “not over yet. ”

Global News contacted the Ministry of Infrastructure for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

With the legal challenge seemingly over, the government is free to push ahead with its controversial development.

In May, Infrastructure Ontario issued a request for qualifications as it looks to select a company or consortium to build a new Ontario Science Centre at the site.

The province’s auditor general is also in the process of reviewing and investigating the Ontario Place redevelopment project.