A multi-million dollar theme park could be open in the Toronto area as early as 2016, developers said Tuesday.
Developers of the MarbleLive project believe that the 100,000-square-foot attraction - designed to offer up to 365 days a year with sandy beaches, wave pools, cabanas, restaurants, lazy rivers, vendors, and live entertainment under a retractable roof - will help fill a significant void in the Greater Toronto Area's (GTA) tourism market.
"People in the GTA are hungry for new entertainment experiences," said John Barrack, a managing partner of MarbleLive, in a release. "We're going to give them a dynamic year-round attraction that's part-water-park, part-theme-park and all fun, all the time."
While Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said at city hall Tuesday morning that the project is still just an idea at the moment, if everything works out, the theme park would be one of the first major new tourist attraction the city has seen in nearly three decades, apart from the new Ripley's Aquarium.
One of the biggest hurdles though, according to Kelly, is the location.
"I talked with the proponents back in January and their ideal location would be Exhibition Place or Ontario Place but we are going to be cramming a lot into Exhibition Place, especially when we expand BMO Field," Kelly said.
Developers say they are currently in discussion with city officials in Toronto and nearby Mississauga about potential sites.
"We now have a short-list of three locations," said Barrack. "Our final decision will be based on our intricate design and operational needs, as well as visitor accessibility."
Construction could begin as early as spring 2015, according to developers. Once fully operational, the attraction is expected to employ 230 full-time personnel and attract more than 500,000 visitors within its first year.