Last year, Mississauga played host to the highly-anticipated and renowned Cavalia Odysseo, using the Hershey Lands as the venue.
Cavalia Odysseo is the world’s largest touring production, which features 65 horses and 48 riders, acrobats, aerialists and musicians, topped off by some incredible scenographical effects. It truly is an amazing spectacle that Mississauga was incredibly lucky and proud to have hosted the show.
Similarly to the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893, once the incredibly production had ceased and the exhibits moved on, an eerie silence fell over the empty grounds that once showcased borderline magic. Now at the Hershey Lands, right by the Hershey Centre at 5399 Rose Cherry Place, rests a giant 10-acre space of land that is completely unused.
Last year when the show was underway, Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish said that the grounds would be available for rental usage once the Odysseo ceased production. Well, it’s been six months since the splendour of Cavalia left Mississauga and nothing has been done with the 10-acre plot of land.
It seems the government has been spinning its wheels with the land, which has spurned the ire of some Mississauga citizens, particularly due to the $500,000 fee it cost to clear the land and erect the giant tent for the show. Thankfully, it seems like things are beginning to move forward with plans for the land. The city has recently put forward a Request for Expression, which allows for planners to present potential developments for the site.
“This City is looking at future development opportunities around the Hershey Centre site. This 10-acre plot, referred to as the event pad, is land that the city would like to develop,” said Karen Flores, a senior communications adviser for the city.
“The current plan is to use the event pad for car shows, special events, overflow parking, Carassauga, etc.,” continued Flores, “unless or until a permanent development use is identified. Any development process would take two to three years so we will continue to program the event pad during that time.”
There are a number of proposals being put forward for the long-term development of the Hershey Lands, one of which may be particularly exciting for residents and attract tourists from all over. That proposal is for a year-round water park! The idea of a giant theme park that is all water is very appealing, especially for families.
The one giant downside to a year-round water park is, obviously, winter. The cold here in Mississauga, and Canada in general, would obviously cause a water park to be rather nonfunctional for several months of the year, that is unless the water was heated to maintain flow. That being said, the air would still be incredibly brisk and this is the obvious limitation.
Beyond the water park idea, some would simply like to keep the land free of anything permanent, so that future shows like Cavalia Odysseo can return and be showcased without more renovations and upheaval. There are a lot of idea’s being floated around but we should know in the coming months what the government chooses to do. In the meantime however, send us your idea’s and what you think of the ones that have been presented so far.