Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Blast From The Past - Canada's Wonderland Construction Part 1

Back in 1972 the Taft Broadcasting Company proposed building a 370-acre theme park in the small village of Maple, part of Vaughan, Ontario.

There were a few other locations considered, including Niagara Falls. But Maple was the spot selected, mainly due to its proximity to the limited access highways and Toronto.

Rumor has it Taft wasn't the only company looking at the Toronto area. Conklin Shows, who ran the midways at the Canadian National Expo, as well as various other midways around North America had also considered the Toronto area.

And even Walt Disney considered the area before deciding Florida would be a better location. This decision was made mainly due to the very chilly climate which would make the operating season too short.

On June 13, 1979 William Davis (then Ontario's Premier) got construction started with a bang by pushing a plunger on a detonating device while in downtown Toronto, that set off Canada's Wonderland first blast, on site in Vaughan.

Construction continued through 1980 and into early 1981. Over 700 construction workers, 12 architectural and engineering firms and 40 inspectors were involved in the project.

Look for more of our story on Canada's Wonderland in the Blast next week!

Click here for part 2!