ModernTO is designed to modernize the City’s office portfolio, reduce the City’s office footprint, and free up underutilized properties for city-building opportunities.
Adopted by City Council in October 2019, ModernTO represents a new approach to city building. The goal of the plan – developed by CreateTO in partnership with the City’s Corporate Real Estate Management division – is to reduce the City’s office footprint by:
- Modernizing the City’s office portfolio and reducing the City’s office footprint from 55 to 15 locations.
- Maximizing the use of key assets like City Hall, Metro Hall and the civic centres in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke; and
- Unlocking eight high-value City-owned properties for city-building purposes, including the delivery of affordable housing and other City services.
Unlocking eight City-owned properties
The following eight City-owned properties will be repurposed through the ModernTO plan, with the first five sites listed below being available for repurposing or redevelopment in the short term:
- 277 Victoria Street
- 610 Bay Street
- 931 Yonge Street
- 95 The Esplanade
- 18 Dyas Road
- 1900 Yonge Street
- 75 Elizabeth Street
- 33 Queen Street East
These eight properties have an estimated market value of $450 million. It is anticipated that the majority of the value will be invested into city-building benefits, while a portion will be allocated to the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund (LARF) as per Council’s direction.
By repurposing these sites, the City is able to explore how it can make better use of public land to create more livable and vibrant communities.
Across the portfolio of eight sites, the ModernTO plan proposes to deliver between 500 to 600 affordable rental and ownership homes in prime downtown and midtown locations. The plan also proposes to deliver infrastructure and service improvements, new institutional and civic spaces, while contributing funds towards future strategic land acquisitions through the LARF.
Creating a vision
While the redevelopment opportunities for each site are not yet fully determined, CreateTO together with City’s Corporate Real Estate Management division, City Planning and other City agencies have undertaken a preliminary due diligence and site visioning process.
As the program proceeds, redevelopment opportunities will be determined with input from local councillors, impacted communities, City divisions, as well as external partners and existing occupants.
Public services currently being delivered on these sites, including The Works at 277 Victoria Street, will remain available to the community and robust communications will occur well before any City services are relocated.
Based on the estimated timeline to unlock these properties, the eight properties have been divided into two key groups, with five sites available to be unlocked in the short-term and three sites with longer-term redevelopment potential.
The five sites available for redevelopment or repurposing in the short term include 610 Bay Street, 931 Yonge Street, 277 Victoria Street, 18 Dyas Road and 95 The Esplanade. The three sites available for redevelopment in the long term include 33 Queen Street East, 75 Elizabeth Street and 1900 Yonge Street.
Public information sessions will be undertaken on several sites in the second half of 2022. During these initial public meetings, CreateTO and City staff will introduce the ModernTO plan, provide an overview of the surrounding site context for each location, and explain how that context will impact the redevelopment potential of the site and the accompanying city-building benefits.
Community engagement will occur on all sites prior to the submission of any planning applications.