Economic DevelopmentIdentifying opportunities for investment and growth

Using the City’s real estate to create opportunities for job creation is one of the ways CreateTO is working to ensure Toronto is a place where businesses and residents can thrive.

Working with our City partners, CreateTO is continually looking for opportunities to leverage the City’s real estate portfolio to improve liveablity and create opportunities for investment and employment.

The Port Lands is one area of the city where our agency is actively promoting development and investment and the Basin Media Hub project is a prime example. 

CreateTO has finalized agreements with Hackman Capital Partners to deliver the Basin Media Hub, a $250 million investment in a major new film and television production facility on a waterfront development parcel in the Port Lands.

The expected economic impact of ongoing film studio operations includes $280 million in economic activity, $119 million in net contribution to GDP, $32 million in tax revenues across all levels of government, and 750 direct jobs created on-site as well as 880 indirect or induced jobs in the broader community.

Continuing with the film sector, CreateTO also facilitated a transaction in early 2023 that resulted in the UK-based Pinewood Group acquiring full ownership of Pinewood Toronto Studios, cementing the City’s reputation as one of the most important film studio and media hubs in the country.

Here’s a look at a few additional projects that will contribute to the city’s economic growth:

A new campus opportunity

Together with the City of Toronto, we’re working with George Brown College to explore the feasibility of a campus project in the Mount Dennis area as part of a broader city-building initiative. Drawing on a key recommendation of the City's Mount Dennis Economic Development Study, City Council requested CreateTO to identify land in the Mount Dennis area that would be suitable for a post-secondary campus.

In parallel, the City reached out to Toronto-based post-secondary institutions to gauge their interest in assessing the opportunity to develop an academic presence or campus in the community. George Brown College stepped forward and has confirmed its interest and a feasibility study is currently under way.

Repurposing underutilized sites through ModernTO

Adopted by City Council in October 2019, ModernTO emerged as a revolutionary blueprint for city transformation.  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.

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).

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. 

Featured projects

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