The Government of Ontario and City of Toronto have reached a “historic” new deal to support the city’s growth and future, Mayor Olivia Chow and Premier Doug Ford announced during a joint press conference on Monday.

As part of the deal, Toronto has accepted the Province’s authority to advance approvals for Ontario Place. New legislation for the deal will be introduced later today. The Province will have the ability to acquire land and water around Ontario Place that "may be needed for future use as part of the rebuilding process."

Ontario has agreed to explore relocating the publicly funded, $500M parking garage to the grounds of Exhibition Place to "improve public access to the shoreline." The agreement will see the Ontario Science Centre move to the waterfront, although the Province and the City plan to work together to maintain community science-based programming at the existing site.

"My position is clear on Ontario Place […] I believe that Ontario Place [is] a public park, but it is called Ontario Place," Mayor Chow said. "The land belongs to the provincial government and we do not have the authority to stop the development. The future of Ontario Place, that debate is going to happen here in Queen’s Park, not at the municipal level."

The provincial government’s plan to redevelop Ontario Place’s West Island into a massive new spa and waterpark has received intense backlash from the public and officials. The redevelopment comes with a $650M publicly funded price tag. Therme, the company behind the spa, has been given a 95-year lease for the land, the details of which have not been made public.

The Office of the Auditor General is conducting an audit concerning the transformation, and advocacy group Ontario Place For All has filed an application with the Ontario Divisional Court seeking an injunction to halt construction.

As part of the new deal between Toronto and Ontario, the City has also agreed to either meet or exceed its provincially imposed housing target of building more than 73,000 new homes by 2025, including by building “way more” housing close to transit, Premier Doug Ford said during a press conference.

Over the next few months, the City and the Province will work together to find surplus government lands where affordable and attainable homes can quickly be built, including modular homes. The City has also committed to working to "advance immediate opportunities" for Waterfront Toronto to build housing on their available property, and accelerate all existing development projects.

The “game-changing historic” deal includes up to $1.2B in new operating supports for Toronto over the next three years, including funds for new homeless shelters and beds, for more police officers patrolling the TTC, and to help bring the Finch West and Eglinton Crosstown LRT projects online.

The Province is also providing up to $7.6B in additional capital relief by uploading the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. Ford promised that neither of the vital roadways would ever be tolled.

Real Estate News