Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has not shied away from expansion plans in recent years. Most recently, the downtown Toronto landmark announced the acquisition of two CreateTO sites, located at 277 Victoria Street and 38 Dundas Street East, calling the move “a strategic opportunity to support campus expansion and revitalization efforts.”

In a media release issued Monday, Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor for TMU, says that the newly acquired properties will add over 115,000 sq. ft of programmable space to the school. It will be used to accommodate various academic, research, creative, and entrepreneurial initiatives.

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“The location will provide another vital connection point between our campus and the city,” says Lachemi. “I’m looking forward to working with our community over the coming months to develop plans for the future of these sites.”

The acquisition has been made possible through the ModernTO plan, which was designed by CreateTO and adopted by Toronto City Council in October 2019. ModernTO was created to reduce the City’s office footprint -- it currently accounts for more than 3 million sq. ft across 55 owned and leased locations -- while freeing up under-utilized properties for city-building opportunities.

Vic Gupta, CEO of CreateTO, confirms that TMU’s acquisition frees up two such City-owned properties. Now under TMU’s purview, the hope is that the sites will go on to not only benefit the university but better benefit the local community.

“The sale will also generate significant revenue to fund city-building benefits, including the delivery of affordable housing, across Toronto,” adds Gupta.

The sale includes a leaseback condition between the City and TMU for a period of two years, effectively extending the City’s oversight of these properties. This condition is in place to allow current occupants -- including Toronto Public Health (TPH), which currently occupies 277 Victoria Street -- to remain on the site until the spring of 2025, giving them the opportunity to properly relocate. In the meantime, TPH offices will be relocated to one of the City’s core civic centre hubs.