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Community Hub, New Replacement High School and Mixed-Use Development Planned for TDSB’s Bloor-Dufferin Lands

Thursday, December 08, 2016
Categories: News Releases

A landmark redevelopment plan will bring unique community and educational benefits to the sale of surplus school space. The plan includes:

  • the sale of 7.3 acres of surplus school lands at the corner of Bloor and Dufferin;
  • a proposed 30,000 square foot community hub that will include licensed child care spaces;
  • a replacement high school to be constructed on the retained portion of TDSB lands;
  • a mixed-use development.

The Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC), the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Ontario Ministry of Education and the City of Toronto announced today preliminary details of a "legacy" redevelopment plan that, in addition to a new replacement high school, will also see a provincially supported “community hub” as contemplated in the Ontario government’s Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan.

To ensure a vibrant educational component to the plan, Brockton High School, located on the retained TDSB land, will be the site of a replacement school that will become the new home for Bloor Collegiate Institute and Alpha II Senior Alternative School.

The Ontario government will contribute $20 million towards the new school and the community hub. The government and the City of Toronto together have appointed a special facilitator to gather input from local community residents and stakeholders in order to develop a process that will guide the structure of the community hub.

After a highly competitive procurement process conducted by the TLC, the offer from CD Capital Developments (Acquisition) Limited has been accepted at a base purchase price of $121,530,000.

Rather than a straightforward sale of the surplus school property to a developer, the TLC created an innovative and ground-breaking procurement process. For example, the successful bidder has committed to include a community hub in its proposed development pending site plan approval.

In addition, bidders were made aware of community interest in affordable housing, child care, green space and local heritage, giving bidders a greater understanding of city and neighborhood interests that surround the site.

The purchaser will now enter the next stage of community and city consultation. The site density, community hub, mix of housing, child care spaces, green space and heritage will be determined with the City through a site plan, zoning, land severance and other city planning department approval processes.

The TDSB will begin design work for the new school that will include input from students, staff and parents. The TDSB is also developing plans to relocate Bloor Collegiate students and staff during the construction period and will be consulting the school community on timing and relocation options.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • The Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) is the real-estate arm of the TDSB that manages land transactions including sale of sites, leasing of school properties, school board pools, redevelopment projects and the integration of community hubs as directed by the TDSB.
  • Capital Developments is a recipient of Project of the Year at the 2016 BILD awards, the industry’s highest project level distinction, for the Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos, a 650 unit development with 80,000 square feet of retail in the Yonge & Eglinton area. Capital Developments has partnered with Timbercreek Asset Management and Metropia to provide an in-depth and experienced multi-faceted approach to developing the Bloor- Dufferin site. Capital Developments’ core team includes Hariri Pontarini (architect), Bousfields (urban planner) and Savira Cultural + Capital Projects (cultural consultant).

 

QUOTES

“This announcement is the result of an unprecedented level of cooperation between the TDSB, the Ontario government and the City of Toronto, who agreed to use surplus school land in a way that maximizes value and keeps supporting the community by bringing new services to its residents.”

-          Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB

"This is truly a legacy project for the neighborhood that will include a new, modern school within a vibrant community hub that will serve the community and learning needs of the Bloor-Dufferin residents for years to come."

-          Marit Stiles, TDSB Trustee, Ward 9 Davenport

"I look forward to working with the selected developer, local residents and our partners to ensure that this development fits within the character of the neighbourhood and contains the green space, community hub, child care, affordable housing and heritage preservation that our community expects."

-          Ana Bailao, City Councillor, Ward 18  Davenport

“I am very proud to see our government's investment and support in bringing this community hub to life. ‎The Bloor-Dufferin community hub will be a great asset for the neighborhood by making it easier for people to access multiple services right here in ‎Davenport. I am thrilled to be able to deliver these results.”

-          Cristina Martins, MPP, Davenport

“I am pleased to see that collaboration among the Province of Ontario, City of Toronto and school board has culminated into an amazing outcome that benefits everyone.  The site will become an iconic focal point for the local community, students and the City as a whole, for decades to come. This could be a model approach to unleash the potential in other public assets across the City.”

-          David Crombie, Chair, Toronto Lands Corporation

 


BACKGROUNDER

In 2013, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) approved the relocation of Bloor Collegiate Institute (CI) and Alpha II Senior Alternative School (that shares space with Bloor CI) to the former site of Brockton High School located on Croatia Street. The Board also declared 7.3 acres of the site surplus to its needs and directed the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) to sell the land.

The TLC undertook the legislative process and circulated the property to prescribed public agencies for potential purchase. Having satisfied the regulation, and with the support of the Ministry of Education, the TLC was able to prepare the property for sale on the open market.

Taking into consideration the provincial interest in community hubs, local TDSB Trustee Marit Stiles sponsored a Board resolution for the TLC to explore the creation of a “community hub” as part of a redevelopment plan. This was also to ensure that the sale of the property would result in community and educational benefits for local residents. Councillor Ana Bailao also sponsored City Council resolutions expressing interest in a community hub.

This started an extensive and collaborative discussion among the TLC, TDSB, provincial Community Hubs Secretariat, (https://www.ontario.ca/page/one-year-progress-update-community-hubs-ontario-strategic-framework-and-action-plan), the City and local community to create a unique approach to the site disposition. A working group consisting of Trustee Marit Stiles, City Councillor Ana Bailao, MPP Cristina Martins, and Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Hubs Karen Pitre was established.

After consultation with the local community, the concept of a “community hub” became a centrepiece of the redevelopment plan.  On August 8, 2016, the TLC issued a Request for Offers (RFO) seeking an offer from a reputable purchaser to develop the surplus lands through a cooperative approach with the City, thereby creating a compatible redevelopment reflective of City objectives.

Rather than a straightforward sale of the surplus school property to a developer, the TLC created an innovative and ground-breaking procurement process. For example, the successful bidder has committed to include a community hub in its proposed development pending site plan approval.

In addition, bidders were made aware of community interest in affordable housing, child care, green space and local heritage, giving bidders a greater understanding of city and neighborhood interests that surround the site.

In supporting the TDSB to create vibrant and tangible educational benefits for the local community, the Ministry of Education approved a TDSB proposal to build a replacement school on the site and will provide provincial support to assist with construction costs. When built, this will become the new home for Bloor Collegiate Institute and Alpha II Senior Alternative School. Based on preliminary estimates, the cost of the school will be in the $30-$35 million range.

The Ontario government will contribute $20 million towards the new school and the community hub. The government and the City of Toronto together have appointed a special facilitator to gather input from local community residents and stakeholders in order to develop a process that will guide the structure of the community hub.

The TDSB will begin design work for the replacement school that will include input from students, staff and parents. The TDSB is also developing plans to relocate Bloor Collegiate students and staff during the construction period and will be consulting the school community on timing and relocation options.

On December 7, 2016, after a competitive procurement process, the TLC informed the TDSB that the offer from CD Capital Developments (Acquisition) Limited has been accepted at a base purchase price of $121,530,000. They have assembled a highly experienced development partnership that includes Timbercreek Asset Management and Metropia.

Capital Developments is currently developing a number of large-scale mixed-use projects including – among others – three development projects at Yonge and Eglinton encompassing a total of 1,700 residential units. The founders have been involved in developing over 12 million square feet of mixed-use developments in Canada and Europe over the past 25 years. Timbercreek has one of the largest multi-family residential portfolios across Canada with approximately 18,000 units. Metropia’s founder has led the development of over 25,000 homes and award-winning communities over the past 30 years. Capital Developments and partners, Timbercreek Asset Management and Metropia, have assembled a highly experienced development team which includes Hariri Pontarini (architects), Bousfields (urban planner) and Savira Cultural + Capital Projects (cultural consultant).

The purchaser will now enter the next stage of community and city consultations. Site density, the community hub, mix of housing, child care spaces, green space and heritage will be determined by the City through a site plan, zoning, land severance and other city planning department approval processes.

 

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