News   Apr 19, 2024
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News   Apr 19, 2024
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News   Apr 19, 2024
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Ont Gov't building at 880 Bay, at Grosvenor St (ORC, 44s?, WZMH)

Burton Hall parking lot, April 27:




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Why is it fenced off, or has that fence always been there ?
I suspect the red/orange colour in the top floor of MacDonald block comes from construction tarps (such as used for asbestos remediation), as some of the windows returned to normal colour last night.
The overall plan is to reduce government office size and centralize operations. Essentially reversing a plan from a couple decades ago, when regional offices were set up. They realized how difficult it was to work with colleagues in North Bay, Peterborough, London etc.

What do you mean by the "overall plan?"

It's possible I'm misunderstanding what you said, but there will never be large scale centralization of regional offices in Toronto. Regional offices exist, to a significant extent, for political reasons. In fact, in some areas of the north the regional office is half, well okay maybe not half but a significant part, of the economy. No politician wants to be seen as the person responsible for closing offices in St. Catherines, Sudbury, Kingston and Thunder Bay to consolidate space in Toronto. It's political suicide (especially in an environment where the electorate can't make up it's mind). Not only would you be downsizing the regional labour force, you'd be doing it to seemingly benefit smelly old Toronto.

If anything there will be regional consolidation. As up to 30% of the "government's" labour force retires with seemingly no replacement, leases expire, office spaces get smaller, etc. you need less space and maybe instead of offices in North Bay and Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie you consolidate in Sudbury. Regional offices aren't going to be consolidated in any other way than through attrition and at the margins around Queen's Park/downtown Toronto.
What do you mean by the "overall plan?"

It's possible I'm misunderstanding what you said.

You misunderstood what I said. 26 separate offices of MGS staff were combined into 222 Jarvis, along with other Ministry staff. Most of these staff were already based in Toronto (although a couple offices were closed in Oshawa).

I agree that it looks bad to close offices and shift staff from, say, Sudbury to Toronto. And that will never occur.

However, what is happening, and this is not apparent to the public, is policy and planning staff are moving back to Toronto. Service delivery staff are remaining in regional offices.

This isn't happening on any grand scale, but in fits and starts. Although I would imagine that a nice new shiny office building at 900 Bay for gov't staff would drive the closure of a few regional offices.

But this is so far from reality right now that it's pointless to discuss, other than for fun.
I think a new shiny office on Bay wouldn't even need to ammount to closings outside the GTA (or even the 416), there are many other offices in the 416 proper (a huge amount on St. Clair actually ... I think over 500K), just this alone could fill most of the tower ..
No big news about this site but I did get the following message at work in early June.



It’s anticipated that the demolition contractor will be installing hoarding around the building this month (June) and the demolition is to be completed in fall 2016.
Well there is no active proposal for the site, so this is probably going to be a parking lot. Not exactly progress.
For clarity, the demo should start soon, the future 880 Bay office tower is still in limbo. The Government of Ontario is looking to reduce its Toronto office footprint by 1m sf. Currently, they're a little over half way there.
Why would they demo it without a plan to start construction? Might the Province be looking to sell the land to a developer?
Why would they demo it without a plan to start construction? Might the Province be looking to sell the land to a developer?

The building has been completely vacant for a few years now, and I believe it was vacated because it wasn't healthy on the inside and needed major renovations. It's probably cheaper to demolish it than to continue to maintain it in a mothball state.