Toronto Lower Don Lands Redevelopment | ?m | ?s | Waterfront Toronto

Province’s waterfront Hearn site subject of sales talks
A representative for Ontario Power Generation confirmed talks are underway for a possible sale of the site.

https://www.thestar.com/news/city_h...rfront-hearn-site-subject-of-sales-talks.html

Very interesting indeed. Now the cracks start to appear.
Provincially owned Ontario Power Generation is in talks to potentially sell the hulking, long-decommissioned Hearn Generating Station on Toronto’s east waterfront, city councillors were shocked to hear Thursday.

“I’m gobsmacked,” Councillor Paula Fletcher said after her intense questioning of two OPG representatives appearing before a city committee confirmed negotiations to sell the landmark publicly owned waterfront site to private owners.

“It’s very disturbing because the province should be stewards for that land, for when the spectacular redevelopment of our waterfront moves eastward.

“It’s a unique building in the world to have on your waterfront — it’s big, it’s beautiful, there could be a fantastic repurposing like we have seen of similar buildings in New York City and other cities.”

Ray Davies, OPG’s real estate strategy manager, and Mary Flynn-Guglietti, a McMillan LLP lawyer representing OPG, appeared before the planning and growth committee considering future plans for the Port Lands.

The OPG representatives repeated past objections to city redevelopment plans, saying new roadways, intersections and public space impinge on OPG’s Portlands Energy Centre at 470 Unwin Ave. and the neighbouring Hearn, which is leased to Studios of America for film production.

Fletcher asked if there is any truth to talk that OPG is in sale talks with Studios of America to sell the 16-hectare (40-acre) Lake Ontario site.

“I’m not aware of that,” Davies said, adding the Hearn is not among his files but he knew that, under its long-term lease, Studios of America would have first crack at buying the site if it is sold. [...]
https://www.thestar.com/news/city_h...rfront-hearn-site-subject-of-sales-talks.html

Some retrospect on Hearn and Cnclr Fletcher:

Urban Toronto
The Hearn: What's Next for Toronto's Sleeping Giant?
June 29, 2016 11:58 am | by Julian Mirabelli | 2 Comments
[...]
The discussion surrounding the future of the Hearn is definitely a relevant one, given that the Port Lands are considered Toronto's next great development site, with space rapidly running out in the downtown core. Councillor Fletcher explained that she recognizes the importance of the Hearn, not only in terms of its heritage value and extraordinary spatial qualities, but also the potential that the building presents to become a great landmark in the city of Toronto. Having saved it from demolition some years ago, she is an active participant in the future of the site.

Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher speaks to the Ryerson audience, image by Julian Mirabelli.

Both Fletcher and Josephson acknowledged that when considering the Hearn, we need to think big, and go beyond "just a skating rink" - a reference to a past proposal to turn the Hearn into ice rinks. Councillor Fletcher marked the Hearn as a catalyst for the development of the Port Lands, calling for "one big gesture" that will foster development in the area and lead to a healthy, thriving community. The building would be a landmark not just in the Port Lands, but in Toronto itself, and must set a precedent for future reuse projects in the city and beyond. One thing was unanimously agreed upon: it will be the centrepiece around which the Port Lands community will evolve, and it must be one grandiose statement that will resonate for years to come. [...]
http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2016/06/hearn-whats-next-torontos-sleeping-giant

I feel for Cnclr Fletcher, she's well-intentioned and a good person, met her a number of times, last time regarding dogs-off-leash areas in TO parks, which was highly successful for her, but alas, there's a lot more reality yet to sink in on the grossly over-sold dream of the "Port Lands".

Let's just concentrate on stopping the Don from flooding. That alone will absorb $Billions and more.

It looks like Pinewood might have got scooped, and Council was complicit in extending favouritism to Pinewood for leasing terms that were kept confidential.
 
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Wow, that would be huge news indeed. Studios of America - who are these cats? In Toronto the big players are Cinespace and Pinewood.

I can't see them demolishing the plant wholesale. On the other hand, cleaning up and retrofitting that hulking beast would be incredibly expensive. But perhaps worth it?
 
Studios of America is BS - they never got around to build said studio, left the site to rot for a decade and now wanted to buy it to what ends? To build a studio? Colour me skeptical on that score.

AoD
 
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Studios of America - who are these cats?

A quick Google suggests this guy is the President - https://www.linkedin.com/in/vaughan1/

Another partner is Mario Cortelucci - one of the founders of Fernbrook Homes and former Tory MPP Gordon Walker
Good digging Chester. I'm finding more on this through indirect mention. This is more convoluted than it first appears.

Example:
Giant studios face big challenges
James Adams
Globe and Mail
TORONTO
October 16, 2002
[...]
Great Lakes is a partnership between Bronfman's Comweb Corp., a horizontally integrated collection of entertainment businesses, and Studios of America, a consortium of as-yet unnamed Canadian investors fronted by Paul Vaughan, the Hamilton-born architect, consultant and developer. Vaughan is co-CEO/president of Great Lakes with Bronfman.

Interestingly, a Bronfman proposal for a film studio on the Cherry Street/Commissioners Road site, drafted in association with O & Y Properties, was being considered by TEDCO earlier this year. But on Feb. 6, Lastman announced that TEDCO was accepting the competing bid of Sequence Development, a consortium that includes England's famous Pinewood-Shepperton Studios, Sequence Developers of San Diego, and Toronto's Shoot City. [...]
https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/ar...e4139944/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

I've found more, just digesting and sorting it. I'd written a section on Bronfman yesterday, and erased it. Ummmm...suffice to say that it could be problematic in print, but that he's the main-man (evidently)(this is a touchy point) behind Pinewood.

Note reference to "overcapacity" of large sound-stages even fifteen years ago in Toronto. There's some fancy footwork afoot, and with the likes of Bronfman and the Reichmans involved at present and in the past, it's about far more than just film. It's about property acquisition.

I've found mention of an application to raze the Hearn by present (or pending, will clarify later) owners. City *might* be able to do an end-run on that with an application for Heritage status, in itself problematic. Discussed this just a few weeks back with an Architect Prof and close friend. It can backfire, nuff said on that for now. There is possibility of restructuring the superstructure in the Hearn. It was meant to carry an incredibly heavy and stressed load, now removed. Superstructure simplified would render a massive open-space, bearing effectively just the building's shell. The cost/benefit ratio of doing so is the question...not to mention how much of this is a cover story.

Also note:
[...]
'The Hearn'
Last used as a power plant in 1985, the Hearn Generating Station hosted the 2016 Luminato arts festival.

Toronto Fire says the organizers of that event implemented a range of fire safety measures before the festival, which were later uninstalled.

However, Toronto Fire says that beyond fire safety issues, the further use of the building for public events would present additional problems.

"The ongoing, frequent and intensive use of the Hearn Generating Station for public events is in contravention of the applicable zoning bylaws," the statement reads.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...ng-station-unsafe-for-public-events-1.4242747

I'll post more later.
 
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Now that’s what I’d call a sweetheart deal.

AoD
Which is effectively what Council is considering right now for Pinewood's expansion, including the blocking off of public passage between the lands leased. Hypocrisy radiates in many directions...

Something to watch *very* carefully:

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[...]

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pdf pg 50
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-103949.pdf

Council is deciding on this at least partly with the public excluded.
 

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Which is effectively what Council is considering right now for Pinewood's expansion, including the blocking off of public passage between the lands leased. Hypocrisy radiates in many directions...

Something to watch *very* carefully:

View attachment 124058
[...]

View attachment 124056
pdf pg 50
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-103949.pdf

Council is deciding on this at least partly with the public excluded.

Not quite - this piece you have quoted is about the Broadview extension. Perhaps you should have taken care to note the context - from said report:

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And on the notion of the city buying up private properties to lease back to current operators - not a fan of the idea philosophically, but that's rather different from leasing the land to a group that supposedly wanted to build a studio, sat on the land for a decade and now wanting to buy it up under the terms of an agreement drawn up in the dying days of the provincial government.

Also, re: Pinewood - the area in question is already identified as a core creative industry area in the Portlands Plan (solid burgundy):

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AoD
 

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On the other hand, cleaning up and retrofitting that hulking beast would be incredibly expensive.
This will become interesting as details leak (leach?) out. I suspect that OPG will retain the liability for site remediation in any sale arrived at. The City would have no say in how that is prosecuted or arranged. There might be an attempt for action before the OMB, but the Province only plays along as a courtesy in such appearances. In this matter, especially ex-Hydro companies, immunity is built-in.
[...]

Electricity Act, 1998

S.O. 1998, CHAPTER 15
Schedule A

Consolidation Period: From June 1, 2017 to the e-Laws currency date.

Last amendment: 2017, c. 16, Sched. 1, s. 43.
[...]

Residual power of the Crown
53.5 Nothing in this Part restricts the powers of Her Majesty in right of Ontario or any member of the Executive Council at common law or under any Act, whether as a shareholder or otherwise. 2002, c. 1, Sched. A, s. 11.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

Power to acquire land and property
[...]

(2) Subsection (1) applies,

(a) despite any provision of this or any other Act;

(b) despite the devotion or deemed devotion of the land or property to a municipal or other public use;

(c) despite the power of the owner of the land or property to take land compulsorily;

(d) despite the origin, nature or sources of the owner’s title to or interest in the land or property; and

(e) despite the manner by which the land or property was acquired by the owner or any of the owner’s predecessors in title. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51.

Easements continue until release
(3) Despite any provision of any other Act, if Ontario Power Generation Inc. acquires an easement through, over, under or otherwise affecting any land, the land shall continue to be subject to the easement and the easement shall be binding upon the owner and all subsequent owners of the land until Ontario Power Generation Inc. grants a release. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51.

Acquisition of whole parcels
(4) Ontario Power Generation Inc. may acquire a whole parcel of land of which only a part may be acquired under the authority of this section, together with any right of way to it if the parcel is separated from the works, if Ontario Power Generation Inc. reasonably believes that the whole parcel may be obtained at a more reasonable price or there is a greater advantage to acquiring the whole parcel instead of only the part and Ontario Power Generation Inc. may later sell and convey all or part of the excess land as it considers expedient. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51.

Expropriations Act application
(5) If a power exercised under subsection (1) does not constitute an expropriation, Ontario Power Generation Inc. shall provide compensation to the owner based on market value as provided by the Expropriations Act. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51.

No court action
(6) No action or exercise of a power by Ontario Power Generation Inc. under this section shall be restrained by injunction or other process or proceeding in any court. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51.
[...]
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/98e15#BK117

"Easements continue until release
(3) Despite any provision of any other Act, if Ontario Power Generation Inc. acquires an easement through, over, under or otherwise affecting any land, the land shall continue to be subject to the easement and the easement shall be binding upon the owner and all subsequent owners of the land until Ontario Power Generation Inc. grants a release. 2004, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 51."

Take very careful note of that clause.

As an aside to the surmise of this forum string, note the powers to tunnel where they deem appropriate. That will arise in other cases, perhaps for GO RER running electrified tunnels under Toronto and elsewhere. Just a thought...
 
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And on the notion of the city buying up private properties to lease back to current operators - not a fan of the idea philosophically, but that's rather different from leasing the land to a group that supposedly wanted to build a studio and sat on the land for a decade and now wanting to buy it up under the terms of an agreement drawn up in the dying days of the provincial government.
Not quite - this piece you have quoted is about the Broadview extension. Perhaps you should have taken care to note the date of that observation and the context as well - from said report:
I wasn't quoting definitive reference, it was indicative of what the City is entering into in terms, as detailed a day or so back in this very string, as referenced by Christopher Hume, who was lambasted by yourself.

I'll find definitive reference to that again and post. Meantime, does the Ontario Electricity Act fall "under the terms of an agreement drawn up in the dying days of the provincial government"? I think not. It's an Act of the Crown.

Two separate legal issues, to be sure, but same outcome. The Dream is deflating. Time to get serious about what can actually happen, and should, not fairy dreams. Is it any wonder the developers are playing many of you as fools? (Not directly, the politicos are doing that with every stupendous announcement. Look closely, you can see the strings shimmering in the carnival light)

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http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-107602.pdf
 

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I wasn't quoting definitive reference, it was indicative of what the City is entering into in terms, as detailed a day or so back in this very string, as referenced by Christopher Hume, and lambasted by yourself.
I'll find definitive reference to that again and post. Meantime, does the Ontario Electricity Act fall "under the terms of an agreement drawn up in the dying days of the provincial government"? I think not. It's an Act of the Crown.
Two separate legal issues, to be sure, but same outcome. The Dream is deflating. Time to get serious about what can actually happen, and should, not fairy dreams.

You're quoting a document piecemeal without easily available context. There are words available to describe behaviour as such.

As to your quote of the Ontario Electricity Act - we all know it is beyond city jurisdiction, but we also know that the province is susceptible to pressure. Nor did the current WT plans have anything definitive to say about Hearn. I think you are overreaching when you try to score supposed points when it has nothing to do with the Lower Don Project.

AoD
 
I think you are overreaching when you try to score supposed points when it has nothing to do with the Lower Don Project.
That's an odd claim. Do you have some proof that the Lower Don Project is outside of the Port Lands Initiative?

Pardon my and many others' misunderstanding on what the funding is for, but here's Urban Toronto's own coverage of it.

I'd have to say the "sleight of hand" in muddling the public perception is clearly apparent:
Port Lands: $1.2b of Trilateral Funding Unlocks Revitalization
June 28, 2017 3:50 pm | by Stefan Novakovic | 12 Comments
Propelling the long-anticipated urban future of Toronto's Port Lands towards reality, three levels of government are committing $1.185 billion of new funding to remake what Waterfront Toronto describes as "one of North America's largest underused urban areas." The investment will fund the much-needed Port Lands Flood Protection Project (PLFPP), unlocking the ambitious reinvention of the 365 hectare (880 acre) Port Lands.
[...]
Beginning with the filling of Essroc Quay to create a new landmass, and a new mouth for the improved Keating Channel, the PLFPP will gradually transform the area over "approximately seven years," according to the Federal Government.

The Flood Plain, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

To put the incredible scale of project in context, the Port Lands would easily stretch from Parliament to Spadina—and then some—if superimposed above the Downtown core. As urbanist Richard Florida recently put it, the sheer size of the Port Lands facilities an urban revitalization "that is far beyond New York's Hudson Yards," and has "the potential to be a great urban laboratory."

The Port Lands, imposed over Downtown, image via Waterfront Toronto

According to Waterfront Toronto, an estimated 18,000-25,000 people will live in the Port Lands, once the area is fully developed. In addition, an estimated 25,000-30,000 jobs are expected to be created in the fully built-out and revitalized area, which is remarkably only a 20 minute walk from Downtown. For now, it feels much further away—yet closer by the day.[...]
http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2017/06/port-lands-12b-trilateral-funding-unlocks-revitalization

So let me get this straight then. It isn't true that "Over a $B has been pledged to the Lower Don Lands"...since it's been pledged to the entire Port Lands project, not the "sub-section"?
 

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That's an odd claim. Do you have some proof that the Lower Don Project is outside of the Port Lands Initiative?

I am claiming that Lower Don Lands is a subset of PLAI - the issues around the film studios belong is the purview of the latter but outside that of the Lower Don Lands. You know, not hard to envision it with Venn diagrams - or if you just lay out where everything is on a map.

Pardon my and many others' misunderstanding on what the funding is for, but here's Urban Toronto's own coverage of it.

I'd have to say the "sleight of hand" in muddling the public perception is clearly apparent:

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2017/06/port-lands-12b-trilateral-funding-unlocks-revitalization

So let me get this straight then. It isn't true that "Over a $B has been pledged to the Lower Don Lands"...since it's been pledged to the entire Port Lands project, not the "sub-section"?

We have been through this before several pages ago - if you chose to twist the monetary commitment for rerouting the Don River (Lower Don Lands/Don Mouth) to full buildout according to PLAI, that's your problem. You have also cherry picked the UT article - let me post this bit, conveniently replaced by ellipsis

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2017/06/port-lands-12b-trilateral-funding-unlocks-revitalization

While the mostly vacant and partly de-industrialized Port Lands have long been fodder for blue-sky thinking—once touted as the site of a potential Olympic bid, and more recently Expo 2025—some 290 hectares (715 acres) of the area are currently at risk of flooding. Any visions of the future are contingent on the funding that was finally secured today. Joined by Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lead the way in announcing a Federal contribution of up to $384 million.

You know, you put those ellipsis there for a reason. Also see this headline from the actual WT press release on the funding announcement:

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http://waterfrontoronto.ca/nbe/wcm/...o+Port+Lands+NR+June+28+FINAL.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

It is pretty clear what that 1.25B is for - flood protection. And it isn't like you aren't able to find the EA and Due Diligence report that clearly stated the scope of the project either. Under these circumstances, you should be the last one to talk about "sleigh of hand"

And I see you have dumped chunks of that Oct 2 PW report on - did you try and figure out/guess where those private sites the city wanted to acquire and lease out are, relative to Lower Don Lands and Portlands in general?

AoD
 

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