Affordable housing required for Queens Quay land deals

By Geraldine Grones

Canada Lands Company (CLC), the crown corporation that helps sell federally owned properties, is now making sure that affordable housing is part of any bid for a prime parcel of waterfront land on Queens Quay, Toronto.

Last week, councillors voted unanimously to petition the federal government to alter the terms of sale for 200 Queens Quay West to ensure that it stipulated the creation of new affordable housing.

CLC tweeted on Wednesday that after an important conversation about affordable housing in Toronto, it has modified its instructions to bidders to acknowledge the necessity of affordable housing in any redevelopment plan approval and outline their experience with affordable housing.

It was welcome news for Councillor Joe Cressy, who was pushing hard for the changes.

"This is a good news story, and it's a good outcome," Cressy told . "When it comes to public lands, whether it's municipal, provincial or federal, if governments are selling off public lands for residential housing, we need to ensure that there is a component of affordable housing built in."

It’s not clear exactly how many units might end up in any redevelopment, but Cressy said that he’s looking forward to working with CLC and any successful bidder to make sure that there is a significant amount of affordable housing built on-site.

The property on Queens Quay currently houses an eight-storey parking building that opens onto Lower Simcoe St. Records show that CLC officially bought the land in 2016 when it was valued at $22.9 million. However, Adam Vaughan, the Liberal MP for Spadina-Fort York, said that process started back in 2013.

TD Cornerstone Commercial Realty, the organization tapped for the marketing and sale of the property, said that the property could house a two-tower development with a 10-storey mixed-use podium, with dual 55-storey and 450-storey towers on top.

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