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Ground Breaking Officially Kicks Off Port Lands Transformation

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The week, Waterfront Toronto hosted a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, a $1.2 billion initiative as part of a long term plan to transform the industrial brownfield lands into a mixed use community with residential, office and parkland uses. As part of a multi-decade project, the current undertaking is to naturalize the mouth of the Don River to allow water to flow more naturally and efficiently into the inner Toronto Harbour. This will reduce the flood risk for 290 hectares of land in south-eastern Downtown and Leslieville that currently sits in a flood plane. Work like this has been done on a smaller scale at Corktown Common, which protects the post-industrialized West Don Lands and Distillery District neighbourhoods.

Waterfront Toronto, Port Lands RevitilizationCurrent view of the project and future vision, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Although the ground breaking took place just this week, it was largely ceremonial. Work has been underway since the end of 2017, and the current stage of construction began in September. Crews can be seen in the video below doing lake-filling work for what will be the greened mouth of the Keating Channel (the river’s current, industrialized mouth). 

Concurrent with the ceremony, Waterfront Toronto released a video prepared by contractor EllisDon, outlining the phases of construction through its intended 2023 completion date.

Work in 2018 has largely been focused on the excavation of the River Valley System in the centre of the Port Lands, and that will continue into the majority of 2019. The new year will also bring about the re-alignment of Cherry Street slightly west of its current location, and the construction of a new Cherry Street bridge which will connect the new island to the mainland. As the trench for the new river becomes deeper, a Commissioners Street bridge will also be constructed on the east side of the island to improve its east-west corridor.

Following in 2020, Commissioners Street will be reconstructed and the Hydro One infrastructure needed to support redevelopment of the area will be completed. In the following three years, a third more southerly bridge will be constructed for Cherry Street over the naturalized river, two parks will be completed, and the Keating Channel will be modified to promote water flow into the new extension of the river. The video below shows the construction staging process planned out for the next five years.

Several Government officials attended the ground breaking including Mayor John Tory and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philiipe Champagne. The project itself is estimated to bring $5.1 billion to the Canadian economy through the 51,900 years worth of employment time for construction workers. The project will also be revenue positive to the Government itself, contributing over $1.9 billion in revenue to all three levels.

Officials from all three levels of Government at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, imOfficials from all three levels of Government at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Once all of the infrastructure is set up, development can begin on what will be a very sustainable, green community. Villiers Island, named after a main street this northwestern portion of the Port Lands, will be a Climate Positive Community, meaning it will produce more energy than it uses, one of the first of its kind in Canada.

Waterfront Toronto, Port Lands RevitilizationView of the curve of the newly naturalized Don River, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

We’ll provide regular updates as this massive construction project progresses over the next five years. To learn more about the project, check out our database file, linked below, where you’ll find additional renderings, or the associated forum thread with construction photos and finer details about what’s coming to the Port Lands.

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UrbanToronto now has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.


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Couple from Toronto buys dream home in Mushaboom

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MUSHABOOM – A couple who lived and raised a family in downtown Toronto developed a five-year plan in 2015 to purchase their dream home.

In September they moved into the home – located on Malagash Island in Mushaboom on Nova Scotia’s stunning Eastern Shore – that met and exceeded their best dreams for their retirement.

The Camerons, Bruce and Tanya, decided in 2019 they would explore the Maritimes to see what real estate was available to become their potential retirement home. In the spring of 2020, during a global pandemic, the real estate boom hit their city, and they were hearing the same for Nova Scotia. Our province was their first-choice for attaining their desire for an entirely different lifestyle – away from the busyness of the city.

“We had $300,000 to $350,000 as a home value in mind to buy. Our semi-detached located off Danforth in Toronto was priced at $850,000. We wanted to come out ahead, so we would be secure in retirement,” Tanya said.

Their century-old home had prime location near the subway and GO Transit Line for a great 13-minute commute downtown.

“We enjoyed our community,” explains Bruce “… we had great neighbours, young children around and street parties – lots of social activity.”

Bruce says, “Our agent suggested a starting quote of $899,000. We did not do any renovations and only some staging. Fifty couples went through and we received four significant offers. Six days later we sold – with zero conditions – and a price of over a million dollars. We just requested a closing of September 2020 to get the kids off to school – which we got.”

The couple got more than they had anticipated.

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Rabobank Announces Leadership Changes in U.S., Canadian Offices

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NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank, has appointed two of its top executives, Tamira Treffers-Herrera and Robert Sinescu, to become Co-Heads of North American Client Coverage, positioning the Bank for future growth in the region.

Treffers-Herrera has also assumed the role of Vice Chairperson and Head of the Atlanta office, where she additionally oversees Rabobank Mexico, which is led by Eduardo Palacios. Sinescu is the Head of the Chicago office, and also oversees Rabobank Canada, led by Marc Drouin, who was recently appointed as Canada’s General Manager.

Treffers-Herrera and Sinescu report to David Bassett, Head of Wholesale Banking North America, the Bank’s corporate and investment banking business for the region based in New York.

“Both Tamira and Robert have a demonstrated history of strong leadership, operational excellence and passion for our clients,” Bassett said. “Their broad experience and deep sector expertise will be invaluable in delivering dynamic results for clients while accelerating our growth trajectory in North America.”

Each office will have an even greater focus on key Food & Agribusiness sectors and clients: The Chicago office will drive growth in sectors including Dairy, Farm Inputs and Grains & Oilseeds, which are also key areas of focus for the Canada office. The Atlanta office will focus heavily on sectors such as Animal Protein, Beverages, Sugar, and Supply Chains, which are important sectors in Mexico as well.

“Rabobank is fully committed to our clients throughout North America, and we believe our new sector-focused coverage will improve our ability to provide knowledge-based, value-added solutions that benefit our clients,” Bassett said.

Treffers-Herrera was most recently based in London as CEO of Rabobank’s European Region from 2016-2020, where she took the organization through Brexit. Prior to that, she worked in the Atlanta office from 2002-2016. During her tenure in Atlanta, Treffers-Herrera served as Global Sector Head – Consumer Food & Beverages, and prior to that she was a senior banker for a portfolio of large beverage and consumer foods clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and has studied at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Sinescu has been with Rabobank for over 21 years and was previously General Manager of Rabobank Canada, where he oversaw all operations, business development, commercial strategy and relationships with regulators. In addition, he continues to serve as CEO of Rabo Securities Canada Inc. Prior to Canada, he was a senior banker, Head of Corporate Banking, European Sector Head for Sugar, and a member of the Management Team for Rabobank France. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Bucharest School of Business, a Master of Business Administration & Management and a Master of Science in Banking and Corporate Finance from Sorbonne University in Paris, and has studied at Brown University.

Drouin has worked with Rabobank’s Canadian team for more than nine years and most recently served as a senior banker, Head of Rabobank Canada’s AgVendor Program and a member of Rabobank Canada’s Management Team. He brings extensive wholesale banking experience within the Dairy, G&O, CPG and Supply Chain sectors. Drouin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance, Marketing and Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Greybrook Realty Partners & Marlin Spring Brand Jointly Owned Asset Manager – Greyspring Apartments

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TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greybrook Realty Partners and Marlin Spring are pleased to announce the new branding of their jointly owned investment and asset management firm, Greyspring Apartments. With a portfolio of more than 2,000 units and CAD$375 million in assets under management, Greyspring Apartments is focused on the acquisition and repositioning of multi-family assets throughout Canada.

The new name and branding is an important step in Greyspring’s evolution as an independent operating business. Formed in 2018 by long standing-partners Marlin Spring and Greybrook Realty Partners, Greyspring Apartments was established with the goal of building a leading asset management firm with a robust portfolio of residential rental real estate assets in primary and secondary markets across Canada.

Greyspring’s talented team of real estate, asset management and finance professionals is overseen and guided by the Management Board, whose members include Benjamin Bakst, CEO, Marlin Spring; Elliot Kazarnovksy, CFO, Marlin Spring; Sasha Cucuz, CEO, Greybrook Securities Inc.; Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Chris Salapoutis, President & COO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Ashi Mathur, President, Marlin Spring; and Karl Brady. In addition to his role on the Management Board, Karl Brady leads Greyspring Apartments as its President. 

“We are pleased to announce the official name and branding of a business we formed with our partners at Marlin Spring a few years ago,” said Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners. “Greyspring has been diligently focused on the execution of strategic value-add programs across its portfolio that are improving the quality of housing for tenants and overall asset values. For Greybrook investors, expanding from our core business in real estate development to the value-add space through Greyspring, has allowed us to provide our clients with investment opportunities that diversify their real estate investment portfolios.”

“Marlin Spring and Greybrook have partnered on many residential real estate projects in recent years,” said Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Cofounder, Marlin Spring. “To a great extent, Greyspring illustrates our approach to partnerships. We believe in, and strive for, responsible growth through deepening our relationships with our trusted partners. With Greyspring, we’ve formalized our focus on providing better and more affordable living experiences for Canadians. This vision aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional real estate value to all our stakeholders with an uncompromising adherence to our core values.”

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