City's Economic Development Division wins Canadian Urban Institute's "Brownie" award for its South Etobicoke: New Toronto Employment District Reinvestment Strategy|
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Toronto's Economic Development Division was awarded the Canadian Urban
Institute's "Brownie" Award at the end of October at the 2003 National
Brownfield Conference. The award was first place for the best Policy and
Program submission. The City's project, "Investing in the Future - Leveraging
Brownfield Redevelopment Through Community Partnerships" profiles South
Etobicoke's Toronto Lakeshore Area and how community resources were mobilized
to advance the retention and development of approximately 70 acres of
brownfields (vacant industrial lands) for employment reuse.
Through the Economic Development Division's Employment Revitalization Program,
a remarkable public / private partnership was created in the Toronto Lakeshore
Area Partnership. It is comprised of representatives from the industrial,
commercial, environmental, arts and residential communities. With over 100
participants, community resources were mobilized to combat the challenges
created over the past decade related to the closure of several industrial
operations, job loss, deteriorating infrastructure, contaminated soils, an
eroding tax base and urban blight.
The partnership successfully harnessed local energy and resources to showcase
the community's competitive strength as a place to do business and undertook a
number of strategic, sectoral and marketing initiatives. One of the Toronto
Lakeshore Area Partnership's projects focused on exploring opportunities for
the productive reuse of approximately 70 acres of brownfields located in the
centre of the Lakeshore community. This stakeholder group successfully
identified solutions to improve the physical, visual and financial environments
to encourage private sector investment for employment uses.
This process documented the need to create financial tools to support the
clean-up and reuse of industrial properties for business purposes. The Economic
Development Division, working with a number of other City departments, has now
developed Toronto's and Ontario's first industrial tax grant program. The
industrial tax grant program provides a property tax grant/rebate for site
clean-up and the retrofit or development of sites within the New Toronto
Employment District pilot project area.
Brenda Librecz, Executive Director, Economic Development, notes that "the
Economic Development Division has been a strong supporter of the Toronto
Lakeshore project. Community partnerships allow local stakeholders to identify
and act on their priority issues. By working together we can improve the
competitive position of our employment districts and ultimately the city's
overall quality of life."
For information on this area or existing development opportunities, contact the
City's Economic Development Office at 416-394-8244.
Kyle Benham, Director, Business Development and Retention,