In the past, the City of Toronto hasn’t been the best manager of its assets. We’ve all heard stories of waste, from cancelling agreements made by previous governments to the gravy train fat cat spending that got Rob Ford elected. Well to make a step to change our cities image as poor managers of assets, the City of Toronto formed Build Toronto in 2009 (Mayor Miller’s regime ironically). Since then Build Toronto has been meticulously taking stock of land owned by the city. This is a good thing for residents of Toronto. The revenue generated from the re-development of city owned land (from the sale of the land, to increased property tax revenue, to development fees paid to the city) will all be used to fund subway expansion and waterfront revitalization.

So are there any opportunities for real estate investors to make money?

Short answer, yes. Here are the possibilities:

  • Selling your properties to the City so they can assemble the right site for a developer
  • Increasing the value of properties surrounding development sites as new Transit and retail/commercial/Industrial is built.
  • Buying land with pre-approvals in place directly from Build Toronto (as in 120-130 Front St below)

Neighborhoods to keep an eye on:

  1. Downsview (Allen/Sheppard)
  2. Etobicoke City Centre
  3. Runnymede and St Clair

image source