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Woodbine Live - Race Track | Proposed | Etobicoke / Rexdale

32024 Views 127 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  AndrewJM3D
Originally the plan back in 2005 was for 25 acres at the racetrack. Now its 200 acres with over 10,000 (Ten Thousand) parking spots. Now it will be considered mixed use

I believe they will get a full blown casino here with tables(they just have slots) and I think the Go Train that runs behind the racetrack will finally hook up with Pearson Airport(above gound rail link) that way we will have a Union Station-Casino-Airport link.

Can anybody tell me when they are supposed to start digging???

Check out the link below
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They should've been digging now, it seems stalled, surprised?
wow i never heard of this before. looks awesome!
btw did anyone else notice in the picture at that link there is a sign on one of the buildings that says "noobies"? lol!
This was announced in 2005 :( It's 2007 in less than 2 weeks.
metroboi_nay "This was announced in 2005 It's 2007 in less than 2 weeks."

The project that was announced back in 2005 was only for 25 acres commercial. The Cordish Group and Woodbine Entertainment Group went back to the Municipality and requested zoning changes for mixed use residential/commercial and for 200 acres.

What I'm hearing now is this is going to be over $3 billion in construction and be completed in phases over the years, and create over 2000 jobs when its done.

That being said, TRIDEL has 2 buildings in the area, and they will be putting up a 3rd building once construction starts at Woodbine, and possibly a 4th and 5th building in the future. Their is another condo builder in the area FRAM that ownes land across from Woobine mall.

I think Woodbine Mall will go even more to the crapper, once Woodbine Live is constructed.
No, this whole thing was announced in the summer of 2005, here's my source,, as well the Woodbine Live website,

The Woodbine Live website has been updated recently, so I guess its not dead, but then again look at Sapphire's website... lol :)

It says its to open end of 2007, which is mentioned on the site and summer 2005 press release, here, however to build all that I doubt it'll be done by end of 2007.

And the cost of this will only be $310 Million, not $3 Billion.. lol
If the cost was more than $310 million it would be mentioned on the website/press release.

"""It says its to open end of 2007, which is mentioned on the site and summer 2005 press release, here, however to build all that I doubt it'll be done by end of 2007."""

"""And the cost of this will only be $310 Million, not $3 Billion.. lol
If the cost was more than $310 million it would be mentioned on the website/press release."""

I don't know where to start....

Here we go.

As you have pointed out earlier 25 acres for $310 million

The project now is 200 acres (81 hectares). When you mention 25 acres, thats only 10 hectares.

Look at the .pdf page 9 It mentions 185 hectares existing, another 61 hectares and another 20 hectares to be developed which equals 81 ha. The site total being 266

I have the picture that shows you GO TRAIN/ABOVE RAIL Airport to Woodbine (optional) to Union Station. It won't let me post.

And .pdf page 8 is the new masterplan, not 25 acres(10 hectares) but 200 acres (81 hectares)

There are rezoning signs already on the property. I've heard that Woodbine has a construction office on there property.

Another timbit that I heard was some of the construction guys have purchased units at Tridel, across the street.

One of the construction companies I heard is VERDI. I have no clue what they do.

As to the $3 billion instead of 310 million. As you are aware now, that if it costs $310 million to develop 25 acres, how much do you think it would cost to develop 200 acres. And don't forget construction costs have gone thru the roof, especially concrete, labour, steel, etc. I figure the $310 million price tag for 25 acres, is probably more like at least 400 million. Oh yeah, don't forget about the possible Union-Woodine-Airport connection.

Actually now that I think about it, I think 3 billion is cheap

Oh one last thing, visit this link below dated Sept 14, 2006. If you want the full text you will have to pay.!+moves+to+next+stage

And yes they will start digging, I just want to know when.

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Oh yeah, don't forget about the possible Union-Woodine-Airport connection.

Actually now that I think about it, I think 3 billion is cheap
The Union-Woodbine-Airport connection has nothing to do with this project.
It's a completely different thing, and funded by another 3rd party.
It must've been used as a reference.

To be honest, the info is all over the place, and knowing how things happen in this city, I doubt all of it will go up. Nonetheless, this isn't something new to me, as you know. I do want it to happen as much as anyone, as it would be great for that area and the city.
Woodbine Live | Approved | Race Track | Etobicoke; Rexdale

Woodbine Live! is an exciting new twenty-five acre entertainment district development located at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. The location is minutes from Pearson International Airport and easily accessible from Highways 401, 407, 427 and 27.

Woodbine Live! will provide an energetic mainstreet entertainment district with unique bars, restaurants and lifestyle retail shops. The east-west street will lead to the Willows Walking Ring and the north-south street will provide visitors with vistas of the standardbred racing paddock. The hotel will be located at the west-end of the racetrack and will provide for scenic views of live horse racing, from it’s south facing rooms.

This $310 million (CDN) dollar development is intended to include features such as:

* hotel with a pool oasis
* multi-purpose live performance hall
* cinemas, and
* entertainment/retail venues

Construction of the project is expected to take two years and will generate almost 1,100
construction-related jobs. Approximately 2,300 permanent jobs will be created by Woodbine Live!
The public benefits* from the development of Woodbine Live! are in excess of $1.5 billion (CDN).

The benefits to each level of government are as follows:

* Federal - $846.5 million
* Provincial - $532.2 million
* Municipal - $134.2 million

(*) Present value over 10 years

Woodbine Live! will be developed by Woodbine Entertainment Group and The Cordish Company in

Woodbine Entertainment Group is the largest operator of horse racing in Canada and is recognized as
one of the most innovative in North America.

The Cordish Company, a third generation family owned and Baltimore-based development company,
is one of the most respected developers of retail/entertainment and mixed-use projects in the
United States.
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Looks interesting. What's that supposed to be in the background, untouched wetlands?
From That angle, you should be able to see the airport and the 427 in the background, not empty land ;)

This was proposed a couple of years ago I think but it's nice to finally see a rendering, and it's definitely a much needed development. There's just nothing on that land now....
I hope this comes with an airport link shuttle too :)
i've always been skeptical on the federal government screwing us over THAT much, but wtf!?! the benefits look skewed, is this being forced upon us, or what?

development looks great
Racing to corral Woodbine jobs

Jun 26, 2007 04:30 AM
Laurie Monsebraaten
staff reporter

Woodbine Racetrack and its Baltimore-based development partner have agreed to make local hiring a cornerstone of their $350 million plan to build a major entertainment, retail and residential community in the city's troubled northwest end.

The proposal – to be debated at Etobicoke community council today – will create about 5,000 construction jobs and permanent employment for up to 10,000 in the project's new hotel, theatre and retail shops. Area residents hope at least 4,500 of those jobs will be earmarked for them.

If Toronto councillors give it the green light next month, it will mark the first time the city has tied a local employment initiative to a major private-sector development plan.

"In terms of scale, this is definitely new," said Kyle Benham, the city's director of business retention and development.

Rexdale resident Nuredin Bulle, who came here from Ethiopia 20 years ago, sees the project as an opportunity for his children, ages 9 and 12. Some day they may work at Woodbine to help pay for university or begin careers in construction, hospitality or retail, he said.

"It's all about giving our young people hope," he said of a community plagued by unemployment and crime. "If young people know 30 per cent of those jobs are for them, they'll make the effort to get the training."

Project partners are the Woodbine Entertainment Group (once known as the Ontario Jockey Club) and real estate development giant The Cordish Company.

Development lawyer Stephen Diamond says his clients see the social and economic benefits of helping residents get the training to compete for good jobs.

"It is something we are excited about and are embracing," he said in an interview, saying it's in the developers' interest to foster "a healthy community that is safe and prosperous."

Those spearheading the drive for local jobs begun last winter say they are thrilled the developer and the city have endorsed the concept.

Now they want a firm target of 30 per cent local hiring, money for training, and meaningful community input.

"The devil is always in the details," said community coalition spokesperson Zeleda Davis, 60, an airport hotel worker. "It's good to say you want a strategy. But we want some assurances that it will be carried out."

About 15 per cent of Woodbine's current workforce of 2,700 lives in the area, according to the company. With provisions for training, that means 30 per cent is a realistic target, Davis said.

Benham, at city hall, said such specific details won't likely be hammered out until sometime next fall.

Stakes race for `new look' Woodbine enters the home stretch

July 2005: Woodbine Racetrack announces $350 million entertainment/retail/residential development with 10,000 permanent jobs.

Nov. 2006: Community open house at Woodbine.

Jan.- Apr. 2007: Local groups study how communities in Ireland and U.S. mobilized to secure local hiring agreements and other benefits from developers.

May 2: 500 residents call for developer to guarantee local hiring, job training, affordable housing, better transit, child care and community space.

May 25: Community leaders meet Woodbine and city officials, win support for local hiring. Other benefits put on hold for residential phase.

June 20: City report backs developing local jobs strategy with developer.

What's Next

Today: Etobicoke community council vote.

July 16: City Council vote.

December: Local hiring plan to spell out job goals, training, and community participation.
Community push for hiring guarantees wins favour with project partners
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Woodbine Live Approved

Toronto Star article:

Casino eyed as city saviour

Jul 19, 2007 04:30 AM
jim byers
robert benzie
jen gerson
staff reporters

Mayor David Miller and several high-ranking Toronto councillors yesterday said they would consider a full casino at Woodbine Racetrack to help dig the city out of its financial misery.

But they would want a bigger share of revenues than they get now from Woodbine, which has slot machines but not roulette, craps or other gambling games found at other Ontario casinos.

And getting one would take a strong selling job at Queen's Park, which appears solidly against creating another full commercial casino to compete with its existing four.

Late on Tuesday, council approved a massive $750 million development at Woodbine racetrack, in the city's northwest corner, including a hotel, shopping, a skating rink and a large area that could easily house a full casino similar to Casino Niagara or Casino Rama.

Woodbine officials yesterday said a casino is in the province's hands

"There's been pressure for years for a full casino in Toronto," said Councillor Brian Ashton (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest), a member of the executive committee. "Casinos are now centrepieces of many communities ... I would say it's probably time to roll the dice again and review this and determine if it's beneficial to Toronto."

Miller told the Star he hasn't thought through the implications of a full casino at Woodbine, though he has said in the past that he disapproved of a city casino – including during the 2003 election, when mayoral rival Tom Jacobek floated the idea.

"I'm opposed to a new casino in Toronto, but this isn't a new casino," he said. "However to have one there we'd have to significantly change the financial arrangements with the province, because if there is a casino all the money goes to them and a pittance comes to us. I couldn't consider it unless the financial arrangements would change."

The city faces a potential $575 million budget shortfall next year. On Tuesday, Miller announced a "cost-containment" strategy that could mean large cuts in services.

"A casino in Toronto could get us out of our budget hole," said Councillor Howard Moscoe (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence). "But if there is one, we want the same deal that the province gets."

Woodbine has 2,000 slot machines; the city gets 5 per cent of the revenue on the first 450 machines, and 2 per cent from the rest. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG), run by the province, receives half. It wasn't clear last night how much the city earns from its share, or how much it might expect to garner from a municipal casino.

"The existing horse races and gaming are going to be the anchor to the (Woodbine) development," said Jane Holmes, vice-president of corporate affairs for Woodbine Entertainment Group.

"We clearly think that if there is going to be a casino anywhere in Toronto, it should be here."

But licensing a casino is up to the province, and "That proposal is not under consideration from the provincial perspective," said Amy Tang, an aide to Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan, who oversees gaming in Ontario. "Because we did announce a gaming strategy in January 2005 where we said no new gaming sites. That is still in effect."

Sources at Queen's Park said consultants hired by Woodbine have been lobbying the province to lift that moratorium.

One Liberal insider confided that even if a GTA gaming house were in the cards, it would not be in the province's interest to permit someone other than OLG to own it, because Queen's Park would make far less from such a facility.

About one-third of the Niagara casino's customers and half of Casino Rama's players come from the GTA. OLG also owns two commercial casinos with private-sector partners, in Niagara Falls and Windsor.

And it runs five charity casinos in Brantford, Sault Ste. Marie, Point Edward, Thunder Bay and the Thousand Islands.

"It would be political suicide for them to give a casino to Toronto and hurt the other ones," said one councillor.
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Over 9000 perm jobs, 5000 construction jobs

Over $250,000,000 taxes generated yearly

First phase open 2009/2010 The whole project 8 years +/-

Full blown casino coming down the road(more jobs)

"""""To be honest, the info is all over the place, and knowing how things happen in this city, I doubt all of it will go up."""""""

Woodbine getting $750-million neighbour


July 18, 2007

Toronto City Council approved last night what may be the city's biggest single development application since amalgamation, a massive $750-million entertainment complex next to the Woodbine Racetrack that proponents say will be an economic boon to a depressed community.

The developers, Woodbine Entertainment Group and Baltimore-based Cordish Co., say the 330,000-square-foot development featuring shops, restaurants, a skating rink, a hotel, a theatre and other attractions, will create 10,000 jobs.

"It's going to turn Rexdale into Rosedale," said Councillor Rob Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North, the ward that includes the site). The "mixed use" development, which will eventually include condos, would be built in phases over the next few years.

Lawyer Steve Diamond, who represents the developers, said the Cordish has a long history in urban renewal and has won awards for the design of its developments. "They are an established player ... [with] an excellent reputation for high-quality work," Mr. Diamond said, adding that the Woodbine project would be an attractive regional tourism centre, just 1½ kilometres from Pearson International Airport.

The Globe and Mail

In addition to the jobs and economic benefits, he said, the project's amenities - including a hockey rink and canals that would freeze for skating in winter - would be open to the public.

But the project, called Woodbine Live!, is not without controversy. With pressure by a coalition of labour activists, local groups and left-leaning city councillors, the developers have agreed to work to ensure a share of the jobs goes to residents near the site at Highway 27 and Rexdale Boulevard in Etobicoke.

While the development proposal includes a clause about hiring locally, Councillor Howard Moscoe (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence), a left-leaning ally of Mayor David Miller, said he had secured an extra agreement that would go further to ensure that a chunk of the jobs goes to people in the neighbourhood.

He wouldn't disclose the details yesterday, but said the deal is similar to those he had brokered with other developments that helped ensure the jobs were advertised to local residents first.

"It's a win-win-win-win," Mr. Moscoe said of the development.

John Cartwright, president of the Toronto and York Region District Labour Council, said the pressure on Woodbine was necessary to ensure the local community benefited from development.

"They've been basically saying to Woodbine, if you're going to have this huge expansion and tell everybody, 'Oh this is a great economic development thing,' you're creating all these jobs, then they'd better be paying living wages and they'd better be jobs that are offered to local people," Mr. Cartwright said.

He acknowledged that members of UNITE HERE, the hotel workers' union, were also interested in organizing the employees at the developers' hotel, or ensuring they are guaranteed the right to unionize if they choose. (The union already represents the racetrack's food-service workers.)

Mr. Cartwright said the deal to hire locally was a "significant victory" for the community, an ethnically diverse and economically depressed area.

Left-leaning Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul's) said he was satisfied at the commitments made by the developers to hire locally and pay fair wages, and allow unions to organize.

"There will be union organizing going on. Of course there will be," Mr. Mihevc said. "We don't want McJobs."
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Glad to hear it's happening, the full casino seems unsure at the moment, but the city has no choice I think as it's falling behind and needs money right now. It's all up to the OLG to give full approval tho. I hope they do, I hate driving to niagara to play roulette (and I hate casino rama, never liked it there) Thanks for the update fishtails ;)
FISHTAILS there is a thread about this in the developments section ;)
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