TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto has terminated a bid
by Centennial College to redevelop the former Guild Inn hotel site in
Scarborough after three years of research, consultation and
Centennial's proposal was never publicly presented for community
feedback. Efforts by Guildwood residents to explore the proposal were
discouraged by local councillor Paul Ainslie because he was opposed to
the college's final development concept, which included a low-rise
Centennial had been the exclusive proponent for redevelopment of the
site since the spring of 2008, when Toronto City Council directed its
staff to negotiate a long-term lease with the college. In response to
the City's desire to re-establish a hotel on the 6.3-acre site,
Centennial had proposed building a 120-room hotel on the former
footprint. Plans also included restoring the historic Bickford
residence and adding restaurant/banquet facilities to serve the
surrounding 80-acre park and community.
However, the global economic downturn made hotel financing virtually
impossible. Studies by industry experts determined that the site was
too far removed from major transportation hubs, arterial roads and the
downtown business core. New details about the advanced deterioration of
the Bickford residence made restoration more challenging and expensive.
Without sufficient public or private funding, Centennial informed the
City early in 2011 that it could not proceed as originally proposed.
Rather than abandon the site and consign the Bickford residence to
demolition, the college consulted with land developers to find another
funding model. Developers suggested advance sales of a senior-friendly
condominium building could fund restoration of the Bickford residence
and new construction needed for Centennial's Culture and Heritage
Centennial offered its revised proposal as the only viable solution to
the problem of salvaging a City heritage asset in a climate of
municipal government austerity. Condominium financing had proven
successful elsewhere as a means of jumpstarting public projects,
including North Toronto Collegiate with condo builder Menkes, as well
as Regent Park and TIFF Bell Lightbox (with The Daniels Corp.).
The City of Toronto rejected the proposal and Centennial College has
chosen not to pursue the Guild Inn project any longer.
SOURCE Centennial College
For further information:
Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, 416-289-5000, ext. 7142 or email@example.com