Investment in waterfront revitalization delivers strong economic returns



    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Investments made to date to revitalize Toronto's
waterfront are not only transforming the face of the waterfront but have also
led to important job creation and growth within the economies of Toronto,
Ontario and Canada, according to a recently-completed study commissioned by
Waterfront Toronto.
    In a keynote address at the Toronto Board of Trade, John Campbell,
President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, reviewed progress on waterfront
revitalization and released the findings of a detailed economic impact
analysis, which examined the results of investments made by Waterfront Toronto
and its government partners since the organization's inception in 2001 through
March 31, 2009.
    The study, conducted by Urbanmetrics inc., found that the $642 million
invested to date in waterfront renewal has generated $1.6 billion in gross
output for the Canadian economy and approximately 8,400 full-time years of
employment, 70 per cent of which were in the Toronto region.
    The largest portion, approximately $219.5 million or 34 percent, was
invested in waterfront construction projects including the Spadina, Simcoe and
Rees wavedecks, Port Union and Mimico waterfront parks, the Cherry Beach
Sports Fields, Marilyn Bell Park, York and John Quay Promenade, the flood
protection landform in the West Don Lands, and the development of
infrastructure in East Bayfront and the West Don Lands.
    A second major share of expenditures was directed towards creative and
knowledge-based industries, industries expected to be the primary drivers of
future economic development. As part of its design and planning work, as well
as other necessary preliminary work on various waterfront projects, Waterfront
Toronto has invested approximately 30 percent of expenditures in the
professional, scientific and technical services industries.
    "Our investments to revitalize Toronto's waterfront are delivering on the
promise to support local, provincial and national economic development as well
as to support the growth of key industry sectors," said John Campbell. "While
the economic returns already generated are solid, they will pale in comparison
to the lasting benefits anticipated once the comprehensive vision for the
waterfront is more fully realized."


    
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    The study found that 95 per cent of all of Waterfront Toronto's
expenditures were made in Ontario, and nearly 90 per cent were made within
Toronto.
    All levels of government have also seen a return on their investments. As
a result of waterfront renewal activity, new revenues worth approximately $180
million were generated for the Government of Canada, $124 million for the
Government of Ontario and $20 million for the City of Toronto.
    A second phase of analysis measuring the expected impacts of future
investments and benefits once the waterfront plan is more fully realized
(permanent jobs, property taxes and tourism spending), will be completed in
the coming months.
    The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto
created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's
waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development,
economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of
waterfront revitalization.





For further information:

For further information: Michelle Noble, Waterfront Toronto Director of
Communications, (416) 214-1344 ext. 263


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