TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Toronto City Council today endorsed the terms of
a Letter of Intent with Centennial College, moving the college one step closer
in its efforts to redevelop the historic Guild Inn property in Scarborough.
Centennial can now enter into binding lease negotiations with City of
Toronto staff to finalize a 76-year sub-lease agreement for the 6.8-acre
footprint of the original hotel site, situated within an 80-acre lakeside park
that the City of Toronto leases from the Toronto Regional Conservation
"The Guild Inn project epitomizes Centennial's commitment to Scarborough.
As part of our vision to transform lives and communities through learning, it
gives us another way to contribute to the economic, educational and cultural
life of our community, while preserving and revitalizing a beloved landmark,"
says Ann Buller, President and CEO, Centennial College. "If we have found a
way to save it, everyone - the college, the city and the community - will
enjoy the benefits."
Centennial has proposed to redevelop the site as a new hotel and
conference centre complex. As part of this project, the college intends to
restore the historic Bickford Residence, a portion of which will house the
research and learning resources of its Culture and Heritage Institute. It is
expected to operate on a commercially viable basis while providing training
opportunities for students from Centennial's School of Hospitality, Tourism
and Culture and related college programs.
City Council's decision on August 5 marks the culmination of a long and
intense negotiation process that balances the commercial interests of
prospective hotel developers and operators against the long-term civic and
ecological value of the surrounding park. The resulting agreement is strongly
supported by the surrounding community, Councillor Paul Ainslie and
Centennial College's unique corporate status and position of trust in the
community makes the college an ideal choice to build upon the heritage and
cultural properties of the site in the spirit of its visionary owners, Rosa
and Spencer Clark. Although Centennial is not self-financing the
redevelopment, the college is able to create a special purpose corporation to
contract with private-sector hotel developers and operators, while separately
anchoring a land lease agreement with the City of Toronto to secure the site.
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