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return on investment

Investments made to date in waterfront revitalization have already realized considerable economic returns. They've supported job creation and contributed to the growth of our local, provincial and national economies.

return on Investment


Waterfront Toronto is committed to operating in a highly transparent and accountable manner and ensuring that its investments in revitalization produce significant returns for the economies of Toronto, Ontario and Canada. To these ends, the organization commissioned an Economic Impact Analysis, examining the direct, indirect and induced impacts of its investment. The original analysis, conducted by urbanMetrics Inc. in 2009, focused on the impacts of Waterfront Toronto’s investment from 2001 through March 31, 2009. A subsequent analysis was conducted in 2010 and included the corporation’s 2009/2010 fiscal year. A third analysis was released in 2013 and highlighted the economic impacts of waterfront revitalization from 2001-2013.


realizing real returns now


Significant return on investment (ROI) is already being realized on Toronto’s waterfront. ROI has taken the form of job creation and growth in our local, provincial and national economies.


To date, the total investment has generated $3.2 billion in economic output for the Canadian economy and 16,200 full time years of employment. In addition, it has resulted in revenues of $348 million to the federal government, $237 million to the provincial government, and $36 million to the City of Toronto.


Waterfront Toronto’s investment has benefited key sectors of the local and provincial economies. Approximately 88 per cent of Waterfront Toronto’s expenditures were made in Toronto and more than 96 per cent were made in Ontario. The largest share of expenditures, 37 per cent or nearly $469 million, has been directed to construction-related industries. These expenditures support the high-skilled and high-wage jobs in this industry. Economic spin-offs from the construction industry include secondary expenditures on materials and equipment, much of which is sourced from Canadian companies.


Large portions of Waterfront Toronto’s expenditures were also made in the creative and knowledge-based industries, including design, engineering and environmental services in the professional scientific and technical services sector, and in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Renting and Leasing Sector. These sectors account for 28 per cent and 17 per cent of total Waterfront Toronto expenditures respectively.


Waterfront Toronto has more than doubled the value of government investments on the waterfront by attracting development projects valued at more than $2.6 billion to the first new waterfront neighbourhoods of East Bayfront and West Don Lands.


In East Bayfront, George Brown College’s new Health Sciences Campus valued at $85 million, has attracted thousands of students and hundreds of employees. Other developments underway include the massive Bayside mixed-use community by Hines valued at $910 million and Great Gulf’s Monde Condominiums valued at $276 million.


In the West Don Lands, the area’s first residents have moved into Urban Capital’s River City Condominiums valued at $383 million. Development of the West Don Lands has been accelerated by provincial investment in the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village. The Village project undertaken by Dundee Kilmer Developments is valued at $814 million. Nearby, Toronto Community Housing is constructing three buildings valued at $95 million.


The project values in East Bayfront and the West Don Lands are based on estimates of the future assessed value of the development projects identified.


Beyond the economic returns generated by Waterfront Toronto’s direct investment, construction of these projects alone will generate $2.22 billion in value to the Canadian economy, nearly 23,600 full-time years of employment and $1.17 billion in labour income. Additionally, the projects will contribute $838 million in revenues to the three levels of government.


Today, there are 44 recent and planned development projects on privately-owned lands across the waterfront and in adjacent neighbourhoods close to where Waterfront Toronto has invested heavily in essential community infrastructure including parks and public spaces, waterfront and riverfront access, transit, flood protection and brownfield remediation. With an assessed value of more than $9.6 billion, these developments are creating 16,600 residential units, 1.4 million square feet of retail space, 4 million square feet of office space and some 150,000 square feet of institutional and industrial space.


future benefits


While the economic impact is already considerable, it will pale in comparison to the enduring benefits. Once our plans for the waterfront are more fully realized, these benefits are expected to include thousands of permanent jobs, many millions of dollars in property taxes and income taxes, and significantly increased tourism revenue.


When complete, the development projects identified will generate an additional $8.9 billion in value to the Canadian economy, more than 94,800 years of employment and $4.7 billion in labour income. These projects will also deliver $3.4 billion in revenues to the three levels of government.


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