This is a new approach to optimize the city’s real estate assets while helping the city modernize its office space and save money.
City offices house more than 15,400 employees across three million square feet of office space, including 52 owned and leased locations. The report notes that this is a large, outdated and inefficient office footprint.
The five-year office plan, which would be subject to CreateTO and City Council approval, will be a self-funded program that will reduce and revitalize the city’s office footprint through the elimination of third-party leases and the co-location of staff in an effort to generate long-term cost savings. The program will identify underused office space that can be repurposed to unlock city-building opportunities and allow for better use of the city’s real estate.
The proposed plan: eeduces city office locations from 52 to 20 – mostly through the collapsing of leases coming due in upcoming years; unlocks eight properties for city-building purposes, including affordable housing; maximizes the city’s key Civic Centres, City Hall and Metro Hall. These sites will become modern office hubs that will be able to accommodate up to 5,600 more employees through more efficient office design; and decreases the city’s overall office square footage by 25 per cent.
As part of the plan, the office locations identified for city-building opportunities include:
• 33 Queen St. E.
• 610 Bay St.
• 931 Yonge St.
• 1900 Yonge St.
• 75 Elizabeth St.
• 277 Victoria St.
• 95 The Esplanade – Ground Floor
• 18 Dyas Rd.
Public services now delivered at any of the sites identified as underused will still remain available to the community. No decisions on those services, their locations or timelines for change have been made, but robust communications will occur well before any city service is relocated.
The staff report is available at app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.RA8.1.