The City of Toronto is currently undergoing its largest and most rapid expansion in over 175 years. As of 2011, Toronto has the most new skyscrapers under construction amongst the 26 cities included in the PwC’s Cities of Opportunity report.
The rapid development of real-estate in Toronto is a direct result of business growth, competitive interest rates, and favourable market returns.
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB): Commercial Division
The Commercial Division of TREB features different types of commercial real estate in the Toronto region. The site's search function is a starting point for those interested in commercial real estate. Links to the Ontario Investment Service (OIS) and the Canadian Real Estate Association's (CREA), ICX.ca, provide additional information. For a more in depth search, interested parties are encouraged to seek assistance from a Realtor. TREB offers an online Realtor Search Tool.
Invest in Ontario: Ontario Commercial Real Estate & Businesses
Invest in Ontario, in cooperation with the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), maintains a valuable repository of available commercial real estate in the Toronto Region. A database of these properties can be accessed through the Invest in Ontario website.
Local Business Park Associations:
Business Park Associations, such as the Leaside Business Park Association often list real estate and business opportunities on their websites.
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Real Estate Facts
- 4 million ft2 of office space currently under construction or recently completed in downtown Toronto. Of that, 3.2 million ft2 is LEED Class A office space.
- A 20,000 ft2 office leased in Toronto will cost $336,200 CDN less per year then a similar space in midtown New York (Invest in Canada 2010, Welcome to Canada: We take care of business)
- The cost of prime office space in Toronto's central business district is 70% lower than comparable space in London's West End. (Invest in Canada, Welcome to Canada: We take care of business, 2010)
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Commercial Real Estate Costs
The City of Toronto has 116 million ft² of office space, making Toronto the largest office centre in Canada. The Toronto region provides a wide range of office space, from luxury to utility, busy city core to suburban calm.
- The average rental price of AAA real estate in Toronto is $61.49 per ft2. This office space is concentrated in the Financial Core District and downtown areas of Toronto.
The City of Toronto has 283 million ft2 of industrial space, approximately 40% of the industrial space in the Toronto region. This places the Toronto region 2nd in North America for total area of industrial space.
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Commercial and Industrial Properties Tax Rate
For more information on the tax rate reduction, click here for commercial properties.
2010 Property Tax Rates
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Selection of Major Developments
Toronto's waterfront development offers the potential to redefine Toronto and confirm its place among the world's great global cities. The waterfront development is the largest urban renewal project in North America, and one of the most significant revitalization projects in the world. When complete, 800 hectares of land located minutes from Toronto's downtown core will be transformed into 40,000 residential units, 1.2 million yr2 of commercial space and 300 hectares of parks.
All new waterfront development projects, which include buildings, streets, parks and public art, will reflect Toronto's commitment to creative architecture and urban design. The new waterfront communities are being developed with world class telecommunication infrastructure, including ultra-high speed broadband technology.
Waterfront image credit: Waterfront Toronto. George Brown College image credit: Stantec Architecture/Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
West Don Lands
The West Don Lands is being transformed from former industrial lands into a sustainable, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, riverside community. Encompassing a 32 hectare (80 acre) area, it will feature 6,000 new residential units, ample space for employment and commercial uses, at least one elementary school, and two child-care centres - all encircled by 10 hectares (25 acres) of parks and public spaces. The neighbourhood has already received Stage 1 LEED ND GOLD (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighbourhood Development) certification under the pilot program established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
When Toronto hosts the Pan American Games in 2015 the athletes will stay in a brand new development in the West Donlands. The Athletes Village in the West Don Lands will be a unique legacy of the Games. It will be a foundation of the new, sustainable, mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood in the heart of the city that will reduce urban sprawl, create affordable housing and community sports facilities, provide easier access to public transit and reduce the environmental impact of development.
Corus Quay, the new corporate headquarters for Corus Entertainment, is a 450,000 ft2 office and broadcast centre located at the water's edge in East Bayfront.
More than 1,100 highly-skilled, creative-based employees work at Corus Quay helping to promote a thriving business and cultural community in East Bayfront. Designed by renowned Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Corus Quay like all new buildings in East Bayfront has targeted the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold designation. The building features a green roof and a massive interior five-story bio wall for air filtration.
Canada's Sugar Beach is a whimsical new park that transformed a surface parking lot in a former industrial area into Toronto's second urban beach at the water's edge. Located at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street between the newly open Corus building and the Redpath Sugar Factory, the 9295 yards park is the first public space visitors see as they travel along Queens Quay from the central waterfront. The park's brightly coloured pink beach umbrellas and iconic candy-striped rock outcroppings welcome visitors to the new waterfront neighbourhood of East Bayfront.
The waterfront campus will add 300,000 ft2 to the college's Toronto footprint, including a full complement of student services and, with a capacity of 3,500 students, will allow for a growth of more than 1,000 students in the Health Sciences professions alone. The facility will also free up considerable space across existing campuses and permit greater expansion in other high-growth areas, such as Construction and Apprenticeship programs - industries expected to experience an imminent and serious labour shortage. It will also generate approximately 1750 new jobs during the construction phase.
Funding of $91.5 million for this project is being provided by the Government of Canada's Knowledge Infrastructure Program and from the Ontario Government, representing approximately 50 per cent of the total investment required for the first phase of the College's Waterfront development.
The RBC Centre opened with 1.2 million ft2 and 43 stories of office space in 2009. Upon completion 2,100 RBC Dexia employees were among the first to move into the new space. The tower, located at 155 Wellington Street, was the first major office building completed in downtown Toronto in over a decade. The building is credited as Toronto's most innovative and environmentally friendly tower. Built by Cadillac Fairview, the RBC Centre was built to LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified Standards.
Bay Adelaide Centre
Completed on time and under budget in June 2009, the Bay Adelaide Centre is Toronto's first and only LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified Core and Shell Gold high-rise office building.
The Bay Adelaide Centre is anchored by prestigious legal and accounting firms, representing a new standard for premier "AAA" class commercial properties. Integrating past and present, Brookfield, the property developer, was the first to successfully incorporate the historic National Building façade at 347 Bay Street into the stunning design of a premier 51-storey, 1.2 million ft2 office tower.
The sophisticated and contemporary ground floor lobby is vibrant and spacious, featuring a light installation designed by Arizona artist James Turrell, who has been recognized with prominent awards, such as: the Guggenheim Fellowship and MacArthur Fellowship.
TELUS House Toronto
TELUS House is a 30 storey, 780,000 ft2 building located in the heart of Canada's business epicenter. The $250 million project funded by TELUS Communications opened in May 2009. The tower offers street level access to the PATH, Toronto's underground walkway, connecting commuters to the busiest transit hub in Canada.
Southcore Financial Centre
The Southcore Financial Centre will feature three distinct towers, including 18 York which will be anchored by Pricewaterhouse Cooper, the 30 storey and 700,000 sq. ft. Bremner Tower, and the Delta Toronto - a next-generation, premium 4-star hotel.
"Southcore Financial Centre is being built to reflect the changing priorities of today's globally connected and community-focused tenants," said Chuck Swanson, vice president, Real Estate, bcIMC.
Southcore Financial Centre will provide an enclosed pedestrian link to Union Station, the PATH network and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. All of the towers will be connected via more than 14,000 sq. ft. of urban forest areas and pedestrian walkways.
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Towering 60-stories above Toronto, with panoramic views of the surrounding city and Lake Ontario, the Trump International Hotel and Tower will serve as an elegant combination of commercial and residential real estate in the downtown core. The Tower's design embraces the modern cosmopolitan flair that is distinctly Toronto, by creating a perfect mix of fine details, innovative function and lasting design aesthetics. Envisioned by the renowned Eberhard Zeidler and Zeidler Partnership Architects, the Tower was designed to fit seamlessly within its surrounding environment.
The Shangri-La Toronto will be a 65-storey glass tower elegantly situated on University Avenue, steps away from the city's finest entertainment, cultural, shopping, business, education and dining venues. The 873,000 ft2 residential and mixed-use tower will include luxury residential suites and the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel. James KM Cheng Architects Inc. combined their creative and architectural approaches into a timeless and sleek addition to downtown Toronto's skyline. The first 17 floors of the development will incorporate the historic "Bishops Block"- one of the oldest remaining buildings in Toronto.
Offering elegance without pretension, and boasting some of the city's most luxurious spaces, the Four Seasons Private Residences will bring new dimension to one of the city's most desirable neighbourhoods, Yorkville. The tower, despite its proximity to the fashionable shopping, dining and entertainment quarter, is only five minutes from the business district. Toronto-based, Architects Alliance, have been honoured with numerous international awards, and are the creative minds behind the new tower.
The Thompson Toronto is located in the eclectic arts and design neighborhood of King West Village, which features the city's most notable galleries and boutiques. The location is adjacent to the financial and entertainment districts. The 102 guest rooms, designed by Studio Gaia, all feature floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the city furnished in a contemporary, luxurious and comfortable fashion. Local firms, Architects Alliance, were the lead designers on the project.
Among the newest Toronto luxury hotels, the Ritz-Carlton will welcome guests to the heart of the city's financial district with a world-class spa, exceptional dining and impeccable service. The 53-storey architectural icon features 267 rooms and 159 condominium residences. Just steps from landmark locations, including the Design Exchange, CN Tower and the Entertainment District, the tower provides convenient access to all Toronto has to offer. The project's architecture is a collaboration between New York-based, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates Architects and Planners and Toronto-based, Page + Steeles Architects Planners.
Woodbine Live is the largest private-sector tourism development in the Toronto region. The project, which will employ 10,000 people, is estimated to be worth $750 million to $1 billion and will occupy 120 acres of land in northwest Toronto located near Pearson International Airport.
An ambitious entertainment and tourism area, Woodbine Live will include: offices, residences, shops, restaurants, a 16-cinema complex, a 6,000 seat concert hall, a 4 star hotel, a 100,000 ft2 conference centre, clubs, pubs, canals and a skating rink. Jane Holmes, the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the Woodbine Entertainment Group, described the area in Toronto as the "largest piece of undeveloped, privately owned property in Toronto; it provides a blank canvas to develop the type of project that we're doing".
Evergreen Brick Works
In the centre of downtown, and nestled in Toronto's famous ravine system, Evergreen is restoring Toronto's derelict Don Valley Brick Works to its proper place at the centre of the city's future. By revitalizing and reusing historic buildings as well as building the LEED Platinum Centre for Green Cities, and offering programming focused on education, heritage and ecological sustainability, Evergreen Brick Works will be an environmental community centre in the heart of the Toronto. Its use of a wide range of green technologies will make it a national hub for urban sustainability. With its recent Grand Opening, the site will now be animated with year-round programs and activities that include a sustainable garden centre, a farmers' market, demonstration gardens, and kitchens, conference and event facilities, youth leadership and children's camps, community bike space, family programming and programs for youth.
The City is undergoing many new and exciting developments. We are happy to profile major development projects that are transforming our city and adding economic value. For more information please contact us.
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Real Estate / National Office Market Report Toronto Spring/Summer 2011
Spotlight on the Greater Toronto Area
• Tenant interest in new downtown towers may lead to further office development
• Alternative workplace strategies gaining popularity
• Best opportunities in downtown core and building-specific
• Suburban markets beginning to rebound from recession
Business Toronto, Real Estate
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