Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is the provincial agency charged with managing Ontario’s real estate assets. In 2011 Urban Strategies was selected as IO’s Land Use Planning Vendor of Record for the Toronto area. Since that time we have been engaged by IO on numerous assignments ranging from site analyses, optimal use reports, due diligence reviews, and conceptual site layout and massing exercises, to planning approvals, and managing developer proposal calls. The Vendor of Record relationship allows us to respond quickly to IO’s needs and has created efficiencies as we have come to know their expectations for the scope and format of various exercises. Some of our key assignments as Vendors of Record include:
LCBO Headquarters and Warehouse
Urban Strategies Inc. was originally retained by IO in 2011 to prepare an Optimal Use Study for the redevelopment of the Queens Quay LCBO site, an 11-acre waterfront parcel in downtown Toronto. Urban Strategies was again retained by IO in 2012 to lead a team of consultants in the preparation of a conceptual master plan to explore potential redevelopment scenarios and test the site’s development capacity. As part of a broader team, we assisted IO and LCBO in the preparation of a comprehensive RFP package to support the divestment of the property. The property’s sale was announced on September 4, 2014.
Urban Strategies was originally retained by IO in 2011 to prepare an optimal use study to determine the redevelopment potential of the site including the 25 storey George Drew office building, parking garage and Coroner’s offices. As a new state-of-the-art Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex is currently under construction at the Province’s Downsview campus, the downtown site will soon be vacant and has been declared surplus to the province’s needs. The Optimal Use Study reviewed the planning, urban design, market, transportation and servicing issues associated with the site and proposed a series of possible redevelopment scenarios, including massing and preliminary site statistics. Based on the findings of the Optimal Use study, we were retained again in 2012 to prepare a comprehensive RFP package and manage the proposal call to result in the divestment of the property.
Ontario Place Due Diligence
Following directly from the recommendations included in the Minister’s Advisory Panel Report on the Revitalization of Ontario Place, in the fall of 2012 Urban Strategies led a team of 10 sub-consultants to prepare a detailed technical overview of the opportunities and constraints associated with the revitalization of the Ontario Place site. The due diligence exercise covered topics from aviation to utilities. Urban Strategies synthesized key technical information from all disciplines into a highly graphic, easy to digest document for internal circulation and to support future decision making for the site.
Consultant Team: BA Group (transportation), Savanta (natural heritage), Public Work (landscape), The Municipal Infrastructure Group (servicing), DPM Energy (utilities), N. Barry Lyon Consulting (market), LPS Avia (Aviation), HGC Engineering (Noise)
Toronto Development Framework
In 2012 Urban Strategies prepared a comprehensive database of major planning policy updates or infrastructure initiatives (such as Environmental Assessments) underway or proposed in Toronto. We reviewed this list against a complete inventory of IO’s land holdings to identify any sites that may be impacted by the undertakings. This format allows IO to more easily review what initiatives may affect their large and diverse portfolio. We updated the database again in 2013.