If the Oxford Properties Group get their way, there could be a new $3 billion Casino Complex being installed in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. If this goes ahead, it would be the largest ever urban development project Canada has ever seen.
The group which is a part of the OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) are desperately hoping that their proposal will be accepted, which will then allow them to transform their plans into a reality.
The complex which has already been designed by a London based company called Foster & Partners, would when completed, feature a hotel, plenty of space for retail outlets, an underground car park to allow 4,000 spaces, a scattering of residential buildings and of course a state of the art casino.
No Casino, No Deal!
The project strictly hinges on the casino aspect, without it there will be no deal according to Michael Kitt who is the Executive Vice President of the OPG.
“It will allow us to be able to privately fund the entire project, the convention centre and each of the public amenities which come as part of the package” Kitt said “ If the casino vanishes, we will have to go right back to the drawing board”.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming commission has Toronto down as one of a handful of sites that could be given a gaming license, however it will eventually come down to the decision of the community, if they decide against a casino then it will not happen.
The OLG have asked for a decision before the early part of 2012 from the Toronto city council, if Toronto reject the plans, then the license could be given to one of four other cities.
Toronto seems to be divided right down the middle on the proposals with one side excited about the 12k permanent jobs that will be created and the 6k construction jobs needed to build the complex, the other side seem to be worried about the potential increase in crime the casino may bring.
The OPG has already gone on record to state that they will not be running the casino themselves and will merely be landlords. There has already been major interest from some of the largest casinos in the world such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM resorts and Caesars Entertainment all interested in renting the casino.
So who knows, Toronto which is the largest city in Canada, could also own one of the biggest casinos in the world.