Massive Redevelopment Planned Around Toronto Convention Centre, and Controversial Casino

Last week, Oxford Properties Group released plans by Foster + Partners for redeveloping Toronto's Convention Centre and the surrounding area. With 7.35 million square feet proposed, the project is one of North America's largest redevelopment efforts.
October 18, 2012, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Featuring four new residential, office, and hotel towers, a revitalized and expanded convention centre, and 5.5-acre park, the centerpiece of the proposed $3 billion "Oxford Place" development is a controversial casino. According to Alex Corey, "[t]he entire plan is contingent on the approval of a casino in the downtown core."

Writing in the Toronto Star, Christopher Hume is excited by everything about the redevelopment plan - except the casino. "Most casinos in most cities are dreary and depressing places that wear out their appeal in short order," says Hume.

"Oxford may have done the right thing for the wrong reason. It has identified an opportunity but failed to understand it. The idea that the casino represents some sort of civic saviour has been debunked many times. It's not just the moralists who want them kept away; casinos are equally offensive to the public realm."

"The deep thinkers at Oxford have taken the plan as far as the casino allows them, now it's time to go the rest of the way," he concludes.

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Published on Friday, October 12, 2012 in Urban Toronto
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