Agreement says George Brown must operate a non-profit child-care centre at any new building at Waterfront campus
A gravel parking lot in front of Waterfront campus may soon be the site of a new building for the college.
Toronto City Council has approved the sale of a parcel of land known as “Block 3” to the college with the stipulation that George Brown College (GBC) operate a non-profit child-care centre with spaces for at least 72 children in a new building there.
“If someone else had built on that property it would have been a bit of a tragedy,” said Mark Nesbitt, GBC’s vice president of corporate services, adding that securing the land required a lot of consultation.
Nesbitt said that when the college built Waterfront campus they did so with the plan of future development and they can link the two buildings at the concourse level and bridge on the fourth floor.
The agreement with the city requires that the college begin construction within four years of the land sale closing. Nesbitt estimates that a new building could be in use around 2024.
The child-care centre would be partially funded by Waterfront Toronto, who is providing up to $3.62 million, with the college owning and operating it.
An $8 million gift from Jack Cockwell to GBC in 2015 for the development of Waterfront campus will “more than cover the cost of land,” according to Nesbitt.
GBC still needs government funding for a new building on the site which is estimated to cost $100 million.
Nesbitt said the college would look at moving some classes from Casa Loma to Waterfront to free up existing space there for students in the construction programs that are currently at capacity.
Other options would be to move operations from buildings that the college now leases commercially such as 230 Richmond St. East, 341 King St. East and 210 King St. East.
“From a financial perspective, it would be good to move some of those uses into a building that we own, particularly if the government helped us build the building,” said Nesbitt.