May 5, 2010

At tomorrow’s regularly-scheduled meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission, a confidential report will be considered that lays out the framework for an agreement to explore a long-term lease arrangement between the TTC and Build Toronto at 4050 Yonge St.

As with all staff reports to do with real estate matters, this report is confidential until an agreement is in place.

The Toronto Transit Commission’s current head office at 1900 Yonge St. was built in 1956. Over the next five years, some $30 million in capital investment will be required to maintain the building. Some of the work required includes the installation of a sprinkler system; energy efficiency measures like new windows, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades; masonry repairs to the exterior of the building for reasons of safety; and reconfiguring office space.

TTC’s head office houses approximately 300 employees. Other staff are scattered across the city in leased office space at an annual cost of $8.6 million. A new facility for the TTC could allow significant efficiencies to be realized by centralizing employees (approx. 1,000 people in total) and eliminate added leasing costs in other buildings.

The TTC will not enter into any lease arrangement if the cost-savings of doing so are not beneficial to Toronto taxpayers. Prudence dictates that the TTC explore all options to ensure cost-effectiveness and efficiencies before agreeing to relocate and lease office space in any facility, as is common in both the private and public sectors.

 

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