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Canada Lands Company Contributes 16,000 Units

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 07 January 2003 00:00

Ever wondered what the Canadian government does with real estate it no longer needs? You may be surprised to learn that the same federal government that washed its hands of social housing a while back had reactivated an agency that is now putting some surplus federal land into housing.

One of Toronto’s most innovative affordable housing initiatives sits on a piece of this surplus land. The 3.8 acre site at 650 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto, was formerly the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation , before this real estate was purchased by the federal Crown agency, Canada Lands Company CLC Limited, and made available to Options for Homes.

Since its reactivation in 1995, CLC has distributed approximately $266 million to its sole shareholder, the Government of Canada, largely in a combination of dividends, note repayments and cash acquisitions. The company buys federal lands, at market value, that are no longer required by Government of Canada departments, other Crown corporations and government agencies. CLC undertakes to increase the land's “financial and community value” and marketability before preparing it for sale.

In 1999, CLC announced that the former-CMHC site would be developed in conjunction with the Toronto-based, private, non-profit organization, Options for Homes , which “is dedicated to bringing home ownership within reach of low-and moderate-income households in the Greater Toronto Area.” Sales activity was brisk as buyers were attracted by the innovative and affordable offering:

  • By eliminating costly amenities, marketing costs, commissions and profit margins, Options for Homes, with the support of CLC, provided savings of up to $40,000 per home and less-than-rent monthly carrying costs, when compared with local commercial developments.

    Canada Lands, an arms-length, self-financing Crown corporation, is completely self-sufficient, receives no government subsidies and pays taxes. The company reports to its sole shareholder through its parent company, Canada Lands Company Limited . CLC’s results, which include 16,000 new and / or refurbished residential units, and its strategic direction are reported through the Annual Report and Corporate Plan Summary of its parent company.

    Canada Lands has also been instrumental in the following housing projects:

  • Garrison Woods in Calgary, Alberta, a vibrant residential community of 1350 units on 150 acres. This unique, award-winning urban village, built on the former Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Calgary, is just minutes from Calgary's city centre.

  • The Benny Farm property, acquired in 1999, is the site of new housing for Canadian veterans and also serves as a memorial to commemorate those who served in our Canadian Forces and lived at Benny Farm. The goal: to provide housing on the site as quickly as possible ( construction begins early in 2003 ) to respond to Montréal's housing shortage.

  • Parc Downsview Park Inc. (PDP), a CLC subsidiary, oversees the development and ongoing management of Downsview Park on the former Canadian Forces Base Toronto lands in Toronto, which is being developed as a “unique urban recreational greenspace.”

  • The Franklin Yard site, which is part of the 285 acre (115 ha) former railway yard site, Moncton Rail Shops, in Moncton, New Brunswick, is being rejuvenated to include a subdivision plan that will “ address the community's needs for this new residential neighbourhood."

  • The 260-acre Upton Farm property, located near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was property originally used by Agriculture Canada and Agri-Food Canada.

    Federal departments continue to dispose of properties in accordance with the Government of Canada's Treasury Board Policy on the Disposal of Surplus Real Property and other real property policies. Canada Lands Company negotiates the purchase of surplus strategic properties from the federal government on an ongoing basis across the country. View the Canada Lands Transfer Process Presentation for more on CLC’s role in the federal lands disposal process.

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