The Development of Block 31: A Modern Approach to Shared-Use

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January 17th, 2017

The City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) are partnering to create Block 31, a shared facility that will become the Railway Lands Community’s educational, recreational and social hub. The new development features a community centre, child care centre and two K-8 schools which will accommodate over 500 students each.

For the Railway Lands’ 20,000 residents, the time is right for Block 31. The community does not have access to local schools, child care and public recreational facilities. This fresh, new space will give them the services they need.

Colliers Project Leaders is providing both advisory and full project management services on the project, from site investigation, planning and design through to the post-construction phases.

Block 31 will be a shared-use facility, with the City, TDSB and TCDSM partnering to construct and operate the building. Our Advisory Services team reviewed various ownership and shared-use models with the stakeholders before leading the development of the Block 31 shared use agreement.

The agreement is essential to the smooth operation of the facility, and covers everything from the sharing of capital costs and the ownership/lease structure, to the management of shared-use gyms and playing fields. Most importantly, the agreement outlines governance, as well as the building’s operation as a single facility that meets the needs of each partner. Our team helped establish an operational business framework that works for each party, simplifying the complex legal structure’s drafting process.

We also helped to identify efficiencies and savings. The shared-use nature of the facility allowed the design team to reduce the number of parking spaces and eliminate a gym, saving both costs and space.

Our project management team oversaw the process of pre-qualifying general contractors to deliver the construction work.  We are now aligning the team to ensure that the facility meets Tier 1 of Toronto’s comprehensive Green Standard.

In addition to its other responsibilities, our team is managing the project communications flow to ensure the project’s many stakeholders are receiving consistent information. Block 31 is a brownfield site and, thanks to an extensive communications plan, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Control quickly approved Block 31’s Risk Assessment. 

The Block 31 development project will be completed in Fall 2019.

Samantha Morneau
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
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