Author: Donna

Toronto’s government bought land for development

Toronto's government bought land for development

They recently bought Greenbelt land that was undevelopable. Now the Ford government is poised to remove protections — and these developers stand to profit.

Ontario’s Conservative government has the authority to buy land for new parks, recreation and open space. But it has also been known to use it to benefit developers.

The Ministry of Natural Resources says it has purchased property and rezoned development sites with that power over the years.

In its own review, the ministry said it’s only used to buy land for “public works, recreation, or open space.”

This isn’t the first time Toronto has bought land — and developers stand to make money, including by buying up prime real estate.

The city recently purchased land on the north side of Eglinton Avenue West for a parking lot and has plans to build a transit hub and housing complex.

The city will also be able to sell the land to developers, which could lead to a huge profit for some.

The city’s purchase agreement stated the land “is part of a series of parcels that comprise an overall parcel of land, now vacant, that could be used for development purposes at a future date.”

When asked if the land would be developed, a spokesperson for the city said it would be “subject to the land use approval process.”

This land was purchased years ago

For decades, the Ford government has been buying land, rezoning it and then flipping it and selling it back to developers, often through a provincial Crown corporation, which has the power to purchase land.

This happened when the government bought the lands under the former city of London for a development site, then rezoned the area and sold it to London Land Development Corp., which turned around and sold the lots to developers. In turn, the developers then sold the lots to others who built houses and lots, making a tidy profit.

Greenbelt land purchases

Greenbelt residents have protested as their land is being bought and rezoned, saying they’re not getting adequate return on investment, including by having fewer protections for the environment.

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