OLG’s Modernization Plan

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), a Provincial Crown Corporation reporting to the Minister of Finance, is responsible for the Province’s lotteries, casinos and slot facilities.

In July 2010, the Government of Ontario directed the OLG to modernize charitable and commercial gaming in Ontario, including a comprehensive review of land-based gaming facilities.

As part of modernization, the OLG launched a procurement process in 2013 to find a single private sector operator for the GTA Gaming Bundle, which includes Woodbine Racetrack.

On August 8, 2017, the OLG announced Ontario Gaming GTA (a partnership of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners LP) as the service provider for expanded gaming operations at Woodbine Racetrack.

Expanded Gaming in Toronto

To expand gaming at Woodbine Racetrack, the Province of Ontario, through Ontario Regulation 81/12, requires a resolution of support from City Council.

A City staff report on expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack went to Council at its meeting of July 7 to 10, 2015. Council passed a resolution in support of expanded gaming, subject to 21 planning, economic, social and health related conditions. Read the report and Council’s conditions.

In April 2018, Toronto City Council supported expanded gaming and adopted the Rexdale – Casino Woodbine Community Benefits Agreement (EX33.2), which outlines specific requirements for the developer to achieve several social and economic outcomes.

Additional information about the Rexdale – Casino Woodbine community benefits agreement (CBA), including progress on meeting targets and requirements, is available on the Community Benefits Agreement: Rexdale – Casino Woodbine web page. Background information is provided below.

Public Consultation in 2015

In March 2015, City Council requested a report on expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack and authorized the City Manager to conduct a public consultation process to seek input from Torontonians.

In May 2015, the City of Toronto conducted public consultation in three ways: a public meeting in Etobicoke; an online questionnaire; and a city-wide public opinion telephone poll.

The public consultation identified awareness, level of support, and desired conditions of expansion. The most frequently mentioned conditions were jobs for local residents, community safety, counselling for gambling addiction, greater gaming control and regulation and better infrastructure and commercial development. Learn more about the details and results of the public consultation.

Community Consultation at Humberwood Community Centre September 12, 2017

City Planning Division hosted a community consultation meeting on September 12, 2017 at the Humberwood Community Centre. Approximately 100 members of the public attended along with the Ward 2 Councillor, the Ward 1 Councillor, the consulting team and City staff.

In addition to input to the planning process, Issues raised included:

  • Employment: Would there be a plan to hire local residents for jobs on the site? Would there be community input into the process to ensure jobs go to local residents? Jobs on the site should have benefits included.
  • Community Benefits: How will the 21 conditions address community benefits? How will the 21 conditions be addressed? What is the process for Council consideration of the 21 conditions? Would there be a possibility to renegotiate the 21 conditions? What guarantees are there that the 21 conditions will be secured and adhered to?
  • In addition, communications have been submitted from a group of local residents which included non-planning related conditions.

Community Meeting at Rexdale Hub March 21, 2018

City of Toronto hosted a community meeting on March 21, 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to update community on what City of Toronto has been doing related to community benefits conditions required by City Council in 2015 from the casino service provider at Woodbine Racetrack. The discussion was a continuation of the process that started in 2015, and a check-in before staff report back to Council in spring 2018.

Through community consultations in 2015, the City heard what community benefits the community wants to see with expanded gaming. The community meeting on March 21 was focused on how the City can best achieve and implement those community benefits already identified in the conditions.

More than 150 people attended the meeting, which was moderated by Chris Brillinger, Executive Director, Social Development, Finance & Administration Division at City of Toronto. The moderator presented the community benefit conditions broken down into five themes: Business opportunities, employment opportunities, community space, community health and well-being, and long-term success. After the presentation and some questions, meeting attendees were invited to join table discussions to provide feedback on each theme.

Download the notes which summarize small group discussions that took place at the community meeting on March 21, 2018. These notes are non-binding, and are presented in this document for information only.

A City staff report on expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack went to Council at its meeting of July 7 to 10, 2015. Council passed a resolution in support of expanded gaming, subject to 21 planning, economic, social and health related conditions. Read the report and Council’s conditions.

The conditions include requirements such as the need to:

  • Expand gaming in the context of an integrated entertainment complex;
  • Develop in a manner that supports the international calibre racetrack;
  • Follow the City’s planning process;
  • Create opportunities for local employment;
  • Develop an international marketing plan;
  • Create opportunities for local and diverse businesses;
  • Agree to commitments related to labour peace;
  • Maintain all existing and planned responsible gaming measures;
  • Identify community benefits to mitigate potential risks, including regular reporting and referral to social services; and,
  • Enter into an agreement with the City and create tables such as an Oversight Committee and an Employment and Labour Market Working Group.

The selected service provider was responsible for bringing forward its plan on how it intends to meet the City’s conditions. Council also agreed to explore the possibility of designating revenues from expanded gaming for community benefits, and supported certain employment related requirements tied to the expansion of gaming.

Council’s conditional approval set the stage for the development of an integrated entertainment complex including gaming and non-gaming development at the Woodbine site in the northwest part of the city. Read the Council decision listing the City’s 21 conditions.

In May 2017, Woodbine Entertainment Group (owner and operator of the racetrack at Woodbine) submitted three applications to the City — two re-zoning applications to allow live-table games (in the existing grandstand and on another portion of the site outside the grandstand) and one application for a Draft Plan of Subdivision to allow for the creation of public roads, services and development parcels. A preliminary report was considered by Etobicoke-York Community Council on June 13, 2017

The evaluation of the planning applications for 555 Rexdale Blvd. were considered by Etobicoke-York Community Council and then adopted by City Council on April 24, 2018, without amendments: Final Report – 555 Rexdale Boulevard – Zoning By-law Amendment and Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications (EY29.2).

More information on the development can be found in the Development Application Centre.