Real Estate Services
Real Estate Services is responsible for the execution and coordination of real estate transactions for the City’s 5,600 properties, worth approximately $12 billion. Services include property acquisition, disposal, appraisal, leasing, and portfolio management on behalf of the City.
As part of the city-wide real estate model, Real Estate Services, the Facilities Management division and CreateTO will manage the City’s real estate portfolio, develop City buildings and lands for municipal purposes, and deliver client-focused real estate solutions to City divisions, agencies and corporations.
When City Council approves a report recommending the acquisition of a building or property to meet a City service requirement, the Transaction Unit takes the lead by contacting property owners to discuss the purchase of real estate.
City staff seek to recommend fair and reasonable prices to City Council for properties being acquired by commissioning market value appraisals. Property owners are offered market value for their real estate, which is the amount that would be exchanged between any prospective purchaser and seller.
Once negotiations are complete with the property owner, a report is prepared by City staff for consideration by Government Management Committee and then ultimately to City Council for approval. Meetings occur on a monthly basis as scheduled by the City Clerk’s office. City Council has the ultimate authority to determine whether to acquire the property and the value to be paid and can refer any report back to staff for changes to terms of the agreement or further clarification.
Typically it can take from nine to 12 months to complete an acquisition from initial contact to closing, depending on the complexity of the transaction.
Appraisal Advisory and Taxation Services provide appraisal and taxation services to City’s divisions, agencies and corporations, on all types of property interests to the City.
The Appraisal Services team provides valuation and consulting services to the City’s agencies, boards, commissions and divisions. Valuations are completed in acquisition, disposition and leasing activities, as well as Planning Act matters, for example, cash-in-lieu of parkland.
The Taxation Team provides property taxation and assessment support to all City Divisions for properties where the City has an interest, particularly as it relates to making necessary rectification to property assessments and tax classifications. The Taxation Team also provides effective leadership, planning, management and control of the Property Tax and Assessment Centre.
The Program and Policy Management Unit provides real estate-related project management and advice on all types of property interests to the City.
The Policy and Project Management team lead the management and delivery of complex and high profile City projects. The team is responsible for strategic planning and policy development as it relates to the mandate of Real Estate Services
Development and Portfolio Planning produces high-level strategic planning for the City’s property portfolio and detailed physical and financial planning for selected City properties. The team also specializes in stakeholder management and engagement.
The Property Management and Lease Administration Unit is responsible for coordinating the property management activities on all City sites and the financial and landlord/tenant functions.
Leasing activities include:
- acquires leased properties (land and buildings) to meet clients’ requirements
- leases-out City-owned properties for interim use by third parties
- manages financial and landlord/tenant functions
The St. Lawrence Market Complex is one of the City of Toronto’s key historic properties, managed by the St. Lawrence Market Complex Administration team with the City of Toronto’s Real Estate Services Division.
The complex is comprised of three buildings with over 120 merchants, vendors, farmers and tenants, all located on the property considered Toronto’s original Market Block.
To the north end of the complex is St. Lawrence Hall, a historic gathering space with office and commercial tenants as well as the Great Hall event space available for rent.
The North Market, currently under redevelopment, is home to the Saturday Farmers Market, which has brought fresh food to Toronto residents since 1803. The Saturday Farmers Market currently operates year-round in the temporary market at 125 The Esplanade.
The South Market is the main retail property of the complex with over 60 food and specialty goods merchants open Tuesday through Saturday. The St. Lawrence Market is regarded as a top food Market internationally and was named Number One Food Market in the World by National Geographic in 2012.
The Civic and Capital Projects unit is a multidisciplinary team that provides strategic and design services for key and specialized assets within the City’s Real Estate Portfolio. Areas of expertise include strategic planning, adaptive reuse of heritage assets, future uses and tenanting strategies, public/private partnerships, and project management of design and construction.
Projects include Union Station Revitalization Project, Future Uses of Old City Hall, Wellington Destructor Adaptive Reuse, St. Lawrence Market Lower Level Revitalization, St. Lawrence Hall Future Uses, George Street Revitalization Project.
The Transit Expansion Unit is an integrated team of staff from both Real Estate and Legal Services that is acquiring properties required for the various Light Rail Transit, SmartTrack Stations and Regional Express Rail Programs within Toronto.