In 2018, the City of Toronto signed a community benefits agreement (CBA) with One Toronto Gaming, which operates Casino Woodbine in the Rexdale area of Toronto and is part of a multi-year proposed development project that includes expansion at the casino, two hotels, several restaurants and retail stores, a 4,200-seat event venue, and a 5,000 square foot on-site training centre.
The Rexdale – Casino Woodbine CBA was driven by community and City of Toronto efforts to mitigate the negative effects of expanded gaming and to leverage opportunities to benefit the Rexdale community and all equity-seeking groups across Toronto.
The CBA includes specific requirements for One Toronto Gaming to achieve a range of social and economic outcomes, including local and social hiring for both casino operations and construction-related employment, local and social procurement opportunities, responsible gambling measures, a childcare centre, and community access to use the event venue.
Community Benefit Agreements (CBA) are a mechanism to leverage social and economic outcomes for local communities and equity-seeking groups impacted by large development projects. They are typically legally binding, contractual agreements between the developers, government and/or community. CBAs are negotiated on a project-by-project basis and are often driven by community efforts to both protect community interests and leverage the opportunity for the benefit of the community.
Key components of many CBAs are employment and training opportunities, as well as social procurement targets. Social procurement is an opportunity to leverage a small proportion of an organization’s procurement spend to create economic opportunities for people experiencing economic disadvantage, systemic discrimination and barriers to equal access.
CBAs are important tools in the City of Toronto’s efforts to reduce poverty. In 2015, Toronto City Council unanimously approved the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, a 20-year strategy to tackle poverty in Toronto. Recommendation number 13 of the Strategy challenges the City to “leverage the economic power of the City to stimulate job growth, support local businesses, and drive inclusive economic growth.”
A summary of the Rexdale – Casino Woodbine CBA targets and requirements to be achieved is provided below. For details of the agreement review the Casino Woodbine Community Benefits Agreement.
For the progress of targets and achievements from February 2018 to August 1, 2019, refer to the following section, Casino Woodbine CBA Targets and Achievements.
The summary table below presents a selection of key targets and achievements related to local and social hiring, up to August 1, 2019.
For more information about all of the Rexdale – Casino Woodbine CBA targets and requirements, refer to the Rexdale – Casino Woodbine CBA section.
|Requirement||Summary||Achievements To Date|
|Child Care Centre||Contribute $5 million to create a child care centre that will benefit Casino Woodbine employees and local residents.||One Toronto Gaming has provided $5 million contribution. Community engagement and search for a location are ongoing.|
|International Marketing Plan for the Woodbine Entertainment Complex||Develop plan and implement by January 1, 2022.||A full plan will be submitted by the due date.|
|Employment and Labour Market Plan||Develop a 20-year Employment and Labour Market Plan and implement by January 2019.||Plan was submitted and implementation has begun.|
|Local and Social Hiring||40 per cent of new hires will be through local and social hiring (Total number of projected hires = 4,600).||72 per cent (828 individuals) of new hires were through local and/or social hiring.
Total number of new hires = 1,150.
|At least 20 per cent will be through local hiring.||11 per cent (134 individuals) of new hires were local hires.|
|At least 40 per cent of total employees are employed full-time by 2022; and 50 per cent of total employees are employed full-time by 2024.||60 per cent (950 individuals) of total employees are currently employed full-time.|
|Construction Hiring||By 2022, at least 10 per cent of overall hours worked by trades or craftspeople will be apprentices or journeypersons hired through local or social hiring.||Construction started in August 2019 – data to be provided in Q1 2020.|
|Supply Chain Diversity: Local and Social Procurement||Commencing in 2019, at least 10 per cent of annual procurement will be through local or diverse suppliers (construction and specialized gaming procurement is exempt from the target).||Target is on track to being met following the completion of construction in 2021.|
|Labour Peace||Respect the role of the unions, comply with contractual and statutory labour obligations.||No reports of failing to respect the role of unions or complying with contractual or statutory labour obligations have been received by the City or the Community Steering Committee.|
The Rexdale – Casino Woodbine CBA includes an accountability structure that ensures community voices are represented from local residents and through local community agencies. One of the committees is the Community Steering Committee and includes two local residents. One resident is affiliated with the Kingsview Village-The Westway Neighbourhood Action Planning Table, and another resident is affiliated with the North Etobicoke Resident’s Council.
Several agencies, including community funding organizations, employment agencies, and community health organizations are included in all three of the accountability committees:
Local residents and communities can submit input and feedback through individual and agency representatives on the various committees, as well as through local neighbourhood action planning tables such as the North Etobicoke Resident’s Council and the Kingsview Village-The Westway Neighbourhood Action Planning Table.
These are two of the 15 Neighbourhood Planning Tables implemented through the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020. A Neighborhood Action Planning Table is comprised of residents, community agencies, local businesses, City Councillors and City staff who meet regularly to plan and deliver local actions in their Neighbourhood Improvement Area.
The boundary of the Woodbine Local Area is: Steeles Ave to the North, Kipling to the East, Dixon Road to the South and Highway 27 to the West. It is approximately a seven-kilometre radius and it is comprised of the following four postal codes: M9P, M9V, M9R, and M9W. These postal codes capture four Neighbourhood Improvement Areas: Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village-The Westway, and Thistletown-Beaumond Heights, as well as the communities of Rexdale-Kipling, and West Humber-Clairville.
Casino Woodbine is committed to hiring at least 40 per cent of new hires through local or social hiring. These positions include table gaming, casino operations, and in future, hospitality and retail. At least 10 per cent of total construction hours (apprentices and journeypersons) will be hired through local and social hiring.
The City is working with One Toronto Gaming to ensure that local job seekers in Rexdale and Indigenous peoples and or members of equity-seeking groups are prepared to compete for and be successful in jobs at Casino Woodbine.
If you are a job seeker interested in jobs at Casino Woodbine and require support to prepare for work, please visit the Rexdale Employment Centre or contact Mecada Mitchell-Djabatey at 416-392-4557.
If you are ready to work and would like to apply for jobs at Casino Woodbine, please visit casinowoodbine.com/careers.