By Adriano Mancini
A casino in Toronto could be one step closer to becoming a reality after a massive proposal was released Friday that would see big changes coming to the downtown core.
Developmental company Oxford Properties Group released its estimated $3- billion vision for downtown Toronto on the condition that the city and its residents agree to build a casino downtown.
“The casino is a huge catalyst for kicking the whole project off,” said Oxford chief executive officer Blake Hutcheson in a press release. “Without the casino, you don’t have the revenue streams to substantially redevelop the entire site, especially the Convention Centre,”
In addition to revealing an artist conception of the project, Oxford revealed it will not require assistance from taxpayers for the project.
“Oxford Place is a well-conceived private sector solution that requires no public infrastructure or other funding and drives significant community benefits for area residents, visitors, corporate tenants, taxpayers and the broader Toronto community,” Hutcheson added in the press release.
Despite not affecting taxpayers, at least one Toronto resident doesn’t think this plan is the best option.
Toronto resident Victor Aguilar, 23, who works at the Rogers Centre on game days, does not think building a casino in that specific area is the correct choice due to the traffic congestion it would cause.
“With a casino in the downtown core especially on Front Street where the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs play, it is going to be virtually impossible to drive downtown,” said Aguilar
Oxford announced that in addition to a casino, a grand hotel would also be constructed
An underground parking lot with the capacity for 40.000 vehicles would also be added to accommodate the influx of people normally associated with a casino.
In the past multiple proposals to bring a casino to Toronto, including the latest proposal to construct a casino at the old Ontario place grounds – but have been rejected by the public.
Oxford Properties Group have yet to announce a time frame for the construction process should the project be approved by the city.