04/25/2017 1:41PM

Woodbine master plan to include expanded gaming, entertainment and shopping

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine Entertainment Group has unveiled the master plan for the Woodbine Racetrack property, in the northwest corner of Toronto.

According to a Tuesday release, the 684-acre site will continue to offer horse racing and gaming, while integrating new expanded entertainment and cultural offerings, food and dining, shopping, office space, post-secondary education, recreation, health, wellness, and housing.

The “city within a city” concept will utilize the undeveloped land on the property to generate long-term revenues that will sustainably support WEG’s horse racing operations, along the thousands of associated jobs, the release said. 

“At the core of the project is the beauty of the horse,” Jim Lawson, the CEO of WEG, said in the release. “With over 2,000 Thoroughbred horses stabled on site, approximately 200 acres will continue be devoted to horse racing operations at the centre of this unique development. The master plan sets out a detailed roadmap that will create thousands of new local jobs in the community, introduce new fans to the sport of horse racing, and be a transformative project for the city of Toronto in the years to come.”

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The initial phase of the project is the development of an expanded gaming area, complete with integrated entertainment, hospitality, and related amenities, which is projected to attract 12 to 15 million people per year.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is seeking a company to operate the slots at Woodbine and to propose an expanded entertainment development. That private sector provider is expected to be named late this summer.

Garth Essery, WEG’s vice president of property development, presented the plan while speaking on a panel named Transformative Placemaking at the Urban Land Institute’s Toronto Symposium.

“After almost two years of strategizing, researching, planning and designing, we are excited to share our exciting master plan for Woodbine’s unique 684-acre property – a site larger than Toronto’s downtown business district and with enormous potential given its history and location,” said Essery.