Councillor Josh Matlow

MGM unveils model for possible casino and resort at Exhibition Place

March 6 2013


Global News

James Armstrong


TORONTO – As city hall comes closer to debating the possibility of allowing a casino in Toronto, MGM Resorts International and Cadillac Fairview detailed their hypothetical plans for a huge luxury resort at Exhibition Place.

The plan, which was revealed to the media Wednesday morning, includes three million square feet of space – eight per cent of which would be used for a casino – one million square feet for retail space and a hotel.

The international casino developer also laid out plans for building upon the amenities currently in the area including adding a second floor to the Direct Energy Centre, building new bridges to Ontario Place, enhancing Martin Goodman Trail and expanding BMO Field.

MGM also said it would enhance public transit around the area, expanding GO Exhibition Station, increasing the frequency of GO service and extending the TTC’s exhibition loop.


The casino company also claims the development would create upwards of 10,000 permanent jobs with an average salary of $60,000.

Despite the seemingly endless number of benefits claimed to be a part of the casino development, some city councillors were quick to voice their criticisms of the plan.

Councillor Josh Matlow told Global News that its “inappropriate” for councillors to be considering any proposal before the city actually votes to allow any casino in the city.

“If you’ve got enough money it’s not hard to put together a proposal with all sorts of bells and whistles and argue how the streets will be paved with chocolate and wild unicorns will be running freely through the range,” Matlow said. “It doesn’t’ mean that it’s a realistic proposal that has merit.“
The City Manager is currently working on a report on the merits of a casino in the city. That report could be debated by council in April.

Matlow says that he currently plans on voting against a casino.

However, he says he expects it to be a close vote.

“I think it’s going to be a tight vote. There’s not a day that you don’t see lobbyists walking the halls at city hall,” Matlow said noting that both Mayor Rob Ford and many unions have supported the idea of a Toronto casino. “It’s not following the traditional, ideological lines.”

Ford has repeatedly said he is willing to support a casino based on the purported economic benefits.
However, a number of officials and former politicians have come out strongly against a casino in the city.

Councillor barred from meeting

Councillor Mike Layton caused a stir online Wednesday morning after he claimed he was barred from entering the media-only briefing on a Toronto casino.

Surprised! I was denied access to MGM casino briefing. So was another resident. I guess they don’t want facts to rain on their pretty model

— Mike Layton (@m_layton) March 6, 2013

Layton’s tweet was quickly retweeted 38 times and favourite 3 times.

To read this article from its original source, click here.


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