Toronto, July 18, 2007 - When Council last night approved the WoodbineLive! project in north Etobicoke’s Rexdale community, it was the first time that a local employment strategy had been bundled into a major private development. The WoodbineLive! development is expected to generate approximately 10,000 jobs across a variety of economic sectors, including the construction industry, office services and the entertainment, hotel, hospitality and retail sectors.

A unique partnership of local academic institutions, labour, community service providers and residents has joined with Woodbine Entertainment and the City to form the Woodbine Employment Strategy Task Force. The task force will develop an employment strategy that will assist local residents to be first in line for employment opportunities; be prepared for jobs in growing sectors of Toronto’s economy; and leverage resources from other orders of government. Dialogue and consultations with community members and stakeholders will inform the work of the task force and provide ongoing opportunities for community members to have input into the strategy. A draft terms of reference document will be ready shortly.

CORD (Community Organizing for Responsible Development), along with more than 30 other members of the Woodbine Employment Strategy Task Force, has advocated for developing a local strategy and brings a strong local voice to the project to ensure that WoodbineLive! will be responsive to long-term community needs.

“This is an exciting way of doing business,” said Mayor David Miller. “We’re building a community oriented employment strategy into a major development - and most importantly, we’re doing it in collaboration with area residents. With our partners, we’re succeeding in creating opportunity to ensure that no one is left behind.”

The WoodbineLive! development proposal was endorsed by the Etobicoke York Community Council in June 2007. Project plans call for the development to capitalize and expand on the tourism potential of the Woodbine Racetrack, with a new unique entertainment destination consisting of live entertainment venues, high-quality restaurants, shopping, office space and residential units.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Kyle Benham, Director of Business Development and Retention, 416-397-5309