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City says no to more leasing at Toronto Broadcast Centre

The City of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment has denied the CBC’s application to lease up to 30% of the Toronto Broadcast Centre to outside businesses. In making their decision, committee members spoke passionately about the value of the CBC and urged the Corporation to seek necessary funding on Parliament Hill and not on Toronto’s commercial real estate market.

The Guild’s national president Lise Lareau and CBC branch president Arnold Amber presented the Guild’s concerns to the committee.

“We understand the funding problem at the CBC, but we don’t think that turning the CBC into a commercial landlord is a reasonable long-term solution to that challenge,” Lareau said. “Once you lose the capacity to do the full range of broadcasting activities in the building, you never get it back.”

The Guild pointed out that the CBC application was contrary to the by-law passed in 1988, which established the primacy of public broadcasting activities in the building. Under the CBC proposal, approximately 30% of useable space in the building could have been rented out. The CBC had already listed the building, indicating that the entire sixth and seventh floors were available, as well as parts of two underground floors.

Also speaking to the importance of retaining the building for broadcast activities were renowned radio producer Max Allen, a retired CBC employee, and actor Karl Pruner, the president of ACTRA’s Toronto Council.

The options now open to the CBC include appealing the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board or seeking a by-law amendment, a move the committee members suggested was most appropriate in order to ensure a full public debate about the fate of the building.

The Guild would be happy to sit down with CBC management to discuss both the funding challenge and appropriate use of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.

For more information, please contact the Guild (guild@interlog.com) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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