News

Liberals ink deal to sell LCBO HQ

By Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun

George Soleas, Acting president and CEO of the Liquor Board of Control and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa at announcement of sale of Queen's Quay LCBO property for $260 Million in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday May 5, 2016. Michael Peake/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

George Soleas, Acting president and CEO of the Liquor Board of Control and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa at announcement of sale of Queen's Quay LCBO property for $260 Million in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday May 5, 2016. Michael Peake/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

TORONTO - 

Ontario has sold off the LCBO’s Toronto headquarters for $260 million.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced Thursday that the Grits have secured the multi-million dollar deal with Menkes Developments Ltd. for the 11-acre piece of waterfront land.

The provincial government has long vowed to sink the money from the sale into infrastructure, and Sousa stressed in his announcement that the money will most certainly go towards that.

“We’ve reached an agreement to maximize the value of these properties to help fund Ontario’s ... new infrastructure,” said Sousa, who added that the GTA will benefit from the sale.

He also said there will be “another transaction which will be made clear in the coming days between Toronto, Menkes and the LCBO ... and the people of Toronto will be well-served because of this transaction.”

Sousa did not go into great detail when asked what Menkes plans to do with the land, except to say it would include the LCBO’s new headquarters and retail outlet through a long-term lease with the buyer.

The site’s heritage designation will remain intact, Sousa stressed.

In a release, Menkes stated development will include “employment, retail, and residential uses.”

Ontario PC MPP and finance critic Vic Fedeli said in a statement that the sale “is further evidence of the government using temporary measures to artificially balance the budget.”

He accused the Liberals of “playing the same shell-game with this revenue as they did with the revenue from the sale of Hydro One.”

The property, a prime piece of real estate in the Queens Quay E. and Yonge St. area, was said to be worth at least $200 million.

Selling the property is part of the Ontario Liberals’ plan to sell off certain assets to help chip away at the province’s ballooning budget.

Sousa said the deal is expected to close this summer.

TDavidson@postmedia.com