CBC Sells Surplus Broadcast Centre Lands in Toronto

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) sold the surplus vacant lands adjacent to its downtown Toronto Broadcast Centre. The purchasers were Ontrea Inc. and the Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. (CFCL), the two principal real estate subsidiaries of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
CFCL had previously constructed Simcoe Place, an office and related retail complex in the south-eastern corner of the block anchored by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board office tower. With the sale of the surplus lands, related long-term leases of Simcoe Place were amended so that, inter alia, an affiliate of CFCL was granted an option to purchase the land from CBC at the end of the term of its lease.

The combined transactions closed on December 1, 2003, and will allow Simcoe Place to be developed into a mixed-use complex featuring residential, commercial and retail buildings, while giving CBC needed revenue and savings to re-deploy towards operations and programming. The value of the transaction is confidential.

CBC was represented in-house by Pierre Nollet, vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary; and by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, with a team that included Gregory Howard, Jeffrey Lem and Brian Clark (real estate) and Andrew Welsh (corporate). Tax advice was provided in-house by Michael Mooney, senior director, strategic initiatives and resource planning; and by Stephen Ruby and John Zinn of DWPV.

Ontrea and CFCL were represented in-house by Peter Barbetta, executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary; and by Goodmans LLP, with a team that included Stephen Belgue and Monica Mraz (acquisitions and the lease amendments) and Mark Noskiewicz and Judy Bates worked concurrently on the municipal applications necessary for the development of the new Simcoe Place. Tax advice to the purchasers was provided by Lois Miles, vice-president, taxation, CFCL; and by David Smith, Q.C., and Neal Armstrong (tax) of DWPV.

Teachers’ was represented in-house by Michael Padfield, counsel, investments; and by Paul Mantini and Kyle Genga of Bennett Jones LLP in connection with certain intercorporate debt issues raised by the combined transactions. The interests of WSIB in the transaction were represented by in-house counsel Elizabeth Brown; and assisted by Edmund Smith of Aird & Berlis LLP. The Standard Life Assurance Co., which amended its leasehold mortgage over the WSIB office tower in order to accommodate the lease amendments, was represented by Jim Hilton and Elizabeth Phalen of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

TD Realty and TD Bank were represented by Fred Rubinoff of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in connection with certain matters relating to their role in the amendment of that leasehold mortgage. The Broadcast Centre Trust, the long-term ground tenant of the neighbouring Broadcast Centre site, was represented by Thomas von Hahn (real estate) of Blake, Cassels & Graydon.