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Toronto's waterfront makeover a huge money maker, study finds

Waterfront Toronto is doing some bragging about taxpayers’ money being well spent.

It has released a study that finds revitalizing the waterfront has generated more than twice the value of public investment to date.

Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell said it’s been money well spent.

“To date, our public investments have yielded more than twice their value in economic activity, generating $3.2-billion in output for the Canadian economy,” Campbell explained.

The economic study also finds the $1.26-billion public investment over the past 12 years has generated about $620-million in government revenues, $36-million going to the City of Toronto.

And Campbell said the makeover isn’t finished yet.

“There are 44 recent or planned development projects on privately-owned lands across the waterfront and adjacent neighbourhoods,” he said.

Board of trade CEO Carol Wilding said the government money has convinced the private sector to get involved.

“The change is becoming much more visible as each day passes, both on the waterfront and in the neighbouring areas,” Wilding said.

According to developers, the missing link is better public transit. They’re pushing for government money for the Queen’s Quay LRT.

Sam Crignano of Cityzen Development Group, a real estate developer, said that they’re relying on the LRT.

“We’re hopeful that it won’t be long before various levels of government come together and find the money to build this last link of public transit,” Crignano said.