A proposed Toronto hockey arena is being replaced by a marijuana production facility
A forthcoming Scarborough complex that was slated to include a hockey arena is now instead going to house a cannabis production plant.
The initial proposal for the vacant lot at 756 Warden Avenue near Eglinton Avenue East had hockey fans in the community excited about a new place to hit the ice.
The new 85,000-square-foot training facility with two ice rinks was announced in early 2018 and was due to be completed sometime in 2020.
The project was also going to feature a second building with 60,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space for office and retail, as well as ample parking comprising half of the lot.
City Councillors and athletes from the area were openly enthusiastic about the concept, noting the obvious benefit it would have for the neighbourhood amid a rink shortage. There were even renderings released to the public of what the potential arena's exterior was going to look like.
But an application was filed last month to rezone the property to include a two-storey building "containing a medical marijuana production facility," as well as a second two-storey building for offices and retail.
The new application also proposes a one-storey retail building, and an additional one-storey building for both restaurant and retail uses. But there is no mention of a sports facility or anything similar.
Nearly 31,000 square feet of the total 145,000 square feet in the proposed development is dedicated to the weed plant, which will have two labs, quarantine and extraction areas, shipping and delivery facilities, office space, a security room and more.
The zoning amendment application cites the same companies that were behind the initial rink proposal: Bousfields Inc. on behalf of Superview International Inc., and SRN Architects.
There will be a community consultation meeting about the proposal with Scarborough Centre councillor Michael Thompson at a future date to be determined, likely early next year. Our bet is that residents won't be too happy.
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