U of T looks to feds for stadium funding
By Maureen Finn
The University of Toronto plans on building a new sports complex
that will cost upwards of $120-million — and it is counting
on government funding for construction.
Jon Dellandrea, U of T’s VP-development and chief advancement
officer, said discussions about building the new facility began
several months ago, stemming from an unsuccessful student referendum
a few years back to revitalize the existing facility.
“The new stadium would accommodate our student community
as well as the community outside the university,” Dellandrea
said, adding the facility would be used by the Toronto Maple
Leafs for practice time, by the Toronto Argonauts for their
pre-season games and by the Canadian Soccer Association.
He said the project would have a substantial equity operation
with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “MLSE would
help build and run the facility. The funding we hope will come
to the university from the federal government would essentially
allow us to be partners in the project,” he explained,
adding the funding the university hopes to receive would likely
come from a grant awarded by the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure
Sam Boonstra, manager of communications for the Canada-Ontario
Infrastructure Program, said there is no application being
considered for U of T. He said the program represents a $680-million
federal investment for municipal infrastructure in Ontario.
“We have already announced $585-million for projects
previously identified to us. The remaining funds have been
earmarked for projects that we are reviewing,” Boonstra
“U of T may be seeking alternative means of federal
funding,” he explained, “possibly through a national
“The broad vision from a provincial and federal standpoint
is that this is good for the city, the revitalization of Bloor
St., U of T and the community,” Dellandrea said.
Ted Garrard, VP external affairs at Western, said Western
received a very small grant toward the building of TD Waterhouse
Stadium in 2001. “A portion of funding from the federal
and provincial governments to the 2001 Canada Summer Games
was directed to the cost of the stadium,” he said, adding
the majority of funding came from private donors, along with
the $3-million in federal funding.
Garrard said the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Program did
not exist when the stadium was built. “These programs
come and go; besides, we were already receiving funding from
the government so they wouldn’t have provided more anyway.”