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Review OKs Regent Park condo sales to TCHC execs
There was no conflict of interest or preferential treatment in the sale of Regent Park condominium units to Toronto Community Housing Corporation executives, according to a report released Friday.
Norman Purves, chairman of the TCHC board, said a study into the purchases has confirmed that the sales were made in good faith, ending a four-month review into the transactions.
“We took this matter extremely seriously,” Purves said in a statement. “It is essential for the success of revitalization projects at Regent Park and elsewhere that potential buyers, the public and our shareholder, the City of Toronto, have full confidence that processes for selling market condominiums are open, fair and transparent.”
The review, led by former Ontario Superior Court chief justice Patrick LeSage, was launched in April and tasked with looking into the purchases, after allegations were made that TCHC executives received preferential benefits when they bought condo units.
The units were part of revitalization in Toronto’s notoriously poor and crime-ridden Regent Park, Canada’s largest and oldest socially-assisted housing project.
The 15-year, six-phase plan which began in 2005, includes displacing the residents of more than 2,000 units and doubling the density to 5,115 units housing 12,500 people.
The sparkling new units in modern condo towers are replacing the crumbling low-rise, high-rise and townhouse buildings that have defined the park for decades.
Units in one of the redeveloped buildings, at One Cole Street, were put up for sale in May 2009. Among those who purchased the units were TCHC’s then-CEO Derek Ballantyne and then-CFO Gordon Chu. Both individuals have since left the company.
Some people associated with the Daniels Corporation, which partnered with the TCHC in the development, also purchased condo units.
In his report released Friday, LeSage found that TCHC executives were not in a conflict of interest when buying the property and that no one received any benefit or preference in the buying process.
The report also found that executives and family members of the Daniels Corporation received only the benefits they were entitled to receive in the purchase.
Loan programs created to help Regent Park residents purchase new units were not improperly accessed, the report also said.