A new development by Di Poce Management Ltd. (DPML) and Live Work Learn Play Inc. is proposing to turn 130 acres of underutilized land in the Town of Collingwood, Ont. into Canada’s first-ever fully integrated regional health and wellness village.
In mid-December, DPML and the Town of Collingwood executed a development agreement, taking a step closer to building the Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village.
The project includes up to 30 acres of land owned by John Di Poce. He committed to donate the land as a community benefit for a new regional hospital campus for Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH). The hospital redevelopment scope and location are pending provincial approval, a Town of Collingwood release stated.
The fully executed development agreement, which took over a year of collaboration between parties, also outlines the planning process for the village and key community benefits encompassing park and trail development and activation, two acres for a future Town of Collingwood fire station and a commitment to deliver a minimum 10 per cent mix of attainable and affordable housing.
The village would be located at 7120 and 7200 Poplar Side Road and includes a mixed-use community focused on health care, sports medicine, well-being, recreation and environmental sustainability.
The master concept plan would be comprised of seven distinct districts, which consists of more than 2,200 purpose-built workforce and supportive residential housing units; more than two million square feet of non-residential development, including a large-scale health-based institutional anchor; five kilometres of trails and an estimated 19 acres of environmentally protected green recreation space. It will also include one million square feet of medical health and wellness services and 600,000 square feet of office, research and innovation uses.
The total development value for the project during construction is $1.65 billion. It is expected to create 16,000 construction jobs and contribute $1.95 billion to the GDP.
“We are thrilled to take this next step with the Town of Collingwood toward making this project a reality. This milestone allows us to begin advancing the next steps of the approvals process and also represents the continued opportunity to bring strategic partnerships to the forefront that our team has been working on over the past year and longer,” said Armando Lopes, vice-president of development at DPML, in a statement.
During a special meeting held in November 2022, Collingwood council passed a resolution related to a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) to facilitate the development of the wellness village. The MZO allows the minister of municipal affairs and housing to adjust the zoning on lands outside of the traditional land use planning process and is used to accelerate development decisions with significant provincial interests.
According to the resolution, council reserves the right to request the ministry revoke the MZO should the owner fail to develop the project generally in accordance with the vision endorsed by council or the draft development agreement does not become final.
Council and staff will be engaging in stakeholder and Indigenous consultation as they go through the development process, including block planning, plan of subdivision and site plan process.
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