The transformative Durham Live entertainment and tourism destination is a step closer to development as the proponents of a premier casino resort at the site announced they will proceed towards municipal permitting.
Durham Live is a major capital investment that is expected to create a total of more than 10,000 new local jobs while bringing a multi-dimensional cultural, tourist and commercial centre to Durham Region. The Durham Live site, strategically located off Highway 401, is well situated to create a critical mass of commercial operations that will drive visitation, including an indoor water park, film studios, hotels, convention space, and other uses.
The casino resort will be a significant draw, with integrated gaming, hospitality, retail, restaurants, and entertainment amenities. It is being developed by Ontario Gaming GTA LP (“OGGLP”), a partnership between Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (“Great Canadian Gaming”), one of Canada’s leading gaming services operator with 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities across Canada and the US, and Toronto-based Brookfield Business Partners, the flagship listed business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (“Brookfield”).
The casino resort alone is anticipated to employ approximately 2,000 staff. This represents 1,700 new jobs, in addition to the existing team members at Casino Ajax who will transfer over once the new resort opens.
“We look forward to welcoming our existing team members to join us at the new facility once construction is complete, along with 1,700 new members of our family,” said Rod Baker, President and CEO, Great Canadian Gaming. “Investing hundreds of millions of private sector dollars in the Durham Region economy will mean more construction and operations jobs for people in Ajax and Pickering, more procurement opportunities for local companies, more tourism in the region, and more government revenues to support communities.”
“Great Canadian Gaming is Canada’s leading gaming operator, and Brookfield has unmatched experience delivering transformational developments. Their shared vision for a world-class casino resort is one of the most exciting aspects of the Durham Live development,” said Steve Apostolopoulos, Managing Partner of Toronto-based Triple Properties, the developer of Durham Live. “We are delighted to have partners of such high calibre as an anchor of our project, and a catalyst for the significant economic and employment benefits that Durham Live will deliver as it elevates the entertainment experience in the region.”
In August 2017, OGGLP was selected as the successful proponent by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (“OLG”) to operate three gaming facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, now branded as Casino Woodbine, Casino Ajax, and Great Blue Heron Casino, with the exclusive right to operate these assets for a minimum period of 22 years. As part of the significantly expanded gaming and entertainment options under development as part of Durham Live, Casino Ajax will relocate when the casino resort at Durham Live is operational in late 2019. OGGLP has recently been given permission to move forward with municipal permitting from the City of Pickering.