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Getting rid of gravy—i.e., selling off city theatres—is surprisingly complicated

In a story laden with theatre metaphors (natch), the Globe and Mail is reporting that the process of selling off three Toronto theatres is—surprise, surprise—complex. The effort to unload the Sony Centre, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts and the St. Lawrence Centre is part of Rob Ford’s effort to slash city spending and meet an ominous budget shortfall. But although the mayor has characterized filling the budget hole as a simple exercise in cutting spending and finding “efficiencies,” several factors complicate matters. For instance, the city doesn’t have the right to sell off the Toronto Centre for the Arts—apparently, the land would actually be transferred to Ontario Power Generation if the building ceased to serve as a theatre. The Sony Centre is tough to fill, its potential curtailed by a condo development, and according to one investor, who may be interested in purchasing a theatre, “This process could take six to 12 months, minimum.” So much for that simple exercise. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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