Q&A - How much does the College pay in rent each month and why?
Posted On: February 19, 2021
For the fifth blog post in our Q&A series, we will tackle a question that has been asked of the College several times over the past few years.
Question: How much does the College pay in rent each month and why?
Today, the College rents 5,710 square feet of office space for $23,000 per month at 150 John Street in Toronto.
There are a few important things you should keep in mind when looking at that figure. The College has 19 staff, all of whom (when not amidst a pandemic) need a place to work, and hold department, staff, Committee and Council meetings. The office is suitably equipped to hold hearings, Committee and Council meetings in person, which we have done for many years. Additionally, we need space to house the information technology infrastructure needed to run the College, including servers and computers. The office also serves as a secure location to store the many files that we have accumulated and inherited from our predecessor organization.
After reading that, you might ask another question: “Why are we in downtown Toronto; isn’t office space cheaper outside of the downtown core?”
We need to exist in downtown Toronto for several important reasons.
Often, the College needs to be physically present at Ontario Government meetings, or with other Colleges, all of which are located downtown for the same reason. We also must be accessible to the people of Ontario, who we are dedicated to serving and protecting, which makes public access an absolute necessity. The College’s location meets that goal completely by not only offering the public a place that’s accessible by car, but also via public transit, GO train, bus services and is wheelchair accessible.
Contrary to popular belief, commercial space in the Greater Toronto Area does not cost less outside of the downtown core. In fact, we were interested in this ourselves, and completed a market survey recently. After completing the survey, the College found that commercial space costs are determined based on the type of building you are in and not based on where you are physically located, at least within the GTA. This changes if you move out of Toronto and into a community such as Hamilton, Peterborough or even Minden – a nonstarter for us, as moving to these locations will drastically reduce the accessibility of the College by Ontarians and NDs.
Commercial buildings are classified by the amenities in the building (for example: what is in the lobby, can you access the subway from it, how often is it cleaned and how extensive is the cleaning etc.). Our current building is classified as a second tier building because it has no substantive lobby, and it is not immediately accessible by the subway but is still nevertheless close to a subway station and has streetcar service.
We’re currently under a lease agreement until the end of February 2023, so our rent isn’t likely to change for the foreseeable future. However, there is good news that we’d like to share with you!
The past year has allowed us to learn a lot about our operations especially while working remotely. With all our staff working from home, many may want to continue that into the future. In addition, most Committees as well as the Council are meeting remotely and they appreciate the flexibility this offers them.
With that in mind, the College’s Director of Operations will begin her search for a new office space early next year (2022). Starting this search early will allow her plenty of time to conduct a detailed search, negotiate a lease and initiate any upgrades the location might require to meet the College’s needs and accessibility requirements. This also gives her and the team about a year to sort out what the future footprint of the College will look like, while determining how much space for staff and meetings are needed, as well as amenity requirements.
Do you have a pressing question you want to ask? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and it could be featured in the next Q&A blog post!
Andrew Parr, CAE
Chief Executive Officer