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June 25, 2002 By Michael Cayley, BPR, APMCP Vice President, ClickIQ, Inc. 416-462-1859 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 25, 2002
The Toronto City Summit c/o The Canadian Urban Institute 55 John St., Suite 303 Toronto, Ontario M4K 1W8 RE: Michael Cayley, Presentation for Toronto City Summit I would like to thank Chairman Crombie and the Canadian Urban Institute for their invitation to attend and offer input at the Toronto City Summit. I have focused my presentation on the Toronto waterfront revitalization for three reasons: The concentration of effort around the Toronto waterfront is the spearhead of the drive to reinvent Toronto. If we get this right, the remainder of the broader Toronto agenda will be easier to accomplish. My particular combination of skills and experience are best applied to the specific challenges facing the Toronto waterfront revitalization effort. After reviewing a wide body of quality planning and research on Toronto, I have found only a few areas where I believe additional input may add significant value to the process. I have attempted to address only these areas.
This presentation is based on years of personal experience working in related areas of international real estate and business development, marketing and management. Please contact me if you would like further background information. Best Regards,
Table of Contents
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Ideas Central to the Management of this Popular Movement
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Popular Actions that Emerge from these Central Ideas
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Conclusion: Thirty Years in a Moment?
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Background on Michael Cayley
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The body of work that is organized around the initiative to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront is thorough, professional and impressive. Yet there is still a need to accelerate the momentum of this work, actually utilize all the information that has been prepared and execute on the plan. This paper contains input on the management required to achieve these goals as well as a more encompassing Canadian cultural agenda. The following exposition is not a typical business document. It has more in common with the kind of rationale and planning that goes into inciting a riot than an urban plan. Nor is this document about leadership. This paper addresses the mechanics involved in creating a popular movement that will support the drive to reinvent Toronto, not the more complex issues involved in leadership. This document advances the proposition that if powerful ideas are articulated and promoted, at the right time, within a receptive context, there are opportunities to create popular movements that are more than passing moments of public involvement. It is possible to achieve positive inflection points of culture1 that change the way a society acts and is perceived. These points are an essential part of nation building. Expo 67 is one of the best Canadian examples of this concept. At the beginning of the 21st century, Canada is about to orchestrate a CDN $12-17 billion investment in a concentrated area of it’s most economically vibrant region. This is an act of nation building. There is a great deal of consensus that many aspects of this investment will be popular. The ideas that Toronto’s waterfront has enormous potential and that people would enjoy waterfront activities are popular. Almost everyone agrees that exploring this potential has been delayed long enough and that the time to make change is now. The ideas, timing and receptive context are in place for a popular movement to occur. If the leaders of the Toronto waterfront revitalization add to these conditions ideas that encompass more than the tasks at hand, and if these ideas are articulated and promoted by their management actions, then there is an opportunity to create a cultural inflection point that will position Canadians to be more globally competitive than we are now. To achieve this, the management approach must be personal and it must relate well to mass audiences. To attempt to illustrate this approach, the document is composed in a personal manner with frequent references to pop culture and promotional language. The writing style should not obscure the substantial suggestions that are advanced here, such as:
“a strategic inflection point is when the balance of forces shifts from the old structure, from the old ways of doing business and the old ways of competing, to the new. Before the strategic inflection point, the industry simply was more like the old. After it, it is more like the new. It is a point where the curve has subtly but profoundly changed, never to change back again.” Andrew Grove, Intel CEO and Co-Founder, 1996
Economic forces from Asia, Latin America and Africa that can overwhelm the position that Canada enjoys in the world, are shaping the competitive environment of the 21st century. The Canadian need to respond and participate in this new world order is urgent. The re-development of Toronto’s waterfront can do much to foster and mobilize Canadians who are prepared to embrace change and make the most of moments of opportunity. These abilities are imperative to maintaining and improving Canada’s competitive position. To accomplish this cultural agenda three Central Ideas are suggested: o Toronto’s Waterfront is a global scale opportunity. How Canada executes on this opportunity will be a dramatic illustration of ability that will define Canada on the world stage. o The New Canadian Edge, symbolized at Toronto’s water’s edge, can be a new cultural trait of Canadians, characterized by a practice of using global benchmarks to set Canadian expectations and measure our performance. This new cultural trait can be embedded within the Canadian identity through the management of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization. The successes of financings utilizing publicprivate partnership models that maintain the trust of Canadians are particularly critical to this potential. o “Only Together” – A Consortium Approach: The use of purpose driven alliances and consortiums (such as public-private partnership financing models) are a key strategy to help Canadian businesses scale to international opportunities. Promoting this strategy should be a major theme of the Toronto waterfront revitalization.
Specific Actions, which emerge from these Central Ideas, are recommended: The Canadian Convergence & Consortium Centre: The existing concept of Convergence should be broadened to include the concept of consortiums of all kinds. Fostering innovation and organizing around emerging digital media opportunities is a good idea. This same approach and thinking needs to be applied to expanding the kinds of international opportunities Canadian businesses can scale to address. Popular Financing Options are important to the cultural agenda described in this document. Therefore the sale of public land and less popular financing options like road tolls and parking fees should be limited or avoided. The Canadian Engine Account: Long term Federal & Provincial tax concessions will make land leases more attractive, raising the level of revenues anticipated from these leases. Profits from developments that benefit from these concessions could be encouraged to reinvest in Canada. This structure could make the virtues of investing in Toronto visible and measurable for all Canadians.
Canadian corporations could take a consortium approach to provide sponsorships that would assist in financing the Toronto waterfront revitalization. Structures to encourage this could be engineered. In order to accomplish the cultural agenda described in this document, communications related to Toronto’s waterfront revitalization must be managed in ways that surpass the expectations of the various communities involved. The movement needs a distinctive graphic identity and brand. Customer Relationship Management and Project Management software can support community outreach that goes beyond traditional public consultation and media relations methods. A time limited, telecom & cable infrastructure monopoly could be another financing alternative for the Toronto waterfront revitalization. An environment with a guaranteed period of protection from market fragmentation and copycat competition will attract and incubate innovation.
Conclusion: Thirty Years in a Moment? It is widely recognized that Expo 67 was a nation-building event for Canada. Changes in the perception of Sydney, both inside Australia and internationally, are a good example of the similar effect that can result from hosting the Olympics. While the Toronto waterfront revitalization does not have deadlines or focal point events, and the leaders involved will come and go during the anticipated thirty-year redevelopment period, it is an important act of nation building for Canada. In fact, undertaking such an ambitious, all encompassing agenda, that is inherently ambiguous, is an essential part of mature nation building. Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia is one example of how powerful central ideas that were articulated and promoted at the right time, within a receptive context, have been able to guide the management of the project for over a century. Sagrada Familia consistently and continuously communicates messages about the people of Catalonia. Catalonia is also a good example of how the fortune of nations can change. Canadians should not take their economic good fortune and position in the world for granted.
Toronto’s Waterfront: The New Canadian Edge “Only Together” Introduction:
While helping to materialize the vision of a 410-acre waterfront development in Shanghai during the most frenetic years of that city’s drive for re-emergence on the world stage, I often told a story that dramatically contrasted the activity there with the rate of change in Toronto. In my story I noted that in Shanghai, between the beginning of 1995 and the end of 2000, two subway lines (including an underwater tunnel), a new International Airport, 50 km of six lane expressway, a 2.3 km underwater expressway, almost 3 million square metres of Grade A commercial office space and one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, were scheduled to be completed (and they were). In contrast, over the course of the year after my birth in July of 1966, and during each year since, you could most certainly have picked up a Toronto newspaper and read a story about how the debate raged on (and on) about the addition of one new subway line in Canada’s largest city. Admittedly, the comparison was unfair. Shanghai’s pattern of development is not a model to emulate. After all, that city was virtually asleep during 50 years of purposeful neglect. Toronto has delivered on a number of transit solutions during my lifetime and if I had included the five years prior to my birth, or a handful of years during the 1920s, my comparison would have encompassed more impressive times for the TTC. On the other hand, points from this comparison, made by a typically self-deprecating Canadian businessperson to a target audience of senior decision makers from all over the world, were not lost. Change in Shanghai was (and continues to be) awesome. Imagine this: 17% of the world’s tower crane supply in use; US$112 billion of investment over 10 years in an area almost the exact same size as Toronto; 10% of the world’s commercial construction underway; 17 million people in the city focused on one mission - Re-establishing Shanghai as The World’s Leading City. The irrepressible economic force of a mobilized China, as it manifests in the redevelopment of Shanghai, easily belittles the wildest dreams of possibilities in any Canadian city. Forces like this – from Asia, Latin America and eventually Africa - are shaping the 21st century that we (Canada and Toronto) must compete in. Our need to respond to and participate in this new world order is urgent. We can be leaders on the forefront of these waves of change or the currents can sweep us under.
Since returning to Toronto in April of 2001, I have closely observed both the ultimatum and rare opportunity that this city, and in turn Canada, is attempting to address. I have reviewed many of the ideas, studies, plans and proposed designs and weighed the history, politics, financial interests and competing local agendas that are enmeshed in this effort. The quality and depth of thought that has been dedicated, and the consensus that exists, is impressive. Disagreement exists on how to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront but legitimate voices, like the Chairman of the TD Bank Financial Group, our most influential newspapers, our political leaders, urban planners and most importantly, the thousands of citizens who have offered input during public consultations, clearly agree that the context is right and the time is now. From time to time, I have offered input through the public consultation process and private channels. However, even with the mountains of planning documents and voices of authority that are successfully driving the process forward leading up to this month’s Toronto City Summit, I believe there is a management strategy and approach that needs to be articulated and placed firmly at the centre of any successful drive to position Toronto as a pre-eminent global city. That is, The WILL of the People - of Toronto and Canada - must be at the heart of this movement. This premise is not just important to the popular idea of redeveloping Toronto’s waterfront. The fact that creating a great place to boat, bike, hike and sip lattes is popular is simply one of the reasons this opportunity is so important to Canada. More important is the fact that the revitalization effort at Toronto’s waterfront can do much to foster and mobilize a Canadian People who are prepared to embrace change and make the world’s best of moments of opportunity. It is imperative that innovation and the ability to execute on world-class plans be definitive of Canada’s place in the future. Toronto’s waterfront is a litmus test of Canadian readiness. We are about to make the largest concentrated investment ever in how the world perceives this country. This is a rare moment of opportunity. How we will behave during this moment, whether we create something that is the best in the world or a famous failure, will define us. The management strategy and approach of the Toronto waterfront needs to usher Canada through this moment. The following input is designed to address this need. In my opinion, the management of the Toronto waterfront revitalization can make considerable contribution towards creating a Canadian culture that is characterized by world-class competitiveness and the abilities to innovate and execute on opportunities. In other words, A New Canadian Edge can be achieved.
The Potential for a Cultural Inflection Point Mass audiences can be prompted to respond, with action, together. This can be simple. For example, an aging rocker can shout from a stage, “How are you feelin’ tonight Toronto?”, and thousands can scream (hopefully with pleasure) in response. This process can also be very sophisticated and properly crafted for critical, intelligent publics. For example, a modern election campaign might document a proposed agenda in a “Red Book” or capture a popular desire with the notion of a “Common Sense Revolution”. The very best popular movements – the kind of movements that can change the way a society acts and is perceived in the world – are always shaped by powerful ideas that are poignantly articulated and promoted, at the right time, within a receptive context. Expo 67 is the best Canadian example of this concept. “By the time the gates of Expo are closed six months from now, its success will have made all Canadians prouder of our own country than ever before; and more conscious of the interdependence and the brotherhood of all men and all nations.” – Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson, Opening Remarks, Montreal, Expo 1967 As you consider the following ideas advanced as central to a popular movement that is good for Canada’s future, I request that you begin with two assumptions based upon the existing consensus. The context is right and the time is now. Please - before you review these ideas, focus on this: I am merely proposing that management of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization must constantly and consistently encompass ideas that go far beyond issues like: how we are going to pay for this, where new building will go and what the highways will look like. If we do this right, we can articulate and promote ideas that will make Canada better. That is something that all Canadians want more than improvement of Toronto’s waterfront.
Ideas Central to the Management of this Popular Movement:
Idea One: Toronto’s Waterfront: The Time & Place to Realize Canada in the 21st Century It is the beginning of the 21st Century. Canada is leading the G8 in growth. Canadians have endured a long period of fiscal restraint and we feel like we have some change in our pockets. Canadians like Alanis Morrissette, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 are part of a global culture, our country has the corner on comedy worldwide and we just put in our most impressive performance ever at the Winter Olympics. Now it is time to do something really impressive.
We need to be smart about this though. This “something” needs to be impressive on a global scale, but we need to set up some goal posts that are favorable to our cause. It needs to be within our means. Financial ingenuity and management will be critical to overall credibility. To get the kind of global attention we want, the geography and time span of our undertaking should be monumental, but progress should be measurable, even obvious. It should be bigger and happen faster than anyone expects. It would be great if the change could be captured in a photo opportunity. Above all, at its end it must appear as a work of art. Envision Toronto’s Waterfront as the poster child for Canada’s position in the 21st century. At its best, managing Toronto’s waterfront must be entirely about accomplishing what is right for Toronto. It must not fail in accomplishing this because the act of executing on this opportunity is critical to Toronto’s development and the global perception of Canada. To undertake and accomplish this ambitious agenda at Toronto’s waterfront because we want to and because we can, rather than because we are faced with an Olympic deadline, makes it that much more impressive. Our messages about Canadian abilities can be communicated through our accomplishments at Toronto’s waterfront. Canada invited the world to come and see what Canadians were capable of at Expo 67. This is the kind of platform on which we can send a generation of internationally astute Canadians out into world. Our decisions to invite diversity, respect the environment and local interests, and invest in quality of life for all is a model for global development and an enviable success. Canadians know how and they do it. Idea Two: The New Canadian Edge: The Cultural Legacy There is the rub – what is “an enviable success”? Who sets the benchmarks? I love the fact that when my wife & I visited Barcelona last March, we walked the waterfront there comparing it to what is possible in Toronto. When I left Canada for China, Toronto did not capture my imagination in any way. If a time emerges when it is natural for anyone who has the good fortune to walk the waterfronts of Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Singapore or any major city, to compare that city to what was accomplished in Toronto, then we will have a success on our hands. More fundamentally, if it becomes Canadian nature to make these kinds of comparisons, comparisons of Canadian actions that are benchmarked against the best in the world, we will have developed a culture that is ready to succeed in the 21st century.
If we manage it right, Toronto’s waterfront revitalization can be the event that indoctrinates Canadians with this culture and embeds it within the Canadian identity. Too often we define ourselves in terms of the United States. Recently there are lessons to be learned from our neighbors on this issue, but not many will argue that American cities are known as a model for success. To do this job right we must look all over the world for examples. With this kind of global perspective, Toronto haters, common from coast to coast in this country, especially our now mostly urban, well educated youth, may come to prize the city, rather than see it as a place apart from the rest of Canada, or some second choice to New York or California to “do their time” away from their hometowns. Ideally, a national perspective will emerge, with Toronto as its proof that good intentions, smart plans and earnest actions can be applied to different contexts across the country. And in each of these contexts, we, as Canadians, have the know-how and confidence to create something globally unique. The seed of this new culture must take root first amongst Torontonians, most importantly within the leadership of our private and public sectors. Toronto must have the financial ability and authority to manage its emergence, so Ottawa and Queen’s Park supporting roles are vital. But the city’s power as a constituency already exists at all levels of government. Concentrating this power on our agenda of choice is the responsibility of Torontonians. A Canadian culture of lobbying government is already well entrenched. All efforts are mobilized. The Canadian Establishment’s tradition of bending government’s ear is in full gear. Backroom wheels are clearly turning and Toronto’s ship is set to come in with a series of government reforms that will provide the financial latitude for Toronto to do it’s best – or its worst. The City of Toronto has much to do in order to fulfill the promise of amalgamation. In addition, any new funding authority granted from senior levels of government must be accompanied by corresponding responsibility to ensure that taxpayers will receive value for their money. However, these issues are better addressed in TD Economics’ May 22, 2002 Special Report on Toronto. Far more important, is the management of The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. The hope for a new era of public-private partnerships will sink or sail with this experimental design. Fortunately, this corporation is at the centre of a global network of private and public interests. Particularly during this experiment, deviations from plan must be explained and the standards of management must raise the bar of expectations. Fiascos in the finances of major public projects are a breach of trust. If the confidence of the Public is undermined in this way, a common belief that we can all be better will be shattered. Conversely, if this belief is fostered and promoted by globally benchmarked performance during the financial management of Toronto’s waterfront, great strides can be made towards a cultural legacy that is critical to Canada’s future.
Idea Three: “Only Together”: The Consortium Approach Let’s help our fellow lobsters out of the pot. As we enter an era of public-private partnership financing models, we must all recognize that if we want our business leadership to be involved, then we must allow for commercial rates of return on their investments. While we recognize that small business is the lion of the Canadian economy, we cannot use small business yardsticks when we are considering the merit of global size project financing. As referenced earlier, Shanghai experienced an investment of US $112 billion over a ten year period. In contrast, the Canada wide infrastructure program that helped bring Prime Minister Chretien to power in 1993 was CDN $6 billion. The entire waterfront investment contemplated by The Fung Report is CDN $12-17 billion over a much longer period. Canadian governments cannot finance all aspects of development in Canada alone. It is beyond their financial means. To compete on a financial scale that is illustrated by Shanghai, the private and public sectors in Canada must work together through a variety of innovative structures. However, as we put our taxpayers on the cash flow statements of these project financings and open their pension fund savings to the cause, we must maintain the fiduciary trust that is expected of world-class investment managers. Canadian providers of financial services must be expected to table globally competitive offerings. It is a good idea to incubate these new kinds of expertise within Canadian businesses and provide them with the early stage support they need to enter global markets from a position of strength. But if this is the business case, then it must be the business practice. When the Public plays an early adopter role, it should receive terms and conditions that recognize this role. If one of our objectives is to incubate international expertise, then proposals from Canadian businesses who have proven themselves internationally should receive priority. In fact, terms and conditions that insist that the opportunity to participate in Toronto waterfront related financings be leveraged into international market entries may be considered. On this point, “international” markets could come to mean more than a preoccupation with the United States. As the only Canadian to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, I obviously see no weaknesses in doing business with Americans. In fact, a strategy of serving American businesses abroad could play upon a Canadian strength and expand our trade internationally. However, it is in the Canadian interest to diversify our trade base. This could be encouraged through the way we structure our public-private partnerships.
Public-Private partnerships are just one example of a consortium approach to business. Beyond major project financing, let the model of new and international consortium approaches be a major theme of the way business is done at Toronto’s waterfront. It is easy to believe that Canadians are not entrepreneurial on a global scale when you look for our active international businesses beyond the North American or commodity markets. But take another look. There are many Canadians doing business internationally, however, they may not typically be working for Canadian corporations. One of the key reasons that we do not find more Canadian businesses active in international markets beyond the United States is because the cost of exploring and executing in these distant and more difficult markets does not fit with our small business economy. At the same time Canadian small business thrift and pragmatism, along with our reputation for multiculturalism, tolerance and mutual respect, can be competitive advantages in these settings. A key strategy to help Canadian businesses scale to these international opportunities is the use of purpose driven alliances and consortiums. Promoting this business trend is consistent with the kind of thinking that is behind the notion of a Convergence Centre which is simply a place dedicated to fostering innovative organizing around opportunities related to digital media.
Popular Actions that Emerge from these Central Ideas:
If we accept that our agenda at Toronto’s waterfront must encompass more than issues like how we are going to pay for this, where new building will go and what the highways will look like, then powerful central ideas (perhaps like the ones proposed above) will be incorporated into the management strategy and approach to be taken. These ideas will then shape what we propose to do. Some suggestions that demonstrate how the Central Ideas proposed here could be supported and promoted through management actions follow: The Canadian Convergence & Consortium Centre: Add the idea of “Consortium” to the idea of a Convergence Centre that is already an aspect of the overall plan. Make sure the Centre incorporates an office “hotel” concept that facilitates the agile needs of purpose driven alliances and consortiums. This means making shared office support services like Internet bandwidth, instant temporary IP address provision (i.e. plug & play Internet service), meeting rooms, short term office space, presentation equipment and proposal centre services part of the plan. Create a pool of capital to help finance Canadian business participation in international consortiums.
No Sale of Publicly Held Lands: Much has been said about the rare opportunity that is present in Toronto because over 70% of the land to be re-developed under the Waterfront Plan is publicly held. The wholesale transfer of this land from public to private hands would be a breach of the public trust. The finances that are to be raised from transactions regarding this land can be realized with long-term leases that have land use definitions. A commitment to maintain public ownership of all of this land can be made with little impact on the financial case. The Edge Zone: Brand and promote different aspects of the project in ways that support the Central Ideas and encourage positive perceptions of the project. Currently the graphic identity of Toronto is built around an image of City Hall. The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization will be the largest concentration of investment in an international identity that Canada will ever make. We must seize this opportunity. For example, “The Edge Zone” could describe the area within The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation’s mandate. The special fast tracking of development approvals needed to make things happen at “Edge Speed” could be labeled the “Edge Approval Track”. Is it not better to be developing an internationally renowned Edge than a “Dig”? (“The Dig” is the name that has been adopted for the tunnel project in Boston.) If we do not create and manage the identity for our city, others will. If this happens, our chances of maintaining positive messages deteriorate. The Canadian Engine Account: The Canadian public is being asked to buy into the idea that investing in Toronto is important to all of Canada because Toronto is “Canada’s Primary Economic Locomotive” (TD Economics, May 22). This is true, so why not incorporate this idea into the financing plan? For example, if Developers prefer, they may realize profits from their developments within The Edge Zone in the normal fashion. That is, they may consolidate these profits with their overall operations domestically or repatriate these profits outside of Canada. Alternatively, they could be offered the option of depositing before tax profits from Edge Zone developments into a Federal and Provincial tax-free Canadian Engine Account (municipal taxes would need to be paid). These funds may be re-invested at the Developer’s discretion within Canada. Ideally, funds will be re-invested according to a formula that is proportional to the level of tax concession by each level of government. For example, if the Provincial Government makes 45% of the concession, then 45% of the overall Engine Account investment would need to be made in Ontario but outside of Toronto (since the original tax concession was already exercised in Toronto). The tax concessions will make land leases in the Edge Zone more attractive, raising values by a factor related to the anticipated concession value. If the concession period is long enough, there will be considerable impact on the anticipated revenue from land leases. All across Canada local programs could be designed to attract Canadian Engine Investment Funds. After all, there are attractive investments to be found all over Canada. This approach will make the virtues of investing in Toronto visible and measurable for all Canadians.
Consortium Approach to Project Sponsorship: While in San Francisco in 2000, I noticed that major pieces of the city’s public infrastructure, such as subway stations and sports stadiums, are sponsored or financed by major American corporations. Participating in this scale of expense, unobtainable for most Canadian sized businesses, is a good example of how a consortium approach can be applied. If Canadian businesses organize, together they can address global scale opportunities. For example, if a family Sports and Recreation Zone was created within the Edge Zone, it could incorporate a membership plan with revenues contributing to the overall waterfront financing needs. For instance, a semi-public golf course could be created within the Sports and Recreation Zone with a 30-year land use period. Corporations could be invited to purchase memberships. Memberships could be priced at a level that delivers a significant revenue stream but is within the reach of Canadian sized businesses, limited in number and transferable. Tax incentives could be added and businesses could amortize or expense the costs over the life of the membership. This approach could reduce the need for less popular financing alternatives such as tolls for existing roads and parking fees. The popular message that parking fees and tolls have been avoided, due to the support of Canadian corporations, could be the motive for corporations to get involved. A Temporary Casino for the Waterfront: This idea has already been tabled. However, there is a risk that this financing approach may be unpopular. Perhaps immediately converting a cruise ship into a floating Casino and parking it at Toronto’s waterfront could save costs. This could also encourage public confidence of the temporary nature of the Casino. Communications: While working with Murray Frum and Bramalea Ltd. I learned that the very best real estate development occurs when those leading the development process are honestly engaged with the communities that must digest and be served by the proposed change. For all aspects of the Toronto waterfront revitalization, communications must be managed in ways that surpass the expectations of the various communities that are involved. A traditional public consultation and media relations effort is only one small part of the overall program. Mass customization of messages can be accomplished through the use of Customer Relationship Management software. Concepts can be tested within focus groups or advisory committees before they are introduced to the media and the general public. I am currently leading business development efforts in the U.S. market for a corporation that is delivering this kind of technology to the world’s largest consumer facing corporations including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Johnson & Johnson and others. Different constituencies who are affected by different aspects of the Toronto waterfront revitalization should be engaged in the process most directly related to them. With the right technology and management, thousands of direct, personal relationships can be maintained. Various vertical communication strategies that are customized for groups who are aligned around various interests can be employed.
In addition, project management software can be used to closely track Edge Zone development and financial status, as it evolves. Ways to constantly update the public and media with this information, perhaps in real time, should be investigated. Edge Air: Toronto already has one of the highest densities of broadband Internet users in the world. This is partially due to the semi-monopolies that have existed in telecom and cable sectors in this country. We should take this success further. There is a “chicken and egg-like” cycle of adoption, use and the installation of infrastructure that supports the successful introduction of new technologies. Installation of infrastructure must be supported by use. Without the installed infrastructure, ubiquitous use is impeded. A small user base cannot support the required investment in infrastructure. In addition, the development and refinement of applications, and the startup businesses dedicated to this innovation, die or thrive at the service of these same early adopter users. A time limited, monopoly concession for all telecom and cable services within all new development within the Edge Zone could be another financing alternative for the Toronto waterfront revitalization. Installation of the infrastructure to support wireless broadband Internet throughout the Edge Zone could be a condition of this concession. Global corporations would compete fiercely for this opportunity. They would not be opposed to terms and conditions that ensure that they maintain benchmark customer service performance standards or market rates, their primary concern would be the length of the term of the concessionary period. With a guaranteed period of protection from the fragmentation of their early adopter market, network providers would be happy to invest in this initiative. In turn, the network provider could exercise some control over the applications that will be introduced over its networks. As a result, the Canadian Convergence & Consortium Centre would have a tangible edge in the race to attract the innovators that are key to 21st century economic success. Beginning with wireless broadband, innovators will flock to this opportunity for an early adopter technology market that protects their innovation from commodification by copycat competitors. As a result, the research and development for their plans to enter larger markets globally will take place in Toronto.
Conclusion: Thirty Years in a Moment?
When Pearson made his pronouncement at the opening of Expo 67, he was kicking off an event that would last only six months. The leaders who were responsible for materializing the vision that the Prime Minister was describing were probably collected around the podium that day. It was clear who would be accountable for the event’s success or failure.
Years of planning go into the efforts that cities and countries make to win the right to host Olympic competitions. There is no doubt that hosting the Olympics is a nation building event that has the ability to inspire new perceptions, both within the host country and internationally. We all remember what the Olympics accomplished for the image of Sydney. However, even undertaking the Olympics has a relatively defined process. Often the leaders involved see much of the process through from beginning to end. Once Olympic commitments are made, they are rarely unfulfilled. During the planning for the redevelopment of Toronto’s waterfront, there have already been significant changes within the leadership of the different levels of government that must co-operate to achieve this effort. Business leadership will also change. During the course of the redevelopment period, anticipated to be over thirty years, most of the names and faces involved will come and go. Perhaps then, the time involved and absence of deadline events means that Toronto’s waterfront cannot be the way for Canada to develop a new cultural edge that will position us to better cope with the competitive challenges ahead. In an era of instant media and quarterly driven business plans, perhaps articulating and promoting a new perception of Canada in the world cannot be accomplished without a clear end game in sight. On the other hand, perhaps undertaking such an ambitious, all encompassing agenda that is inherently ambiguous is an essential part of mature nation building. Consider this description of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia: “The Sagrada Familia is the product of the circumstances stemming from its founding and the unique drive of Antoni Gaudi. During the last years of the nineteenth century and the first of the twentieth, the people of Catalonia strongly demonstrated the determination to reaffirm their cultural roots and, as a national entity, make a contribution to humanity. Catalonia was a small country that after flourishing for centuries and achieving a certain leadership among the many people of Western Europe, lost much of its importance in the great ferment of world events at the beginning of the Modern Era.” It is remarkable how this quote from the Sagrada Familia website encapsulates both the challenge and the opportunity that currently faces Canada. A full exposition would be required to describe the Sagrada Familia. It is a massive development, founded by visionary leaders and articulated by a passionate and gifted architect. In 1878 the Association that eventually purchased the land for Sagrada Familia adopted this objective: “to spiritually and materially help …and raise a monumental expiatory temple, surrounded by gardens, …where proper public leisure activities would accompany learning and spiritual contemplation” (Sagrada Familia website). The construction of the church continues today.
More than anything else Sagrada Familia is about communicating ideas. It represents an unwavering commitment to articulating and promoting the ideas that it represents. While the names and faces that are dedicated to this undertaking have changed, the ideas that have guided the consistent management of its evolution have not. Canada is a small country that is flourishing. It enjoys a certain leadership position in the world. We must realize that these conditions are not static.
Background on Michael Cayley: In the mid to late 1990’s Michael Cayley supported all aspects of developing a 410-acre waterfront community in the Pudong special economic zone of Shanghai, China. While principally responsible for marketing, he contributed to the development of corporate culture, team building, attracting direct investment, government relations, master planning, land lease negotiations and construction. Prior to this experience in China, he held general management positions developing and managing office buildings and shopping centres in Ottawa and Toronto for Frum Development Group and Bramalea Ltd. Michael completed his post-graduate studies at the Asia Pacific Management Program, at the McRae Institute for International Management in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The APMCP is Canada’s leading MBA level program targeted for Asia. Michael also holds a Bachelor degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In Beijing, Michael developed a business to deliver broadband Internet services throughout Grade A real estate projects, for a joint venture between America’s BellSouth International and Jitong, a nationally licensed Chinese Internet Service Provider. As Vice President of ClickIQ, Inc., Mr. Cayley is responsible for business development activities throughout the US market, serving many of America’s leading brands including BEST BUY, Johnson & Johnson, Pizza Hut, Hamilton Beach and Wal-Mart. The result of a venture investment by Canada’s William Pollock, the Chairman of DRAKE International, ClickIQ, Inc. is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its main product is the IQPortal, a platform for conducting primary market research over the Internet.