Di Poce Management Limited and Live Work Learn Play Inc.: Ontario Approves Zoning Order to Create Canada's First Ever Mixed-Use Regional Health & Wellness Village in Collingwood

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing approved and filed a Minister's Zoning Order (MZO) for The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village, which will bring state of the art healthcare, innovative housing and over $2 billion in positive economic impact to Collingwood, the region and the province

November 17, 2022 1:16 PM EST | Source: Live Work Learn Play Inc. (Co-released with Di Poce Management Limited)

Collingwood, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - November 17, 2022) - The co-master development team of Di Poce Management Limited (DPML) and Live Work Learn Play Inc. (LWLP), announced today that the municipal request for an MZO, needed to convert the greenfield Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village lands in Collingwood from an industrial employment area to a modernized mix of uses, has been approved by Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The request for an MZO was endorsed by Collingwood Council on August 18, 2022 and re-affirmed by Council on November 10, 2022.

"On behalf of Di Poce Management Limited and Live Work Learn Play, we are thrilled that our complete community health and wellness project has received the necessary approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to allow the transformation of underutilized land into a thriving district with an enduring, fully-integrated mix of uses," said Max Reim, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Managing Partner & Founding Principal of Live Work Learn Play Inc. "We are incredibly grateful to the visionary leadership of former Mayor Keith Hull, Deputy Mayor Mariane McLeod, Councillor Kathy Jeffery and other leaders for their unwavering support and wisdom, and to Minister Steve Clark, the entire Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and MPP Brian Saunderson for their tremendous leadership and vision. We are now able to move forward and continue working closely with Collingwood Town Council and the community on delivering Mr. John Di Poce's legacy of providing state of the art health and wellness and many other exciting benefits to residents of the region."

The 130-acre proposed development includes a transformative vision to deliver Canada's first ever complete mixed-use regional health and wellness village for Collingwood and the province, including lands for a state-of-the-art regional hospital campus, which would be gifted as a community benefit by Mr. Di Poce. Di Poce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Collingwood General & Marine Hospital and its foundation to donate up to 30 acres of land, which secures a site for the hospital's future and facilitates its potential relocation and expansion. The compelling vision put forward by DPML and LWLP will deliver an innovative and fully integrated mix of over 2,200 residential units, including a portion dedicated to attainable and/or affordable housing, and a significant number of quality, knowledge-based jobs for the region. The project also proposes a regional mobility hub to facilitate access to important health and wellness services and amenities and improve quality of life.

"We recognize that projects of this magnitude take a long time, and we expect to be working in this community for decades on The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village," said Armando Lopes, Development Manager, Di Poce Management Limited. "We worked closely and collaboratively with the past council, Town staff and community for over a year to get to where we are today. We look forward to working with the new council as this project continues to evolve, and with future Town leadership and the community for years to come."

DPML and LWLP engaged in over a year and a half long process of robust community and stakeholder engagement to garner input and overwhelming support for the development vision to ensure the project will help meet the evolving needs of this fast growing town and region. DPML and LWLP continue to work with the Town to affirm, through a finalized development agreement, the community benefits previously committed to and endorsed by council.

Provincial approval to move this project forward aligns with the aspirations of Mr. John Di Poce, who - as the owner of Di Poce Management Limited and the lands - has had the longstanding desire to create a legacy of health, education and wellbeing in the Town of Collingwood and communities across the region. This is a natural extension of Mr. John Di Poce's previous commitments to the area, including the gift of land, adjacent to the proposed health and wellness village, that helped create the existing Georgian College South Georgian Bay Campus.

An MZO is a Provincial tool that is used to advance and expedite developments that support and implement government priorities so that benefits can be delivered to Ontario communities earlier through better use of underutilized land. In the case of The Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village, the MZO guarantees the ability to deliver a new regional hospital on the lands, and allows a complementary mix of uses to offer supportive healthcare and much needed attainable housing for the community, region and Province. The Town retains its authority under the Planning Act with respect to subsequent planning processes and approvals required to implement the project in the normal course.


"My dream for these lands was to create a true place of health and wellness for the community of Collingwood and the region, starting with a much needed new state of the art hospital to properly care for the community. The decision by the province to approve the rezoning of the lands is the first step in making this happen and I am excited for the future. This will create a true legacy for our family and the entire community for generations to come."
John Di Poce, Owner and Founder of Di Poce Management Limited.

"When this project was first brought before Collingwood Council by the co-master development team of DPML and LWLP in March of 2022, I knew it was extremely special. I am proud of our Council and Staff for helping to usher this truly transformational project forward that will positively impact the future of our town and other communities for generations."
Keith Hull, Former Mayor of Collingwood.

"The endorsement of the MZO for The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village was a critical part of the previous Council's commitment to position our community for quality of life, more affordable housing continuum options and employment opportunities. To successfully secure a potential future location for the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital was key to the decision in addition to the transformational positive change the development can bring."
Kathy Jeffery, Councillor, Town of Collingwood.

"There are still many details to be worked out, but Council's vote in August and final vote on November 10 was for a hospital. The project will provide jobs, housing and amenities, and a clearer path to the new hospital facility that's been needed for so long."
Mariane McLeod, Former Deputy Mayor, Town of Collingwood.

"Rezoning the lands on Poplar Sideroad in Collingwood sends a clear signal that important projects focused on making housing and healthcare more accessible for Ontarians will be prioritized and that the Province is not willing to delay addressing these critical issues. This legacy project will deliver much needed workforce housing for all the employees who carry the municipality and region on their backs, as well as help address the needs for quality medical and health services that are facing our community today. I'm proud to be part of the DPML and LWLP team that has created a great opportunity for the future hospital to be placed on this site."
Terry Geddes, Former Mayor of Collingwood and Warden of Simcoe County.

The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village addresses several critical issues Collingwood and the region are facing today.

  1. Creates new economic drivers for the region, including new, quality employment opportunities.
  2. Brings world-class innovation in health and wellness to the area, setting a new standard for healthcare delivery and healthy living in the region.
  3. Creates much-needed purpose-built, attainable workforce housing for Collingwood and future employers.
  4. Delivers a safe and healthy excellence in aging in place community for a rapidly growing elderly regional population.
  5. Delivers an environmentally friendly, low carbon footprint development in a walkable, mixed use format that aligns with industry best practices.

Cannot view this image? Visit: https://images.newsfilecorp.com/files/9223/144161_dipoceimage_500.jpg

Conceptual rendering of future wellness park: Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village

To view an enhanced version of this graphic, please visit:

Di Poce Management Limited and Live Work Learn Play Inc. are working together as co-master developers with a shared mission of curating and nurturing this enduring, thriving and innovative complete community district for Collingwood, and to create a legacy for the region and Province.

Di Poce Management Limited is a Canadian holding and investment company. Privately owned and operated since 1986 by John Di Poce, entrepreneur and philanthropist. John and his family have a mission to ensure that the current and future citizens of the region have access to state-of-the-art health and wellness and education, as shown by his many philanthropic efforts in Collingwood and beyond. This includes a land donation to Georgian College, many contributions to the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Foundation, and to the Toronto General Foundation (University Health Network - UHN) with the establishment of the John Di Poce and Family Transplant Innovation Centre.

Live Work Learn Play Inc. is a mission-based international real estate and community development firm on the cutting edge of planning, developing, and activating dynamic, large-scale mixed-use complete community projects and very special places across Canada and the world. www.LiveWorkLearnPlay.com.

Nadia Stolfi
Director, Communications & Community Development
Live Work Learn Play Inc.

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/144161