In light of the ongoing WE scandal, a question arises: is WE a charity? Or is WE a real estate development company?
In recent years, WE has amassed quite the real estate portfolio. In the Queen and Parliament hub of Toronto alone, WE has accumulated about $50 million in commercial properties, the crown jewel being the WE Global Learning Centre. This 40,000-sq.-ft. building is the flagship headquarters of WE Charity.
Nothing but the best for Team Kielburger, after all.
We (that is, my cameraman and I) decided to pay a visit to this area of Toronto and take inventory of the 10 properties located here.
First of all, it would be easier getting into Fort Knox than the WE Global Learning Centre. It is in lockdown mode, and is apparently only staffed by security guards these days. We were told nobody was available to come on camera for an interview.
So it was that we strolled along Queen Street East and Berkeley Street checking out the WE property holdings. Only three properties were leased to retailers, a café, a store specializing in African artwork, and an office. The rest of the properties were shuttered, bearing signs that read No Trespassing and that the property was under 24-hour security guard surveillance.
With the exception of one property on the north side of Queen Street East, all the other units were part of one continuous city block.
So, is this a real estate play that is occurring here? Are the Kielburger brothers planning to acquire even more units on this block and then knockdown these buildings, thereby creating a massive footprint for an office/condo tower project? That’s what it sure looks like to me — otherwise, why wouldn’t the Kielburger's be leasing out all their properties in order to earn income? And we know how much they love to earn income.
And not to be rude, but how exactly does amassing real estate in downtown Toronto help children in Haiti or Ecuador or various African nations?
Clearly, it doesn’t. But it does help the Kielburger family nest egg grow exponentially. Yet, given that WE is allegedly all about helping those who are disadvantaged, this property development scheme in downtown Toronto is surely nothing short of despicable.