CBC amasses half a billion in real estate

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2023/09/25

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has amassed nearly half-a-billion dollars in real estate holdings, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

The CBC’s real estate portfolio, comprised of 12 properties scattered across Canada, is assessed at more than $444 million. The CBC leases another 72 properties, including five in foreign countries, that it refuses to disclose costs for.

“It sure seems the CBC is spending way more on its buildings than competitors spend, but what value do taxpayers get for all these properties?” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Taxpayers have every right to question why we’re paying for all these CBC buildings in Canada and in other countries.”

Records detailing the CBC’s real estate portfolio were released in response to a written order paper question from Conservative MP Adam Chambers (Simcoe North).

CBC’s most expensive is its Toronto headquarters, which is assessed at nearly $314 million.  

For context, when TorStar – the parent company that publishes the Toronto Star – was sold in 2020, the price tag for the entire newspaper chain was $52 million. And when the Calgary Herald sold its building earlier this year, it went for $17.25 million. In 2012, the Globe and Mail sold its head offices in downtown Toronto for $136 million. The National Post sold its headquarters in Toronto for $24 million in 2012. 

Table: CBC-owned property, assessed municipal value



Toronto, Ont.


Vancouver, B.C.


Winnipeg, Man.


St. Johns, N.L.


Yellowknife, NWT


Fredericton, N.B.


Charlottetown, P.E.I.


Saguenay, Que.


Whitehorse, Yuk.


Winnipeg, Man.


Thunder Bay, Ont.


Rankin Inlet, Nun.




The CBC is refusing to disclose what it spends on the 72 other properties it currently leases in Canada and abroad, citing it as “commercially sensitive information.” 

Outside of Canada, the CBC leases property in London, U.K., Mumbai, India, Paris, France, and New York City and Washington, U.S.A. 

In Paris, France, the CBC leases offices in “a corner building on one of the prestigious avenues leading off the Arc de Triomphe,” located in the city’s 17th Arrondissement, on the right bank of the River Seine. 

In London, U.K., Canada’s public broadcaster leases office space bordering the city’s Soho district, famous for its restaurants and nightlife, located a short drive from Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. 

And in New York City, the CBC leases office space in downtown Manhattan, a short walk from Rockefeller Centre and Central Park. 

It also leases multiple properties in six Canadian cities, including two in Prince Rupert, B.C. (pop. 12,300) and two in Matane, Que. (pop. 14,000). 

In Montreal, the CBC leases three properties, including its French-language headquarters on Papineau Avenue. While it is now refusing to say what it costs to lease its Montreal HQ, back in 2019, the CBC disclosed it was paying $20 million per year. 

“Why does the CBC need to lease these properties in far-flung countries, let alone multiple properties in smaller Canadian towns, and how much is all of this costing taxpayers?” Terrazzano said. “The CBC costs taxpayers more than $1 billion every year, so at the very least it owes Canadians full transparency.”

In 2021, the CBC took $1.2 billion from taxpayers, including $21 million in “immediate operational support” to ensure its stability during the pandemic. In late-2022, the feds gave the CBC another $42 million to help it “recover from the pandemic,” as reported by the National Post

The CBC gave staff $28.5 million in bonuses and pay raises in 2022. There are now 949 CBC staff taking home a six-figure annual salary, with the number of employees on the sunshine list doubling since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power in 2015. 

A Note for our Readers:

Is Canada Off Track?

Canada has problems. You see them at gas station. You see them at the grocery store. You see them on your taxes.

Is anyone listening to you to find out where you think Canada’s off track and what you think we could do to make things better?

You can tell us what you think by filling out the survey

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

You deserve to know the real story about what happens to your tax dollars. We expose funny and infuriating stories about governments wasting money on stupid things. And we hold politicians accountable because taxpayers deserve transparency.

Looks good!
Please enter a valid email address

We take data security and privacy seriously. Your information will be kept safe.

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Franco Terrezano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Hey, it’s Franco.

Did you know that you can get the inside scoop right from my notebook each week? I’ll share hilarious and infuriating stories the media usually misses with you every week so you can hold politicians accountable.

You can sign up for the Taxpayer Update Newsletter now

Looks good!
Please enter a valid email address

We take data security and privacy seriously. Your information will be kept safe.