Sims Square site was once a public park - city purchased the office tower for $17.5 million.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 6th, 2018



The City of Burlington is the new owner of 390 Brant St., known as Sims Square, becoming the building’s landlord and preserving key office space in downtown Burlington.

The city has been leasing space at 390 Brant St. for employee use since 2005. The city uses 21,736 square feet of the building, which is one third of the building’s leasable floor space, to house four city departments and project teams.

Sims Square

The property was once a city park.

City operations at 390 Brant St. include the Finance, Legal and Human Resources departments as well as some services from Capital Works and Parks and Recreation, including Festivals and Events.

The six-storey building has 61,000 square feet, a surface parking lot and underground parking.

The city will maintain the current tenants and contracts to ensure seamless operation of 390 Brant St. All existing leases in the building will remain in place with few changes to the current operation of the building.
Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager said: “Buying the building and property at 390 Brant St. positions the city to ensure that existing office tenants are maintained and that quality space continues to be available for future employment generation in the downtown.

The purchase of 390 Brant St., 17.5 million is considered a strategic acquisition. Possession took place on February 5, 2018. It will protect office use in downtown Burlington and will be a financially sustainable investment for the City of Burlington.”

The location was once a city park.

The city is committed to creating and maintaining a vibrant and active downtown with a healthy economy that includes office space.

Hotel on lower Brant Street

The building to the north is now the Queen’s Head – can anyone read the name on the hotel on the pictre? The building to the south is now Wendel Clark’s – the property in between the two was once owned by the city and used as a park – sold in the 1980’s for the construction of an office tower.

The city sold the  Sims Square property in the 1980s to help create office space in the downtown.

The city will manage and operate Sims Square as a distinct business unit separate from City Hall operations.
Councillor Jack Dennison has been pressing the city to buy the building for years – arguing that the amount paid in rent would have paid for the building years ago.

The city media release said the purchase “preserves key office space” – was there ever a chance that the build would be demolished? The closing date was a scant five days after the city council approved the purchase of the property.


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3 comments to Sims Square site was once a public park – city purchased the office tower for $17.5 million.

  • Susie

    I say how wonderful! Now that this building OF 6 STOREYS HIGH is a City Building, then this could be the opportunity to set a precedence for the height of all proposed buildings to be developed on Brant Street. The frequently used word, “matching” heights of other buildings could now be the NEW “Heritage Precinct” for the downtown Brant Street starting at the corner of Lakeshore.

  • Stephen White

    Might I suggest the City contact the Halton District School Board to advise them of the purchase of said property. Perhaps the HDSB could then move some of their employees into Sims Square, thereby obviating the need to spend $29 million on a new administrative building (hint, hint!!).

    • Ken

      Hi Stephen;

      Can you show me where the HDSB is spending $29M on a new administrative building? My children go to school in a portable. Total Bull$%!#

      Besides; why not move the Administration in Pearson?