Woodbine Entertainment has proudly released its 2018/19 Corporate Responsibility Report, which highlights the company’s recent achievements towards its long-term commitment to the communities in which it operates, philanthropy, industry leadership, property development and innovation, all while fulfilling its core mandate of sustaining the horse racing industry.
“We appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate our full capabilities within the communities we proudly operate in,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine. “We profoundly believe that we can ensure the long-term sustainability of the world-class horse racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Park while we create jobs, both directly and indirectly, strengthen and build communities, support our neighbours, and provide leadership and innovation for the entire industry.”
The report focuses on the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 and highlights contributions to three broad areas that encapsulate Woodbine’s charitable initiatives including Vibrant & Connected Communities, For the Love of Horses, and Environment & Sustainability. Additionally, the report provides an update on the status of key endeavours such as industry leadership, optimal land development, world-class racing, people and culture, and more.
Through its commitment, Woodbine has achieved designations that affirm its corporate social responsibility such as Great Place to Work certification, NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance accreditation for operating one of the safest racetracks in North America, Imagine Canada’s Caring Company Status, and are founding members of Partners in Project Green.
Woodbine is also embarking on the most exciting development project in Canada. ‘Woodbine Districts,’ located at Woodbine Racetrack in northwest Toronto, will be a major commercial and employment hub that will include mixed-use residential, commercial space, sports and recreations facilities, parks and public space, a new casino, hotel, restaurants and live entertainment venue.
The company continued to invest heavily in the Woodbine Mohawk Park property, which completed its first season of winter racing earlier this year and prepares to host the 2019 Breeders Crown, one of harness racing’s biggest events on the calendar.
“As we strategically develop our land to generate new revenue streams to support the horse racing industry and allow us to become fully self-sustained in the future, we are also building a new entertainment and lifestyle destinations in rural Milton and northwest Toronto that will reinvigorate the surrounding neighbourhoods, create thousands of new jobs, and all be done in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way,” said Lawson.
Charitable highlights within the 2018 / 19 Corporate Responsibility Report include:
- Supported more than 100 community-based organizations and charitable causes.
- Continued to invest in the aftercare and transition of retired racehorses and supported organizations that connect our communities with horses.
- Continued to operate one of the largest corporate community gardens in Canada at 20,000 square feet and provided more than 3,000 lbs of fresh produce to local charitable organization addressing food security.
- Hosted the fourth annual Rexdale Summer Games at Woodbine Racetrack bringing together over 400 local youth for a spirited day of sport and camaraderie.
- Hosted Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer for the fourth straight year, attracting over 1,700 participants and 150 teams to raise a record $2.7 million for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
- Supported Toys for Tots, Holiday Helpers, and Miracle on Main Street toy drives to ensure more than 1,000 children unwrapped a gift during the holiday season.
- Raised over $25,000 for charitable causes through 50/50 raffles during major events at Woodbine and Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Business highlights within the 2018 / 19 Corporate Responsibility Report include:
- Announced plans for a new GO Station to be built at Woodbine Racetrack in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx.
- Developed a best-in-class Standardbred paddock as part of Woodbine’s commitment to make Mohawk Park the year-round home of world-class Standardbred racing.
- Achieved certification as a Great Place to Work for its nearly 2,000 employees for a second consecutive year.
- Achieved Zero Waste to Landfill at all our facilities and provided sufficient electricity back to the grid to power up to 11,500 homes.
- Committed $4.5-million in capital and human resources to Ontario Racing Management to help achieve long-term sustainability for horse racing in Ontario.
- Signed important new agreements that included increased guaranteed purses with the Central Ontario Standardbred Association and Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario to help provide industry-wide economic certainty and confidence.
- Opened a new, locally sourced and inspired dining experience at Woodbine Mohawk Park called the ‘Mohawk Harvest Kitchen.’
- Completed prototype for Dark Horse, a new innovative app designed to help new customers enjoy racing and gaming.
- Opened a brand new, state-of-the-art inner turf course that exemplifies Woodbine’s commitment to safety.
“We are very proud of our efforts over the last year, but more than anything, we are motivated and excited about our future, the future of our communities, and the positive impact we will have on our neighbours, the horse racing industry and the provincial economy,” said Lawson.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Woodbine Entertainment has produced a Corporate Responsibility Report every year since 2006. The 2018/19 report is publicly accessible and is available for download or online viewing at woodbinecares.ca or by clicking here.