The federal government announced it is committing $200 million toward the construction of six new apartment buildings at Mirvish Village, a mixed-use rental community located at the site of the historic Honest Ed’s department store.
Featuring 916 units, the project, developed by Westbank Corp. and Peterson Group, is receiving this financing through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program delivered by CMHC. RCFi supports rental housing construction projects to assist in providing a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families living in expensive housing markets.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our government’s commitment to creating homes that are affordable, energy efficient, and accessible,” said the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. “By helping build communities such as Mirvish Village, where people can live close to jobs, schools, and public transit, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.”
Of the 916 rental units, 366 will be provided at rents at or below 30 per cent of median household income. Of the 366 affordable units, 100 will be secured at 80 per cent of Average Market Rent for the City of Toronto, as published by CMHC. These affordable units will be scattered throughout the project and will be of the same quality and design as market rent units.
The unit mix will include 279 studio apartments, 230 one-bedroom units, 284 two-bedroom units, 87 three-bedroom units and 36 live/work units. The project will also include the restoration of 24 heritage buildings, a public market and outdoor performance venue, a comprehensive cycling program, daycare, new public park, micro-retail incubator spaces created in collaboration with the Centre for Social Innovation and public art installations curated in partnership with David Mirvish.
“This funding for the Mirvish Village will help us preserve a historic and vibrant community in our city,” said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. “Honest Ed’s was a beloved part of our city and by creating affordable housing on this vacant land we are able to address the housing challenges our city faces. I want to thank the federal government for providing this important funding. This $200 million commitment demonstrates the importance of all levels of government working together to address issues that impact Torontonians.”
The project includes a Neighbourhood Energy System by district energy provider Creative Energy, comprising a block-scale network that will provide reliable and low-carbon heating, cooling, and power. Mirvish Village is modelled to achieve a reduction of 23.7 per cent in annual energy use and 30.8 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015 reference building.
“Our years of experience with CMHC starting with the redevelopment of Woodward’s has resulted in some of the most meaningful city building in Canada and Mirvish Village is the largest of those projects to date,” said Ian Gillespie, Founder, Westbank. “Our ambitions with this project are very significant and none of this could be accomplished without the commitment from the team at CMHC and the commitment from the Government of Canada.”