Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood will be home to the city’s first purpose-built affordable homes for homeless people in more than 10 years. The three-storey development is being built by St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society and will house 22 new apartments for vulnerable people on an infill site.
An excavator broke ground on the project earlier this week in advance of spring construction on a strip of land beside St. Clare’s existing building on Leonard Ave., just east of Bathurst St. The project was backed by neighbours and made possible with government and private sector support, including a $500,000 capital grant and waived municipal fees and development charges from the City of Toronto’s Open Door Program.
St. Clare’s construction partners, which include home and condo builders, unions and construction associations, are joining in with the $1 million fundraising effort.
The development’s corporate donors are: Aspen Ridge; Brown Group; Great Gulf Homes; Greenpark Homes; Heavy Construction Association of Toronto; Laurier Homes; Liberty Development; Lindvest; LiUNA Local 183; LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council; Mattamy Homes; Menkes; Ontario Formwork Association; Silvercore; Tridel; and Yorkwood.
“This was a must-do project for St. Clare’s,” said Andrea Adams, St. Clare’s operations manager, in a press release. “We are relieved to finally be through a two-year planning process and are grateful for the support of RESCON, Toronto Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, Concillor Joe Cressy and our very supportive neighbours.”
“CMHC has investigated the St. Clare’s operating model, and found it to be replicable and scalable,” added Michele McMaster, affordable housing consultant for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “We are delighted that St. Clare’s is inspiring private developers, and we hope to encourage more in the future.”