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Over 2000 Desperately-Needed Affordable and Market Rental Housing Units Coming to Toronto

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While the lack of affordable homes in Toronto has been prevalent for years, COVID-19 has shone a light on how dire the situation is, including for front-line workers who have struggled to access safe housing throughout the pandemic.

To bring more much-needed affordable and market rental housing to Toronto, the City and CreateTO have announced the development partners for two Phase One Housing Now sites, which will be home to thousands of new homes for Toronto residents with low and moderate incomes.

The affordable homes created through Housing Now will be geared to households earning between $21,000 and $68,000 per year. They will be available to Toronto residents working in many front-line occupations, including essential workers delivering critical services throughout the pandemic.

Tridel Builders Inc. and Greenwin Holdings Inc. will oversee the development of the Housing Now site at 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard. At the same time, Greenwin Holdings Inc. and KingSett Affordable Housing LP. will take on the development at 705 Warden Avenue.

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Across these two Housing Now sites, the developer partners will build over 2,000 new homes, including over 1,600 rental homes, of which nearly 800 will be affordable rental homes, which will ensure that more people across our city have access to housing opportunities, according to Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee.

Not only will the two new mixed-income developments provide much-needed housing, but the projects will also contribute to “complete communities” and deliver a wide range of city-building benefits, including new parks and green space, retail and commercial uses, child care access, and more.

The eight-acre site at 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard is directly adjacent to the Wilson Subway Station, at the northwest corner of Wilson Avenue and Wilson Heights Boulevard. This site is planned to include 1,484 residential homes, comprising:

  • 520 market rental homes
  • 520 affordable rental homes
  • 444 market condominiums

The development will also include a new park, commercial/retail uses, a child care centre, new public streets, improvements to the public realm, and a community space for non-profit organizations. Construction is slated to begin in Q2-2022.

The proposed development of the seven-acre site at 705 Warden Avenue is located at the northeast corner of Warden Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East. When construction is complete, this site will include approximately 600 residential homes, comprising:

  • 275 affordable rental homes
  • 325 market rent homes

The development also includes expanding Warden Hilltop Park, renaturalizing the land adjacent to Taylor Massey Creek, new public streets, improvements to the public realm, additional retail space, and a new child care centre. Construction is slated to begin in Q4-2022.

The City says 10% of the affordable rental homes across both sites will be deeply affordable, having rents set at no more than 40% of the average market rent. Each site will also include a minimum of 20% accessible, affordable rental homes and 15% accessible market rental homes.

“As a city, we are committed to creating more affordable housing in communities across Toronto. The Housing Now initiative will help us achieve this goal while also focusing on creating complete communities with access to transit, public and green space, child care facilities, and much more, said Mayor John Tory.

Tory said the announcement of the two vibrant mixed-income and mixed-use communities marks a significant milestone in the delivery of the Housing Now program and gets the City closer to having shovels in the ground.

In 2019, as part of Housing Now Phase One, 11 properties were approved by City Council to create an estimated 10,000 new homes, including 3,700 affordable rental homes. Then, in May 2020, City Council approved six more sites as part of Phase Two, with the potential to create up to 1,700 additional homes, including up to 620 affordable rental homes. Today, 17 sites across Phases One and Two are in various stages of development.

The City says it has successfully increased the number of residential units to exceed targets through the planning approval process. Housing Now Phase One and Two are now on track to create an estimated 13,479 new homes, including 3,037 ownership homes and 10,142 purpose-built rental homes, of which 5,005 will be affordable.

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