As anyone who lives in Toronto (or has tried to) will likely know all too well, housing is scarce in Toronto, and affordable housing is scarcer still. As such, a new ‘Housing Now’ project slated for 2438, 2444, and 2450 Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough is timely and poised to mark quite a milestone for affordable housing for the city — and for the province as well.

According to a proposal that has been prepared in cooperation with the City (the site owner), CreateTO (the City’s dedicated housing agency), and Windmill Developments (the development partner), the Eglinton Avenue lot is due for three new towers, including a 31-storey building (104.90 metres in height) that will rise alongside 19- and 41 storey co-op buildings (136.25 and 67.6 metres in height) that will share a podium with above-grade parking and be programmed for community use.

If the zoning changes are approved, those towers would be jointly comprised of 919 units, 306 units of which — one third — would be affordable co-op units. Another third, at 306 units, are planned to be non-profit market co-op units, while the remainder, at 307 units, are planned to be condominium in tenure.

While all Housing Now projects, by design, lay out an affordable housing component of some kind, this latest one is expected to be “one of the largest affordable housing projects in Ontario in the past 25 years and the province’s largest co-operative housing development,” according to the planning report accompanying the zoning application.

housing now scarborough centreView from Kennedy station hub (Henriquez Partners Architects)

housing now scarborough centreView from hydro corridor (Henriquez Partners Architects)Henriquez Partners Architects

The report also specifies that the three towers will jointly encompass around 62,278 sq. m of residential space, 1,871 sq. m of non-residential space, 4,113.29 sq. m of indoor and outdoor amenity space, 1,018 bike parking spaces, and 429 vehicle parking spaces.

The site — which is located across the street from the current Kennedy TTC and GO stations and will be just a stone’s throw away from the forthcoming Eglinton Crosstowns LRT — is currently occupied by an auto shop, which would have to be demolished if the proposal goes through.

But the planning report makes the argument that the trade-off would be well worth it. “The site is located in the Scarborough Centre community which has declined in population by 0.9% in contrast to the overall city’s growth of 2.3% between 2016 and 2021,” it notes. “The inclusion of new, affordable units in this area provides additional housing opportunities and will contribute to meeting the Provincial and City-endorsed housing goal of 285,000 new units in Toronto by 2031.”

After much criticism over its sluggish start, the City's Housing Now program is clearly making some significant strides. In this year alone, three sites will move through the ground-breaking and actual construction phases, including 5207 Dundas Street West, 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard, and 140 Merton Street. In addition, city staff filed for zoning approvals for a Bloor-Islington site last month.

In total, the City has identified 22 sites across Toronto for the Housing Now program, and these sites are estimated to produce over 16,000 new homes, with approximately one third of those being affordable rental units.

Affordable Housing