Let’s be honest; Toronto developers often get a bad rap in the affordable housing conversation.
But there’s some rather heartwarming news from two local developers to add to that fuzzy holiday vibe. In a partnership created to bring more affordable housing to the city, Toronto developers Hazelview and Fitzrovia just contributed $6.8M to create 122 affordable homes.
This marks the second of five annual payments toward a total of $17M affordable housing land trust co-founded by Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area. The committed contribution of grants and loans are expected to fund the development of at least 180 affordable housing units in the city.
The designated recipient of the funds is the Toronto-based Land Trust, Community Affordable Housing Solutions (CAHS). CAHS has recently announced plans to invest the $6.8M received to date to create 122 new affordable homes:
- Up to 40 affordable ownership units that will include two and three-bedroom units at a future community at St. Clair Ave. and Caledonia Rd.
- 21 affordable rental co-op units that will be part of a new community near Symington Ave. and Dupont St.
- 61 affordable rental co-op units that will be part of a new community near Lakeshore Ave. and Windermere Ave.
The creation of CAHS originated reflects a collaboration between the developers, the City of Toronto, Habitat for Humanity GTA (Habitat GTA), St. Clare’s, and the community group Build a Better Bloor Dufferin.
“CAHS was founded upon the idea that developers who are willing to collaborate with City leadership, affordable housing partners, and local grassroots groups can come together to create thriving, economically diverse communities and that is exactly what is happening here,” said VP of Real Estate Development at Habitat GTA & CAHS Executive Lead Joshua Bénard. “Working together we are creating a greater variety of affordable housing options for people of all demographics as we believe this is the best way to address our housing affordability crisis. We are proud to be part of a robust non-profit sector that not only builds affordable homes but is also working to ensure these homes stay affordable for decades to come.”
At least 50% of the funds will be allocated within Toronto’s Ward 9 – Davenport in the neighbourhood of the mixed-use development planned at Bloor and Dufferin that provided the opportunity for the collaboration. In addition to the historic land trust, the developers will also provide a number of additional community benefits, including (but not limited to):
- A 56-unit affordable housing will be constructed by the developers and conveyed to the City of Toronto.
- A fully accessible approximately 30,000 sq.-ft community hub, including an 8,000 sq.-ft childcare centre will be built within the retained Kent School and conveyed to the City of Toronto.
- A 3,580-sq.-m public park to bring green space and pedestrian connectivity to the site while creating a space that can be used by the entire community.
- A publicly accessible below-grade pedestrian tunnel connection to the existing Dufferin St. subway station.
- Additional privately owned public spaces, including streets, plaza, and artist mews.
“We are committed to the guiding principles of this project, which include delivering a range of housing types to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population and encouraging community health and wellbeing,” said Michael Williams, Managing Partner, Head of Real Estate Development at Hazelview Investments. Williams continues, “We are proud of the innovative approach that was taken to develop this historic land trust, and believe that working creatively with partners, like Habitat for Humanity GTA, is important as we work together to build sustainable cities.”