In the midst of the doom and gloom headlines surrounding the affordable housing crisis, there’s some good news in Toronto.
Yesterday, leading Canadian condominium developer MOD Developments celebrated its official ground-breaking at 218 Carlton Street to mark the start of construction for a new non-profit housing residence that will serve Indigenous men experiencing homelessness.
The new project is located in the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood and will consist of the renovation of an 1877 Victorian mansion. Previously used as an office space, once completed, the building will feature multi-unit bachelor and one-bedroom apartments.
The future residence will be operated by Na-Me-Res, a registered charitable organization dedicated to providing outreach, temporary, transitional, and permanent housing to Indigenous men in Toronto and additional support services to a broader Indigenous population.
Studies show that there are disproportionate housing challenges faced by Indigenous persons living in Toronto. With the rising cost of living, coupled with rising home prices, in Canada’s largest urban centre, 15% of people experiencing homelessness are Indigenous, despite making up only 0.5% of the city’s population.
"This journey began back in 2019," says Gary Switzer, CEO of MOD Developments. "As part of the zoning approvals for our residential development at 55 Charles Street East, we proposed the purchase of 218 Carlton Street with the aim of creating non-profit housing. The city accepted our proposal, and we were thrilled when they ultimately chose Na-Me-Res to operate the residence. At MOD Developments, we deeply believe in the concept of complete communities and the provision of housing for everyone is fundamental. That we can accomplish this by preserving a heritage house and creating new housing in a sustainable way through renovation is an additional benefit."
In Toronto, 15% of people experiencing homelessness are Indigenous, despite making up only 0.5% of the city's population.
"I am committed to getting housing built as quickly as possible. One of the key objectives of the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan is to enhance partnerships with Indigenous community partners," said Mayor John Tory. "The new affordable homes at 218 Carlton Street are a good example of the city working with the Indigenous community to deliver Indigenous-led solutions. What is unique about this project is its strong private sector partner. I want to thank MOD Developments for their shared commitment to supporting housing needs for Indigenous residents in transferring the property in full."