Toronto inks new partnership to build hundreds of affordable and rental homes in Queen East

The City of Toronto has partnered with a private developer to build hundreds of new affordable housing and rental units at an existing community housing site.

The project, which is in the area of Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue, will see 120 affordable units operated by Toronto Community Housing expanded into a mixed-income complex of 750 homes.

The new development will include a mix of affordable housing, rental units, condominiums and retail space.

Toronto-based Context Development is paying the full cost of the project.

“This is truly an example of what we can do,” said Mayor John Tory at a Monday news conference. “It is a remarkable effort and it is one worth celebrating.”

The project will replace TCHS’s Don Summerville complex at 1555-1575 Queen St. E with the following:

  • 120 rent-geared-to-income units operated by TCHC
  • 100 affordable rental units, half of which will be privately owned
  • 180 market-rate rental units
  • 350 condominium units
  • 16,000 square feet of commercial retail space

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020, at which point tenants in the existing TCHC units will be temporarily relocated to other affordable housing communities around the city. The work is expected to be complete in late 2023.

Dionne Samuels, a current tenant, said the promise of rebuilt units and a new mixed-income community makes the temporary inconvenience worthwhile.

“Everyone is really excited about the move. We’re excited about the new buildings that are coming,” Samuels said.

“This is a win for our tenants,” added TCHC President and CEO Kevin Marshman.

Tory said the existing units at Don Summerville had reached a “critical state” and are in urgent need of repairs or replacement.

Overall, TCHC faces a $1.6 billion backlog to repair its crumbling infrastructure.

Tory said innovative partnerships and the creation of mixed-income communities could play a key role in improving access to affordable housing.

“Today is a significant step forward, though I will say that I look forward to more projects like this one coming to life in our city,” he said.

Toronto’s Housing Now plan aims to build 10,000 new homes, including 3,700 affordable rental homes across 11 city-owned properties.

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