City of Toronto issues RFQ for major George Street revitalization project

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) have issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the George Street Revitalization project, which will reinvent the northernmost block of George Street (between Dundas Street East and Gerrard Street East). City Council unanimously approved George Street Revitalization in principle in summer 2013

This is the first step in the procurement process, to identify project teams that have the required design and construction capability and experience, and the financial capacity to undertake a project of this size and complexity. The RFQ is available here.

Seaton House men’s shelter, located on George Street, and – adjacent properties will be transformed into a new shared facility, “providing a dynamic range of housing, programs and services to meet the unique and complex needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as vulnerable and elderly individuals in the community.”

A Seaton House transition plan has been developed to co-ordinate the movement of people, programs and services currently located at 339 George St. to alternate locations while the redevelopment takes place.

Seaton House is expected to be fully decommissioned by July 2022.

IO and the city will establish the shortlist of project teams based on submissions received. Shortlisted teams will then be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals, which is expected to be issued in spring 2021.

The project will include a long-term care home, a transitional living facility, an emergency shelter, affordable housing, and a community hub serving residents of the site and the local neighbourhood.

“The George Street Revitalization project when complete will house important services supporting some of our city’s most at-risk communities with new shelter beds, long-term care facilities and community services in a world-class facility in the city’s downtown east,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release. “I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition once the RFQ is issued and building commences.”

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Part of the City’s Downtown East Action Plan, the project will be the catalyst for a safer and more vibrant community for all in the heart of the historic Garden District.

It will result in approximately 622,000 square feet of new construction and restored heritage buildings. Some proposed features:

  • an emergency shelter program with 100 beds for men experiencing homelessness
  • an innovative 130-bed, all-gender transitional living program for people experiencing homelessness who require more intensive health care and substance abuse support
  • a long-term care home with 378 beds to better meet the needs of formerly homeless, vulnerable and elderly individuals
  • 21 units of affordable housing with supports
  • a community service hub for program clients as well as members of the surrounding community

It also includes sidewalk and streetscape improvements between Dundas Street East and Gerrard Street East – improvements that will link Moss Park to Allan Gardens and reinforce the identity of the Garden District where the revitalization site is located.

The City has contracted IO as the Commercial Procurement Lead and Project Oversight Partner and Advisor during construction.

The project, led by the City, is being delivered through IO’s design, build and finance (DBF) Public-Private Partnership (P3) model, which transfers appropriate risks associated with design, construction and financing of the project to the private sector.

More information about the George Street Revitalization is available on the city’s website.


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