Construction starting soon on $60 million community hub in Orillia

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the County Orillia Campus, an affordable housing and community hub infrastructure project intended to service the Orillia area. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed in fall 2023.

The multi-generational hub development includes 130 mixed affordable residential units to house seniors, families and individuals. It will also include community services, primarily on the ground level with resources and supports for residents.

“As we work to surpass our 10-year housing targets, we’re proud to invest in affordable housing across the County, with multiple impactful projects in the north, south, east and west completed, underway or planned in the years to come,” said County Warden George Cornell.

Rents will be capped at 80 per cent of average market rates as determined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the affordable housing component of this site.

This innovative hub model, implemented successfully at other county affordable housing developments, will help to alleviate barriers to accessing essential community and social services, with a variety of support programs on site for residents and those living in the broader community.

The design also incorporates elements that pay tribute to the site’s heritage, including a memorial arboretum featuring a cupola from the original high school building donated to the project by Orillia Councillor Ralph Cipolla.

In line with the existing funding formula, the County of Simcoe will provide $55M towards the project. The City of Orillia’s contribution is estimated at $4.15M, with additional funding from other partners.

“The multi-generational hub located on the former ODCVI property will increase the number of affordable housing units in our area, which we are in critical need of, and will provide access to important services our community relies on,” said Orillia Mayor Steve Clark.

In 2014, the county set a target to create 2,685 new units of affordable housing including 164 units in Orillia, 392 units combined throughout Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, and Severn Township.

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