Toronto announces development partners for ‘Housing Now’ sites

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Following a competitive market offering process launched by CBRE Limited on behalf of the city and CreateTO in the fall of 2019, the development of the Housing Now site at 50 Wilson Heights Blvd. has been awarded to Tridel Builders Inc. and Greenwin Holdings Inc. and the development of 705 Warden Ave. has been awarded to Greenwin Holdings Inc. and KingSett Affordable Housing LP.

At the two sites, developers will build over 2,000 new homes, including over 1,600 rental units, of which nearly 800 will be affordable housing. The completion of the market offering process means the city and CreateTO continue to make progress in building new affordable and market rental housing for Toronto residents with low and moderate incomes.

Construction at 50 Wilson Heights Blvd. is slated to begin in Q2 2022 and construction at 705 Warden Ave. is planned to start in Q4 2022.

“The Housing Now initiative will help us achieve this goal while also focusing on creating complete communities with access to transit, public and green space, childcare facilities and much more,” said Mayor John Tory.

“Today we are marking a significant milestone in the delivery of that program and getting closer to having shovels in the ground. I want to thank the developers who are partnering with us to build affordable housing on these two sites.”

In 2019, 11 properties were approved by city council to create an estimated 10,000 new homes, including 3,700 affordable rental homes. In May 2020, City Council approved six additional sites as part of Phase Two, with the potential to create up to 1,700 additional homes, including up to 620 affordable rental homes.

Currently, 17 sites are in various stages of development and through the planning approval process, the city has increased the number of residential units to exceed targets. Housing Now phase one and two will create an estimated 13,479 new homes – 3,037 ownership homes and 10,142 purpose-built rentals, including 5,005 will be affordable.

The eight-acre site at 50 Wilson Heights Blvd. is directly adjacent to the Wilson Subway Station, at the northwest corner of Wilson Avenue and Wilson Heights Boulevard, and is planned to include 1,484 residential homes, comprising:

  • 520 market rental homes
  • 520 affordable rental homes
  • 444 market condominiums

Development will include a new park, commercial/retail uses, a childcare centre, new public streets, improvements to the public realm and a community space for non-profit organizations.

The proposed development of the seven-acre site at 705 Warden Ave. will include approximately 600 residential homes, comprising:

  • 275 affordable rental homes
  • 325 market rent homes

Construction also includes expansion of Warden Hilltop Park, re-naturalization of land adjacent to Taylor Massey Creek, new public streets, improvements to the public realm, additional retail space, and a new child care centre.

On both sites, 10 per cent of the affordable rental homes will be deeply affordable, having rents at no more than 40 per cent of the average market rent. Each site will also include a minimum of 20 per cent accessible affordable rental homes and 15 per cent accessible market rental homes.

“Creating more affordable housing and complete communities continues to be a top priority for the City of Toronto. Moving forward on these two Housing Now sites with our developer partners will help us support residents across our city with much-needed housing and expanded community services, such as childcare centres and public realm improvements,” said City Manager Chris Murray.

CreateTO was formed in 2018 to manage the city $27 billion real estate portfolio.

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