The City of Toronto is committed to revitalizing George Street for vulnerable people and the broader community by building a new facility that will:

  • Replace the existing Seaton House men’s shelter with a smaller emergency shelter and an all gender transitional shelter,
  • Add a state-of-the-art long-term care home offering 24-hour care
  • Add a community hub offering a number of programs and supports.

From walk-in services to end-of-life care, addressing individuals’ complex and overlapping needs, this new facility is/will be designed to serve the entire community by:

  • Integrating the latest in green technology and accessibility standards, using what the City has learned from the recent global emergencies.
  • Co-locating divisions offering services: this integration of services reflects well-researched best practices that will support the needs of populations with vulnerabilities across a continuum of care and housing supports.
  • This new home for people and services will be designed and guided by Infrastructure Ontario as part of a public-private partnerships (P3) process to redevelop the existing Seaton House facility.
  • The City of Toronto recognizes we must apply for a greater envelope to deliver on the principals of green infrastructure, supportive social services and accessibility for everyone in order to anticipate the evolving needs of the community.

By creating safe spaces for people to gather and receive services, George Street Revitalization (GSR) will be the catalyst for a more vibrant community for all in the heart of the historic Garden District

The Long-Term Care Capital Renewal Plan (LTC) is an exciting opportunity to modernize and improve the design of long-term care homes while advancing the vision to be a centre of excellence in seniors’ services and long-term care. More than just beds; gardens, gathering and program spaces are included to provide safe and diverse quality of life.

The LTC home will also reflect the social and physical environments of home, provide enrichment spaces and programs, and incorporate technology, safety in design, and the latest in Infection Prevention and Control.

Recently, the City has experienced an unprecedented increase in shelter use and people experiencing housing loss.

The Transitional Shelter is a unique program that offers enhanced care and medical supports to people experiencing homelessness who have more complex health needs and are using the shelter system. This program allows people to live in a safe and supportive environment while building the skills required to access appropriate housing when it is available.

With 100 resident beds available to all genders, the Transitional Shelter is managed by the City and supported by community partners.

Built in 1959 as an office building, Seaton House was not constructed to serve as a long-term shelter and has reached the end of its service life. It is one of the largest shelters in North America.

While emergency shelter services are still required, they are needed throughout the city, not only in one large, centralized location. For this reason the City has expanded its shelter network, providing safe shelter and support at more than 100 locations across the city.

The new Seaton House emergency shelter will be smaller, following best practices and shelter design guidelines. It will feature 80 beds, which will allow for better privacy and access to wrap-around support services.

Many precariously housed and vulnerable populations live in the Downtown East. Building on work on the Downtown East Action Plan, the Community Hub will be an accessible and inclusive community service space for people to come together to build community, with integrated services by some of the City’s best service providers for mental health and social supports, and in partnership with the residents and the communities being served.

Envisioned with innovative pivot spaces in mind, the Community Hub will be a facility designed to resist climate shocks, and will stay powered and operational to respond to the changing needs of a local emergency or natural disaster. In crisis, the Hub will be able to adapt programming to offer multiple services to respond appropriately, and can act as a safe location for refuge, commercial food production, emergency distribution centre, and power generator to anticipated community needs.

The City is being proactive in requesting an update to the Official Plan and Zoning by-law amendments, recently approved, after a comprehensive review in 2018. These changes will facilitate an innovative facility that is future-proof in serving this community with dignity and respect.

It is important to note the revised application submitted in 2022 does not increase client and resident beds nor is it an expansion of services. The application maintains the general intent and vision of the GSR and incorporates best practices and City of Toronto initiatives in design. With the revised application we have an opportunity to:

  • Address changing needs of aging and vulnerable populations with improved accessibility to program areas according to current TADG standards, based on expert community well-being predictions.
  • Offer increased quantity of accessible rooms to accommodate all users, in particular people who face barriers due to mobility restrictions or needs, and those with less visible needs. These living spaces and services have long been in high demand and often result in lengthy waitlists for those who need it most.
  • Reconfigure spaces to better protect the health of communities who live in institutional residences by applying lessons learned from the Global Pandemic including engineering, safe air quality and infection prevention which require more physical space (and sinks).
  • Create dedicated programming and social enterprise opportunities that provide services to the community, with dignity and respect
  • Better incorporate the façade and some interiors of the heritage designated dwellings and allow for more creativity with design for an innovative multi-use facility.
  • Incorporate the redesigned roads, sidewalks and gardens: an innovative redesign of the streetscape which will holistically link Allan Gardens and Moss Park by creating pedestrian friendly and art spaces for the community and become a safer and more beautiful thoroughfare in the city.
  • A Green Building: more than just the skin of the building, this new facility will be operable even in extreme heat and cold. It will incorporate the latest in net zero technology as well as not contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Even better, in the case of a crisis, this center will serve as a community resource.
  • For more information please email

The City of Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) issued a Request for Proposal  (RFP) in August 2022 for the George Street Revitalization project, which will reinvent the northernmost block of George Street (between Dundas Street East and Gerrard Street East).

Two teams (EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare and Bird Construction Community Partners) were prequalified based on criteria identified in a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that was issued in November 2020. Selection criteria included design and construction capability, experience, qualified personnel and financial capacity to undertake a project of this size and scope. A successful bidder is expected to be announced in Q1 2024.

George Street Revitalization (GSR) continues to rely on stakeholder input to inform and shape this exciting city-building project that will see a long-term care facility, an emergency shelter for men, an all gender transitional shelter and a community-oriented service hub take shape.

Learn more about GSR Stakeholder Reference Group