Housing Now is an initiative to activate City-owned sites for the development of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities.

City Council launched Phase One of Housing Now in January 2019 with 11 sites. This phase is expected to deliver over 10,000 new homes, including approximately 3,700 affordable rental homes. Work is well underway to advance Phase One of the Housing Now Initiative.

In May 2020, six new sites were added to the Housing Now program. The additional six sites are Housing Now Phase Two and are estimated to add between 1,455 and 1,710 new residential units to the program, including approximately 1,060 to 1,240 purpose-built rental units units of which approximately 530 to 620 will be affordable rental units.

Housing Now is one component within the City of Toronto’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan to address the full spectrum of housing issues in Toronto.

You can also review information on specific Housing Now sites by visiting CreateTO’s Housing Now page.

The Housing Now Initiative represents a new city-building approach to the disposition of City-owned lands. The Initiative will stimulate the creation of complete communities with a range of new housing where residents can afford quality housing near transit.

Over the last decade, the cost of housing in Toronto and residents’ housing choices have become increasingly restricted. The cost of both rental and ownership housing has increased significantly, while incomes have not kept pace.

The affordable units created through Housing Now will, on average, rent for 80% of Toronto’s average market rent. These homes will be affordable for households earning between $21,000 and $56,000 per year.

Working with the Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing Sector

City Council approved a $1-million Non-profit Housing Capacity Fund to support the participation of non-profit organizations in the Housing Now Initiative and to encourage their involvement in the market offering process for the 11 sites, including the opportunity for long-term operation of the affordable rental units.

Additionally in the first phase of the Housing Now Initiative, four sites will be owned and operated by the non-profit and/or co-operative housing sectors.

As part of the first and second phase of the Housing Now Initiative, City Council has dedicated 17 City-owned sites for the development of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities. A number of sites have their own webpage with additional information as shown below.

Address Phase Ward
777 Victoria Park Ave. One 20
50 Wilson Heights Blvd. One 6
3741 Bloor St. West and part 925 Kipling Ave. One 3
3326 Bloor St. West and 1226 Islington Ave. One 3
805 Don Mills Rd. One 16
770 Don Mills Rd. One 16
140 Merton St. One 12
705 Warden Ave. One 20
1250 Eglinton Ave. West One 8
251 Esther Shiner Blvd. One 17
3933 Keele St. One 6
1627 and 1675 Danforth Ave. Two 19
1631 Queen St. East Two 19
158 Borough Drive Two 21
2444 Eglinton Ave. East Two 21
405 Sherbourne St. Two 13
150 Queens Wharf R.d (Block 36 North) Two 10

 

Timeline

The Housing Now Initiative follows an accelerated model to ensure an expedited route to construction and occupancy with the expectation that a site will take 2-4 years to deliver from Business Case Development to Market Offering to Delivery. Construction on some of the sites is expected to begin in early 2021 with completion targeted for 2022-24.

Stage 1: Business Case Stage 2: Market Offering Stage 3: Housing Delivery
Key Actions
  • Design Project
  • Due Diligence and Market Sounding
  • City-building objectives
  • Affordability Program
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • Initiate Rezoning (including conducting appropriate stakeholder consultations)
  • Select broker, if required
  • Project Marketing
  • Project Underwriting
  • Evaluation of Bids
  • Award and Negotiations
  • Complete planning approvals process (e.g. Site Plan approval)
  • Sale/Lease/Affordable Housing Transactions to be finalized
  • Developer Financing
  • Developer Planning Application (expedited)
  • Developer Construction Award
  • Development onsite
  • Selection of tenants and occupancy
Duration 3-6 months 7-12 months 2-4 years

Progress

Housing Now sites are at various stages of Business Case, Market Offering and Housing Delivery. To date, Council has approved the planning permissions for 140 Merton Street, 777 Victoria Park Avenue and 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard. The first annual Housing Now report has additional information if you are interested in learning more.

For those sites with development concepts and related materials, there are specific webpages listed below:

For more information regarding upcoming public meetings please visit CreateTO’s Events web page.

Affordable to Whom?

Housing Now aims to create homes affordable for a diverse range of incomes including deeply affordable homes by setting rents between 40% to 80% of the City’s average market rents. These homes are affordable to households with an annual income of $21,000 to $56,000. At the time of occupancy, rents will be adjusted to reflect average market rent of that year.

Council Direction

Site Specific Approvals

City Council’s four priority sites have advanced through a site specific planning process. More information is available below.

Address Complete Community Elements
140 Merton Street
  • 180 rental units, including 90 affordable rental units
  • Heritage Preservation
  • 2,150 square metres of community space
  • Mid-block connection and outdoor social spaces
50 Wilson Heights Boulevard
  • 1,500 residential units including 500 affordable rental units
  • 62-space child care facility
  • 1,700 square metres of community space
  • 3,800 square metres of non-residential (commercial and retail space)
  • 3,049 square metre public park, extension of the William R. Allen Road Pathway
  • New public street
777 Victoria Park Avenue
  • 508 rental units, including 254 affordable rental units
  • 62 space childcare facility
  • 425 square metres of community space
  • Midblock connections and outdoor social spaces (transit plaza)
705 Warden Avenue

(recommended zoning by-law before Council in June, 2020)

  • 600 residential units, including 250 affordable rental units
  • 62 space child care facility
  • 400 square metres of retail space
  • 13,000 square metres of office space (TTC)
  • 3,834 square metre public park and renaturalized area around Massey Creek
  • New public street