The City of Toronto and CreateTO have announced the development partners for two Phase One Housing Now sites, as the City moves ahead in its progress on building new affordable and market rental housing.
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.
Across these two Housing Now sites, the developer partners will build over 2,000 new homes, including over 1,600 rental homes, of which nearly 800 will be affordable rental homes. 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.
In 2019, as part of Housing Now Phase One, 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.
Today 17 sites across Phases One and Two are in various stages of development. Through the planning approval process, the City has successfully increased the number of residential units to exceed targets. Housing Now Phase One and Two are now on track to create an estimated 13,479 new homes, including 3,037 ownership homes and 10,142 purpose-built rental homes, of which 5,005 will be affordable.
In addition to providing much-needed affordable housing within mixed-income developments, these projects will contribute to complete communities and deliver a wide range of city-building benefits.
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:
The development will include a new park, commercial/retail uses, a child care 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., at the northeast corner of Warden Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East, will include approximately 600 residential homes, comprising:
The development also includes the expansion of Warden Hilltop Park, the renaturalization 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.
The affordable homes created through Housing Now will be geared to households earning between $21,000 and $68,000 per year. The homes will be affordable to Toronto residents working in many front-line occupations. Many of these residents have been recognized as essential workers delivering critical services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Housing Secretariat, City Planning and CreateTO have been working to advance the delivery of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use communities through the Housing Now initiative, since the program’s inception in December 2018.
The developments will be funded by the selected for-profit and not-for-profit developer proponents. The City is offering financial incentives through the Open Door program, including waiving development charges, planning and building fees, and parkland dedication fees for the affordable component of the project. To date, these incentives are valued at $328 million across the Housing Now portfolio and the City is leveraging the $925 million land value to support the development of affordable housing on each site. Housing Now projects are also conditional on financing through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative.
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.
More information about these Housing Now sites is available on the City’s website.
“As a City, we are committed to creating more affordable housing in communities across Toronto. 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, child care facilities and much more. 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. With today’s announcement, we are moving forward in the development of two vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use communities that will include more than 800 new affordable rental homes for families and individuals in Scarborough and North York.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Delivering affordable housing to the people of Toronto is critical now more so than ever. Through the Housing Now initiative, the City is leveraging its resources and working in partnership with the private and non-profit sectors to build new affordable housing in neighbourhoods across Toronto. As a result of these two projects, more than 2,000 new residential homes will be developed, including more than 800 new affordable rental homes, which will ensure that more people across our city have access to housing opportunities.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“With more than 1,400 residential homes, the Housing Now site at 50 Wilson Heights Blvd. is one of the largest projects in the portfolio. I’m proud that more than 500 affordable homes are going to be built as part of this development, which will also benefit the broader community thanks to the inclusion of new parkland, commuter parking, a new child care facility and retail and office uses.”
– Councillor James Pasternak (York Centre)
“The project at 705 Warden Ave. will deliver much-needed affordable housing through the creation of well-designed developments that will become great homes for future residents. The local communities surrounding this site will also benefit tremendously from access to new child care centres, new retail spaces and the additional green and open space that this project is going to deliver.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest)
“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 child care centres and public realm improvements. I’m looking forward to seeing these sites progress.”
– Chris Murray, City Manager, City of Toronto
“CreateTO is proud to be a partner in delivering the Housing Now initiative, which is helping to build affordable housing within complete communities across the city. The successful proponents on these two sites all have strong reputations in the building industry and have proven track records in delivering high quality mixed-income and mixed-use developments. We look forward to seeing these projects continue to progress and come to fruition.”
– Steven Trumper, Chief Executive Officer, CreateTO
CreateTO was formed in 2018 as the City of Toronto’s real estate agency. The organization brings together stakeholders, partners and community members to ensure the best use of the City’s real estate assets for today and tomorrow. CreateTO manages the City’s $27 billion real estate portfolio, develops City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and delivers client focused real estate solutions – ensuring a balance of both community and economic benefits. For more information, visit createto.ca.
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