September 13, 2017 6:25 pm
Updated: September 13, 2017 7:06 pm

Ontario unlocking surplus land in downtown Toronto to create rental units, affordable housing

Ontario and Toronto's governments announced the release of surplus land in Toronto on Wednesday to create more rental units and affordable housing.

Peter Milczyn / Twitter

Ontario’s government is unlocking surplus land of two downtown Toronto locations that will lead to new developments of rental units and affordable housing.

Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn and Toronto Mayor John Tory were on hand in the city’s West Don Lands on Wednesday to make the announcement.

The province is launching a process to secure a developer for four sites owned by their government, that will create 2,000 rental units of mixed-income housing. Of those units, 30 per cent or 600 units are earmarked for affordable housing.

The four sites for development include two lots in the West Don Lands near the Distillery District, including a lot south of Front Street, between Trinity and Cherry Streets, and a lot east of Cherry Street and north of the rail line. The remaining two lots are located between Yonge and Bay streets at 27 Grosvenor Street and 26 Grenville Street.

“By freeing up underused land to build a mix of market and affordable rental housing, more people in Ontario will be able to find an affordable home in neighbourhoods they love,” said Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn.

LISTEN BELOW: Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn joins AM640’s The John Oakley Show.

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The City of Toronto is working with the Ontario government to roll-out the first phase of the Provincial Affordable Housing Lands Program, by waiving $27.9 million in fees, charges and property taxes for the affordable housing units.

“We need to do everything we can to build more affordable housing in Toronto and we need to do it much faster,” Mayor Tory stated.

Toronto’s portion of money is being made available through the Open Door Program, which will invest $54.5 million in funding, financial incentives and loans to fast track building affordable housing units.

READ MORE: Ontario government announces $200M for supportive housing

The city says for the first year ever, it is on track for meeting its goal of approving or building 1,000 affordable housing units a year, set in 2009.

On Thursday, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on a mixed-income development of a 3.6-acre surplus public land at 5131 Sheppard Avenue East. Up to 102 new affordable ownership homes will be created in the building.

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