City to create ‘mixed income neighbourhood’ with new affordable homes in Toronto’s east end

Toronto Community Housing buildings to be demolished in redevelopment of Queen St. East property
ABOVE: The mayor and several members of City Council announced a housing partnership, which they say is a good compromise to improve current Toronto Community Housing units on Queen St. East. The deal would also create other rental units, including affordable ones which are in high demand. But as Matthew Bingley reports, the deal isn’t winning over some of its current residents.

Mayor John Tory announced that the city would be building hundreds of new affordable homes to bring a “mixed income neighbourhood” to the east end.

In a press conference Monday, the city announced a major revitalization of two existing Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) apartments in the Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue area, where they will replace the 120 units currently on site.

The new project will add 100 affordable rental apartments, 180 market rent apartments and 350 additional conditional units, increasing the total number of units to 750.

Additionally, there will also be 16,000 square feet of retail commercial space to create a new mixed housing community.

READ MORE: New seniors housing corporation to be created by City of Toronto

“This revitalization is about more than bricks and mortar,” Tory said. “It is about creating a new community where renters and TCHC tenants and condo owners live side by side.”

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Councillor Paula Fletcher, who sits on the TCHC board and has worked on the plan over the past year, said the area will be transit-friendly and will allow for good access to services and green space.

“Building good quality affordable and market rental housing is a top priority for the City,” Fletcher said in a statement.

“In the coming weeks we will hold open houses to hear from the local community and we are working closely with tenants to ensure their needs are met through the construction phase.”

Is there any benefit to rejecting TCH tenants with a criminal record?
Is there any benefit to rejecting TCH tenants with a criminal record?

For tenants that are currently living in the two buildings, they will be relocated to “suitable accommodation” at other TCHC properties. All eligible tenants will also have the right to return to the community once the project has been complete.

A planning application will be submitted in the coming weeks, while city council will likely vote on planning approvals by summer 2020.

The new community is expected to be ready by late 2023.