City of Toronto identifies 2 sites for supportive modular housing initiative

An artist rendering of the 150 Harrison site. City of Toronto

The City of Toronto has identified two sites for the first phase of its modular supportive housing initiative, which aims to provide housing to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness by the fall of 2020.

The project, which was announced at the end of April, aims to build a total of 250 modular units by the spring of 2021.

“City and CreateTO staff have been evaluating City-owned land across Toronto using criteria that included local demand for affordable housing, development potential of the site, local infrastructure, access to public transit, access to health and other community services, as well as zoning and other bylaw considerations,” a statement from local officials said Tuesday.

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Two sites have been identified for the first phase of the project: 150 Harrison St., which will have 44 bachelor apartments and is the former site of the 14 Division police station, as well as 11 Macey Ave., which will have 56 bachelor apartments and is located near Victoria Park and Danforth.

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“The City will select qualified, non-profit housing providers to manage each site. The modular homes will be pre-fabricated and installed on-site,” officials said.

Each of buildings will have self-contained bachelor units and shared communal kitchens.

Officials said there will also be a community engagement process online.

“I have led City Council in supporting the modular housing initiative because it is a key way in which we can provide residents access to stable, affordable, high-quality housing as quickly as possible,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

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“Through modular housing we can quickly create permanent housing options that will impact the lives of many people in our city.”

The modular housing program is one part of the wider HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. That plan calls for the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes and creation of 1,000 modular homes.

The modular housing program is estimated to cost $47.5 million, with the first phase carrying a price tag of $20.9 million.

— With files from Nick Westoll

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