Plans announced for biggest co-op housing development in Ontario, Canada

Partners on the project, which will deliver more than 900 homes, include the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto

The City of Toronto has announced plans for one of Ontario’s largest affordable housing projects in the past 25 years – which will form the Canadian province’s largest co-operative development.

The city authority, working with CreateTO – the City’s real estate agency – says Civic Developments, Windmill Developments and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto will be development partners for the project, at 2444 Eglinton Ave. E.

“I’m pleased to announce the development partners for this site, which is helping us reach our affordable housing targets,” said city mayor Olivia Chow. “This project is a good example of how the City, not-for-profit housing providers and private developers can work together to get affordable housing built. This will be the largest co-operative housing development in Ontario to date and will serve as a roadmap to help guide future developments, because we need more housing and everyone at the table to deliver it.”

City of Toronto says the scheme will deliver approximately 918 homes, including 612 rent-geared-to-income (RGI), affordable and market rent-controlled co-operative homes.

This represents “a significant milestone for housing supply in Ontario“, it adds, “addressing the critical need for affordable housing options and fostering inclusive community through co-op housing”.

Through the not-for-profit housing co-operative, the co-op buildings will be owned and operated by the people who live in them. Each of the buildings will be governed by a board of directors made up of residents who will be elected by the members of the co-op.

The project has been facilitated by the Housing Now Initiative, which Toronto City Council approved in January 2019 to activate City-owned lands to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing within transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use and complete communities.

Planners say it will consist of two co-op buildings and a market ownership building. The homes will consist of a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. The site will also offer 3,580 square feet of community space as well as 12,770 square feet of retail space.

This site, adjacent to the Kennedy Mobility Hub, connects four major transportation lines, adds City of Toronto.

Rents for the RGI and affordable co-op homes will be set between 40 and 100 per cent of Average Market Rent as reported annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which City of Toronto says will make them affordable to a range of people with varying income levels. At least 33% of the affordable homes and 15% of the market rental homes in the project will be accessible.

Civic Developments, Windmill Developments and Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto were selected as the development partners through a market offering process led by CreateTO on behalf of the City in 2021. As a pilot project by the CreateTO Board of Directors, the development team will undertake the process to obtain a zoning bylaw amendment and other planning approvals required to enable the final development concept.

Construction is expected to start this year.

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