The City of Toronto opened 22 new “deeply affordable” housing units at 25 Leonard Avenue.
According to the city, the new rental units are owned and operated by St. Clare’s and are purpose built to support people experiencing homelessness.
The housing units are described as studio apartments with a washroom, kitchen, and combined sleeping/living space.
The City of Toronto said it is providing rent supplements that will allow the units to rent at approximately 50% of average market rent (about $524 per month).
“The success of this project demonstrates what can be achieved when we come together to address housing in our city,” Mayor John Tory said.
“Housing is vitally important, but we can’t do it alone, which is why the HousingTO Action Plan commits to implementation through partnerships and collaboration — exactly as what we see here with St. Clare’s, RESCON and the City of Toronto. I want to thank all of our partners for bringing this project to life and for helping us provide stable, affordable housing for vulnerable residents in our city.”
The addition of the new 22 units cost $5.4 million to construct and was funded as follows, according to the city:
- St. Clare’s: $3.8 million in equity and mortgage financing.
- RESCON: $1 million via a fundraising effort that resulted in 21 donors from the construction and infrastructure sectors.
- City of Toronto: $500,000 capital grant plus fee waivers and property tax exemptions through the Open Door Program and a $150,000 development grant.
The apartments are part of an intensification project, built on a small strip of land that was formerly a parking lot next to an existing 77-unit affordable housing building owned and managed by St. Clare’s in the Kensington Market neighbourhood.
The city said a key highlight of the building is the laser-cut, steel railing panels that were created based on art from local artists Margaux Smith and Leo Krukowski.
“The art installation reflects the community and also signifies the strong connection the community has with the tenants of the existing building and their desire to welcome their new neighbours,” said the city.