City plans to turn empty Salvation Army building into affordable housing

The empty building at 450 Pape Ave. owned by the Salvation Army may be turned into affordable housing.

Originally, city staff recommended encouraging the Salvation Army to sell the heritage site to a charity or non-profit. But now city council has approved spending about $2 million to turn the vacant building into housing for low-income residents, especially artists (as helpfully identified by Councillor Paula Fletcher).

"We have a win-win-win here," Fletcher said. "It's an opportunity to do something very positive."

Anyone hearing echoes of the early plans for the Peter St. homeless shelter?

Councillor Doug Holyday was against the move saying, "It's this kind of thing that makes the voters fed up."

"This is why we can't balance the books at the end of the year," he said. "The city doesn't have to run anything."

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