affordable housing toronto

Former Toronto hotel has been transformed into new housing for people in need

A former budget hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto has been transformed into the city's latest affordable housing development, officially unveiled by Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and other city officials on Tuesday.

Three floors of the former Super 8 Hotel at 222 Spadina — part of the Chinatown Centre complex — were purchased by the City in 2021, and just over two years since that announcement, the property's conversion is complete.

The former Super 8 is now home to 84 new homes described by the city as "deeply affordable" supportive housing provided for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, as well as new community space, administrative and programming rooms, and an amenity space for residents occupying an outdoor deck on the fifth floor.

Units are primarily studio apartments, with 79 of the total 84 taking this minimalist approach. There is also limited support for people and families requiring more space, with three single-bedroom units and a pair of two-bedroom units included.

The first residents are set to take occupancy this month, and will pay no more than 30 per cent of their total income on rent

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie was on hand to cut the ribbon for this new project, calling it a step in "working to get more affordable and supportive homes built for more residents as quickly as possible."

McKelvie extended thanks to the federal and provincial governments for assisting in funding the conversion, hailing projects like these as "vital to effectively address the urgent housing needs of communities in Toronto."

Operation as well as 24-hour security and support for the units will be provided by non-profit housing organization Homes First Society. This will ensure the homes are secure and residents are provided with a readily-available support network, including housing stability services, a food program, clinical supports, and life skills training, all self-contained on-site.

Transformation of the former hotel property was accomplished through a funding partnership between all three levels of government, a deal that ensures long-term affordability for the site through the waiving of fees and charges along with a 99-year exemption from property taxes.

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