City of Toronto partners with Civic Developments and Windmill Development Group on Ontario’s largest co-op housing project
Civic Developments and Windmill Development Group have partnered with the City of Toronto to build the largest co-op housing project in Ontario.
The City of Toronto’s real estate agency, CreateTO, has selected Civic Developments and Windmill Development Group to develop a 2.88-acre City-owned site across from Kennedy Station into the largest cooperative housing project in Ontario.
The co-op, which will be one of the province’s largest affordable housing developments in the past 25 years, will provide long-term rental housing that will be owned and operated by residents on a non-profit basis.
The project will be located at 2444 Eglinton Avenue East (“2444 Eglinton”) in Scarborough and the residential development will aim to raise the bar for mixed-tenure affordable housing through a partnership between government, non-profit, and the private sector.
It will contain 918 units and approximately two-thirds of them will comprise rent-geared-to-income (RGI), affordable and market rental co-op housing, which will be operated by non-profit housing partner, the Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT).
The remaining 306 units will be market condominiums.
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. This will make them affordable to people across varying income levels and at least 33 per cent of the affordable homes and 15 per cent of the market rental homes will be accessible.
“This is a significant step forward for housing in Toronto that demonstrates that with creativity and the right cooperation between the public, private and non-profit sectors, you can come up with solutions that have a big impact on the housing affordability issue,” said Dan Van Leeuwen, partner, Windmill Development Group. “This is what affordable housing should look like in 2024.”
“It’s a pivotal time for housing in Toronto,” said Matthew Cohen, managing partner, Civic Developments. “The city is experiencing tremendous growth. It’s our hope that 2444 Eglinton can set a new precedent for mixed-tenure housing in Toronto that is accessible by transit. It’s time to shake up the status quo development models.”
2444 Eglinton is located near Kennedy GO Station, Kennedy TTC subway station and the future Crosstown LRT line and will be the first private sector-led site under the City of Toronto’s Housing Now program, which develops transit-oriented affordable housing on City-owned land.
Once the project is complete, it will be among the most connected transit hubs in Toronto. 2444 Eglinton will also help the City reach its affordable housing targets.
The development partners, Windmill Development Group, Civic Developments and CHFT, were selected by CreateTO through a market offering process in 2021.
CreateTO oversaw the development process before the partner selection, including various community consultation meetings.
The development team is currently in the process of obtaining a zoning bylaw amendment and other planning approvals required to facilitate the development, as part of a pilot project led by CreateTO’s board of directors. Construction is expected to begin in 2026.
“This is an incredibly important partnership to help the City reach its housing goals and deliver one of Ontario’s largest co-operative and affordable housing projects. I’m looking forward to welcoming the people that will call this development home in just a few short years,” said Vic Gupta, chief executive officer, CreateTO.
“The time is right for governments and developers to get back into building quality, non-profit co-op housing. This project is a testament to how that can be done in today’s market,” said Tom Clement, executive director, Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto. “Over time, the rent for the co-op units will only rise to cover cost increases relative to the market, meaning these units will remain affordable for everybody. That’s true affordability.”
The 2444 Eglinton design team includes Vancouver architecture firm Henriquez Partners Architects (Mirvish Village) and landscape and urban design firm CCxA (Love Park, The Well).
The development will be made up of two co-op buildings and a market condominium building. The homes will consist of a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments and there will also be community and retail space included in the project.
The project will expand current community gardens, provide new retail opportunities for local businesses, and create new pedestrian connections from transit to the Meadoway hydro corridor that abuts the property.
Sustainability is a foundational principle of 2444 Eglinton. As with other Windmill developments, 2444 Eglinton will be governed by the One Planet Living, a framework of 10 guiding principles that address environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
The project will also exceed obligations to meet Toronto Green Standard Version 4, Tier 2 with respect to sustainability and environmental performance.