Residential construction industry raises funds for housing projects for homeless

The residential construction industry raised more than $1.4 million for construction of two projects in Toronto that provide housing to those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

The funds were used to build units at 25 Leonard Ave. and renovate supportive housing apartments at 877 Yonge St. Both buildings are managed by the St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society.

“Ontario’s residential construction industry was pleased to play a part in the expansion of both projects. We are delighted that they are now in operation and helping people get into appropriate housing,” says RESCON president Richard Lyall. “These projects are great examples of what can be achieved when the private and public sectors and a non-profit organization team up for a good cause. By contributing to these projects, we are helping people who are experiencing homelessness get into affordable housing and providing apartments for those who are at risk of homelessness.”

Twenty-two housing units have been built at 25 Leonard Ave. They were erected on a small strip of land that was formerly a parking lot just east of Bathurst Street and across from Toronto Western Hospital, next to an existing 77-unit affordable housing building.

The three-storey, brick building has studio apartments with a washroom, kitchen and combined sleeping/living space and enables people who have experienced long-term homelessness to get into a permanent residence.

Twenty-five supportive housing apartments have been built in a former senior’s residence at 877 Yonge St. The building consists of studio and one-bedroom apartments with supports for women, Indigenous residents, seniors, people with disabilities and people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Community builder and philanthropist Phil Rubinoff spearheaded and chaired the fundraising committee, which approached and secured donations from residential builders/developers, construction associations, and labour unions.

The building at 25 Leonard Ave. was completed in 2020 and occupancy has begun at the 877 Yonge St. structure.

“The need for affordable housing has never been more severe,” says St. Clare’s executive director Andrea Adams. “The completion of these projects is a meaningful step in the right direction, but not the end of our efforts. These projects are critical as they change the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, providing them with appropriate accommodation and dignity.”

A list of those who donated to the projects include: 

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