4 min read
13 April 2023

The Sprott Foundation gives a $4 million gift to launch WoodGreen’s UNMET Needs Campaign and establish a new seniors’ affordable housing site

Toronto, Ont. – WoodGreen Community Services and The WoodGreen Foundation are thrilled to announce a $4 million gift from The Sprott Foundation to kick off WoodGreen’s UNMET Needs Campaign with an investment in a seniors’ affordable housing development at 60 Bowden St.

The ambitious $25-million UNMET Needs Campaign is focused on shining a light on the multitude of Toronto’s unmet needs and the critical role of WoodGreen in helping to address them. This includes the creation of more affordable housing, such as the 60 Bowden St. project that will transform the site of Danforth Baptist Church into 50 new, affordable one-bedroom and studio apartments for underserved seniors. The new eight-storey, pre-modular complex will preserve much of the historical architectural elements of the church, including the sanctuary – blending the traditional brick and stone towers of the church with a modern mass-timber structure to create a striking new landmark on the Danforth.

Tenants of the building will access a full spectrum of wrap-around health and wellness supports, along with innovative programs, common spaces, and amenities, designed to enhance their quality of life. In addition, the project will see the establishment of a commercial kitchen and a community food bank, with an emphasis on fresh, healthy food, continuing the church’s history of serving the surrounding neighbourhood.

The building will also include two of WoodGreen’s signature ‘clusters’ of care. Each cluster will bring together eight to 10 frail seniors with complex needs in a group living environment with round-the-clock assistance from trained staff – safeguarding residents’ health and safety and lessening the pressures on hospitals and long-term care.

Through projects like the 60 Bowden St. development, WoodGreen is working to create private-public partnerships that bring philanthropy and government together for the common good.

In 2022, thanks to Councillor Paula Fletcher’s leadership, the City of Toronto advanced WoodGreen’s innovative proposal for the Bowden Street site. The City of Toronto approved the project for financial incentives to increase the feasibility of the project through the Open Door program, which exempts WoodGreen from having to pay city planning application and building permit fees, and property taxes for the duration of affordability.

That same year, the city also successfully submitted the 60 Bowden St. project to the federal government to receive funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). As a result, the project received a $19.8 million investment under phase two of the RHI, which is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) through the National Housing Strategy. Additionally, the city is supporting the project through the Concept 2 Keys priority development review program.

Construction of the Bowden Street site is expected to begin later this year.

For more information about WoodGreen’s UNMET Needs Campaign, please visit woodgreen.org/unmet.

To learn more about The Sprott Foundation, visit their website, sprottfoundation.com.


“We are honoured to have the support of The Sprott Foundation and exceedingly grateful for this outstanding gift. It is no secret that our population is rapidly aging and that many of the city’s older residents are struggling. The Sprott family’s investment will support affordable and supportive housing for seniors and help to ensure they can age with dignity in their community. Moreover, this gift will spearhead WoodGreen’s UNMET Needs Campaign to help create a more equitable Toronto for all.”

- Bill MacKinnon, Chair of The WoodGreen Foundation.

“We are excited to partner with WoodGreen on this project. Our family has been deeply concerned to see the rise in homelessness, hunger, and urgent need across Toronto. And it is becoming increasingly prevalent among seniors. We hope our gift to this project, and the far-reaching UNMET Needs Campaign, will inspire others to step forward to help address the challenges our city is facing.”

-Juliana Sprott, Chief Giving Officer of The Sprott Foundation.

“This is our federal government’s National Housing Strategy in action. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we are investing in safe, affordable, and supportive housing here in Toronto and across Canada. It is also a tribute to the meaningful change that can happen through public-private partnerships. I applaud The Sprott Foundation and WoodGreen, and am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues and the community to create more affordable and accessible housing, and improve the quality of life for those who need it most.”

-Julie Dabrusin, MP Toronto-Danforth

“Congratulations to WoodGreen Community Services and The WoodGreen Foundation on the launch of your ambitious $25 million UNMET Needs Campaign. A very big thank you to The Sprott Foundation for your support and lead donation, as part of WoodGreen’s UNMET Needs Campaign, and in supporting the creation of much-needed affordable and supportive housing for seniors in Ward 14. WoodGreen can continue to count on the support of their Ward Councillor and City of Toronto through the Open Door program and other housing initiatives, to get shovels in the ground and new affordable homes opened.”

-Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 Councillor for the City of Toronto

ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer more than 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Tureisha Hamlet, Manager, Public Relations & Corporate Communications; [email protected] (416) 277-2672 (cell)