Toronto, Ont. – Today, WoodGreen Community Services, alongside local representatives and community members, celebrated the opening of its new social housing building for seniors in the city’s east end with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. WoodGreen’s Board Chair Sean Mullins, Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Toronto City Councillor Paula Fletcher all spoke at the event.
The $16 million project located at 1117 Gerrard St. E. — which includes 36 housing units and is adjacent to another WoodGreen seniors’ building, creating a campus-like experience — was made possible due to community partnership and government support. Thanks to WoodGreen’s leadership in the housing sector, it was the first project in the city to receive joint funding from the City of Toronto’s Open Door Program for Affordable Housing, Newmarket Funds (a social impact fund), and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF). This new high-quality building incorporates high environmental, accessibility, and energy-savings standards, not to mention providing affordable homes to vulnerable seniors in the community.
The new building replaced the previous Riverdale United Church, an important community gathering place. Great care was taken to honour the legacy of the church and its impact on the community through the inclusion of a modern space for the Parent Resources EarlyON Child and Family Centre in the new building. The new centre provides drop-in programs including early learning play environments, parenting and home caregiver support, workshops, social activities and more.
WoodGreen is a sector leader in affordable housing and has been at the frontline of poverty reduction and community services for more than eight decades. As Toronto’s largest non-municipal affordable housing provider, WoodGreen owns and manages 20 housing sites in the city, where residents have access to the full basket of its supportive services (from employment and financial empowerment programs to youth and community health programs) that help keep people housed and supported to live independently.
“With an affordable housing crisis and the cost of rent in Toronto continually going up, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many people, and in particular for low-income seniors, to be able to afford a place to live. WoodGreen is proud to finally officially open the doors to this new housing development, which will give more seniors a safe and affordable place to call home and access to the wide range of support services that WoodGreen offers.” - Anne Babcock, President & CEO, WoodGreen Community Services
“Our Government believes that every Canadian should be able to retire in dignity. We recognize that there is a need for supportive housing for seniors here in Toronto. That is why our Government are proud partners in this project with WoodGreen Community Housing, and have provided over $7.9 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund to help build these 36 new, affordable homes. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.” – Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto — Danforth
"This new development is a testament to what can be accomplished when all orders of government work along with key private partners together to respond to the specific needs of a neighbourhood. These new affordable homes for seniors will play a big role in the community while at the same time sustaining necessary child care programming for families. I want to thank the federal and provincial government for their funding towards this project and for helping us add much-needed affordable housing to our city." – Mayor John Tory
"It is great to see the new WoodGreen seniors' housing building open along with the new space for the Parent Resources Centre. Hundreds of local families use this popular drop-in program and it was important that it return to its former site. Building new affordable units is a top priority and this long-awaited housing is much needed. I'd like to thank all those involved who made this possible and send a warm welcome to the new residents." - Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 (Toronto-Danforth)
To learn more about WoodGreen’s housing programs and services, please visit woodgreen.org.
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 over 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: Jen Mayville, Marketing & Communications Manager; [email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell)