Toronto unveils first affordable housing units for Indigenous seniors

A group of people in a line stand beside an orange, yellow and blue sign outside. A brick wall on a building is in the background.
Toronto Mayor John Tory helped unveil the opening of the city's first ever Indigenous senior home. Photo courtesy of John Tory's Twitter account.
Daniel Centeno - CJRU - TorontoON | 29-07-2022
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A collaboration between the city of Toronto and CreateTO unveiled the opening of the city’s first ever Indigenous-led site for Indigenous seniors this week. 

The housing complex is located at 140 Merton St. in the midtown area along Yonge St. 

Development of the project is under Housing Now, a city-based initiative to help create affordable housing, and one component of Toronto’s housing plan for 2020 to 2030. 

“Supporting Indigenous-led housing projects is an important part of the affordable housing strategy in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan," said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Tory, along with deputy mayor Ana Bailão, joined Chief Jason Gauthier of the Missanabie Cree First Nation to announce the opening. 

"We will continue to advance our commitment to reconciliation and moving forward together with Indigenous communities," Tory said. "I am committed to making way for more Indigenous-focused housing projects as quickly as possible as part of our overall efforts working with the other governments and our community partners to get more housing built.”

Chief Jason Gautheir said that he is delighted to work with the city of Toronto, and that these projects are generational and will work to house "the present communities and sustain an inclusive future for all."

Merton St. will be the first site, and there are plans to provide 184 new rental homes through this project - 50 per cent of these homes will be allocated as affordable housing according to a recent press release. 

Buildings will include ceremonial spaces, smudging rooms and indoor and outdoor amenities for senior residents. 

The current site is home to SPRINT Senior Care, and will relocate temporarily next door until full construction of 140 Merton is completed. Additional community space will be part of the development for current and future tenants. 

Prior to the announcement, the city analyzed several proposals for the project, and awarded it to the Missanabie Cree First Nation. 

According to the press release, Missanabie Cree First Nation is active in community building and reconciliation by leading and contributing (including financially) to initiatives in health, elder care, affordable housing, economic development, relationship-building, culture and intercultural dialogue.

CreateTO, the other partner in the housing project, was established in 2018. It is the city’s real estate agency and works to help analyze Toronto’s real estate assets and how they can be used effectively. 

More details to come.

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