In Toronto, new affordable housing is arising to revitalize post-industrial property next to the already-revitalized Distillery District

On May 24, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a partnership of three companies—Dream Unlimited Corp., Kilmer Group and Tricon Residential Inc. (together, DKT Partnership)—officially launched the Maple House residential redevelopment project at Canary Landing.

Canary Landing is located in Toronto’s award-winning Canary District community, a pedestrian scale urban village adjacent to the Distillery District in the Downtown East.

The Distillery District is itself a very successful revitalization of an old industrial area, so this is regeneration next to regeneration. This phenomenon was called “restoration contagion” in the groundbreaking 2002 book, The Restoration Economy.

Canary Landing is one of the largest and most significant rental communities in Canada. Altogether, the 12-acre community comprises 2300 rental units, of which 30 per cent will be dedicated as affordable housing and 25 per cent will be barrier-free.

This is meant to be a model for inclusive, true mixed-income communities across the city.

Canary Landing includes eight mixed-use buildings spanning four city blocks along Cherry Street. In addition to significant market and affordable rental housing, Canary Landing will also include 30,000 square feet of retail and a future 5,000 square foot community space.

Canary Landing represents an innovative public-private partnership among the DKT Partnership, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), all working collaboratively to create affordable housing solutions at scale.

We are grateful for the collaboration with our municipal, provincial, and federal partners as we work towards our shared vision for Canary Landing, which will target ambitious LEED Gold sustainability outcomes, and provide long-term market rental and affordable housing. Maple House is the start of fulfilling our promise to create beautiful, sustainable, and affordable housing, and we look forward to seeing residents thrive in this vibrant new community very soon,” says Andrew Joyner, Managing Director at Tricon Residential on behalf of the DKT Partnership.

Bringing much-needed affordable housing to the city, the development team is delivering 126 rental homes that will be filled in partnership with seven non-profit agencies from across the city, including: WoodGreen Community Services, Artscape, COSTI, Wigwamen, Performing Arts Lodge, March of Dimes and Interval House.

These affordable rental homes will be offered at 40 to 80 per cent below the average market rent. An additional 105 affordable rental homes will be available to the public through a soon-to-be-released open market call.

All 231 of the affordable homes have been financially supported by the City of Toronto’s Open Door Program.

We have all watched as Toronto’s affordable housing crisis has grown during the past several years,” says Anne Babcock, CEO of WoodGreen Community Services.

WoodGreen Community Services is thrilled to be working with other not-for-profit agencies and the DKT Partnership to deliver real and permanent housing solutions to a diverse range of Toronto residents. The Canary Landing initiative is a testament to what we can all do by working together for the common good,” she continued.

Maple House sets the stage with community-centric amenities and design

Central to the vision for Canary Landing’s Maple House is a desire to create beautiful architecture that is inclusive and accessible to all.

The architecture and design team, which includes Danish firm COBE, along with Canadian firms architectsAlliance and CCxA (Claude Cormier x Associés), focused on creating a design-forward and environmentally responsible community that respects the local heritage.

Maple House has already garnered several accolades, including the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence and the 2021 BILD Award for Best New Community.

Maple House is very special to us. It is not just a city-building project – more importantly, it is a community building project. We have focused a design that is highly contextual, connecting to the fine grain scale of the Distillery District, the prominent scale of Canary District, and at the same time, referencing the industrial heritage of Toronto’s waterfront. It results in buildings that both fit in and stand out, and a project that celebrates architectural inclusion and fosters and embraces social diversity and cohesion in this magnificent context,” says Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Owner of Cobe.

We are incredibly proud to be delivering this truly mixed-income community that is the first of its kind in Canada and a model for city-building,” concluded Joyner. “This type of housing will strengthen our city’s social fabric and meet the diverse needs of all Torontonians.”

Image courtesy of Dream Unlimited Corp.

See Canary Landing website.

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