The City Of Toronto Is Repurposing Some Of Their Buildings To Create Affordable Housing​

Would you want to live in an old city building?

Toronto Staff Writer
Mayor John Tory. Right: Toronto City Hall.

Mayor John Tory. Right: Toronto City Hall.

The city of Toronto will be using city-owned properties to deliver "500 to 600 affordable rental and ownership homes" and other "city services" as part of the ModernTO plan.

Toronto's City Council "unanimously" approved to move ahead with the next steps in ModernTO on April 6, which will shrink the city's office space from 55 locations to 15, according to a press release.

ModernTO was first launched in 2019 by Mayor John Tory to "make sure the City was using its office space as efficiently and effectively as possible." Due to the pandemic, city workers have moved to a hybrid model of work, creating an opportunity to utilize those spaces differently and save money while helping move the project forward.

The program will reduce the city's office space "by ending leases and creating office hubs within key civic buildings including City Hall, Metro Hall and the civic centres in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke."

Tory tweeted on Wednesday saying that he's "been proud to champion ModernTO and look forward to its implementation."

Eight city properties, including 610 Bay Street, 277 Victoria Street, 931 Yonge Street, 33 Queen Street East, 75 Elizabeth Street, 1900 Yonge Street, 18 Dyas Road, and 95 The Esplanade, will be freed up as a result and used for "city-building purposes" like affordable housing and city services.

33 Queen Street East, 75 Elizabeth Street, and 1900 Yonge Street have been selected for longer-term projects, whereas the remaining five locations will be "repurposed in the short term."

The overall land has a total estimated value of $450 million, and a portion will go towards the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund. At the same time, the majority will be reserved for city buildings with a focus on creating affordable housing.

The plan proposes to create between 500 to 600 homes for rent and purchase in downtown and midtown Toronto, along with creating new civic and institutional spaces and more.

However, when the spaces will be ready and what each space will be used for has yet to be determined.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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