A building of ‘new beginnings’ opens on Church Street

Homeless women now have 120 apartments available at low rents in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, where they can begin their lives anew.

This morning Mayor John Tory, Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and other city representatives re-opened a 13-storey affordable rental building for them at 389 Church St.

“These 120 new homes symbolize a new start for so many vulnerable Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and gender-diverse residents as well as youth and seniors who are or have been experiencing homelessness,” Wong-Tam said.

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“This neighbourhood has always been a welcoming community to all who live, visit and work here and I look forward to seeing the new residents in our community.”

The building is intended to offer affordable self-contained apartments to create a safe, inclusive and supportive community for diverse women, from youths to seniors, who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of becoming homelessness, according to city officials.

Church Street tower
TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT: The newly modernized building offers 13 storeys of affordable housing.

It’s owned by Toronto Community Housing Corporation but is to be operated by the Young Women’s Christian Association, which has leased the building.

“We are so proud to partner with the city and other agencies in opening the doors of 389 Church St. to the women in our community who need it most,” said Heather M. McGregor, YWCA chief executive officer.

“Supportive housing is critical to alleviating poverty and helping women build lives for themselves in which they will be healthy, happy and safe,” McGregor said. “This building represents many wonderful new beginnings.”


Affordable housing goals

In 2018 the city agreed to join with the province to fund the modernization of the TCHC building, which was considered underused at the time, to create self-contained, affordable housing.

It’s now part of the city’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan that calls for 40,000 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes, to be approved over the decade.

“Today’s announcement is a good example of taking city assets and modernizing them so that they serve our residents better while meeting our affordable housing goals,” Tory said.

Church Street kitchen
ROOM WITH A VIEW: A kitchen in one of the modernized apartments of 389 Church St.

He thanked the provincial government and YWCA for partnering with the city on the project.

“By working together, we can continue to build up Toronto and ensure that everyone has a roof over their head,” he said.