Parking lots by York Civic Centre to become Housing Now site

Four new sites, including parking lots by the York Civic Centre on Eglinton Avenue West, have been added to the city’s list of properties for creation of affordable housing.

City council unanimously approved Nov. 9 a staff report proposing to expand the Housing Now program to include sites at 2700 Eglinton Ave. W., 40 Bushby Dr., 4040 Lawrence Ave. E. and East Bayfront on the waterfront.

The sites were put forward as the third phase of the program, intended to to develop affordable rental housing on under-used city-owned lands. Ten sites across Toronto were approved by council last year in the first two phases of Housing Now.

Close to the LRT

Staff documents show the new intended building site on Eglinton Avenue West covers two Green P parking lots along Municipal Drive northeast of the York Civic Centre, which houses courtrooms, property tax offices and children’s services.

The site is 1.5 acres and currently designated for mixed use. It also includes a single-storey building partly serving as a garage.

The city point out the site’s proximity to the Keele Station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT currently under construction as a consideration in choosing the location, as Housing Now locations are intended to be easy accessible by transit.

Housing Now map
MAPPED OUT: Areas lined in red make up the site for affordable housing in staff proposal approved by city council Nov. 9.

The four new sites are expected to provide up to 1,400 new homes, including 450 to 600 affordable rental homes.

“I am proud City Council has approved the next phase of Housing Now,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement released by the city. “This is critical for the advancement of our growing and successful city.”

With programs like Housing Now, the city will be ready to push ahead on affordable housing when Toronto’s economy recovers from the pandemic, Tory said.