Deborah Beaven can’t wait to move back home to her Toronto Community Housing apartment at 42 Hubbard Blvd.
She’s lived at the 27-unit Kew Beach apartment complex for over two decades, but all the tenants were moved out two years ago when mould was found throughout the building.
This summer she and any of the previous tenants who wish to return will be moving back home.
“I am down there every second day watching it (construction),” said Beaven. “I am marking the days on my calendar. I miss being in my home. I miss my neighbours of 22 years.”
Beaven was one of the lucky ones as she was relocated only seven blocks away.
“But it’s a world away,” said Beaven, who was the 42 Hubbard’s tenant rep for seven years.
She said through phone calls, emails and Facebook connections she gathers that 80-85 percent of previous tenants plan to return to the Hubbard building, which offers a mix of rent-geared-to-income and market rent apartments.
She said one young couple is waiting until they move back before they try and have a baby as they want to raise any children in the building and community.
“We are wandering around like people without a country,” she said. “I feel like I’m in a hotel (now). It’s not home.”
The building’s interior has been replaced while the brick shell of the structure remains intact.
Toronto Community Housing said it was necessary to move everyone out while they gutted the interior.
“While replacing kitchens and bathrooms at 42 Hubbard in 2008, the staff completing repairs encountered mould and needed to move tenants out urgently,” said spokesperson Sinead Canavan. “They also cited a number of other substantial repairs and upgrades required to bring the 82 year old building up to a state of good repair.”
The building includes new apartments, an elevator which replaces the central staircase, a barrier-free entrance, bike parking, new landscaping, a new common area, laundry room, a green roof and rooftop patio with view of the beach.
The city and province paid $4.05 million for the renovation under the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program stimulus funding plus some investment by Toronto Community Housing, Canavan wrote in an email.
“This is in line with Toronto Community Housing’s vision of contributing to a city where quality, affordable housing is available in vibrant neighbourhoods,” she wrote. “And where residents are proud of the place where they live, and where people feel connected to each other and their community.”
Meanwhile just around the corner Toronto Community Housing plans to sell 3,5,7 and 9 Hubbard Boulevard on the open market. On April 6, the interim board of one, Case Ootes, voted to sell a total of 22 single family homes that could fetch the city housing agency $15.7 in profits.
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