Sale of former 1.2 acre industrial site in west-end Toronto will lead to development of 68 stacked townhomes (Inside Toronto)

In an article published August 9, 2016, Inside Toronto discusses the sale of surplus city land to develop more affordable housing units. 

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Sale of former 1.2 acre industrial site in west-end Toronto will lead to development of 68 stacked town-homes (Inside Toronto)

Almost half of the units slated for affordable housing


The sale of surplus city property at 2 Bicknell Ave. will help create 32 new affordable home units, address historical contamination and complete a well-established residential block in the city’s west end, according a media release from Build Toronto, the City of Toronto’s real estate and development investment corporation.

When completed, the city-building development is estimated to generate $1.3 million in development charges and fees, and $150,000 annually in property taxes for the City of Toronto.

“Build Toronto is leading the way again, working with organizations that share our goal of providing affordable housing while also creating value in underused city land,” said Willowdale Councillor David Shiner, the chair of both the Build Toronto board and city council’s growth management committee, in an Aug. 9 Build Toronto media release.

“Toronto housing prices continue to make significant gains, creating housing affordability obstacles for residents. That’s why the new Build Toronto Board looks to provide city-building benefits, such as affordable housing, on all of our projects.”

Of the total 68 units within this development, 32 units will be sold to eligible purchasers who will receive down payment assistance facilitated by Trillium Housing.

The City of Toronto, through the Affordable Housing Office, and Build Toronto, along with Trillium Housing, are providing $2.6 million towards the down payment assistance program. The combined city and Build Toronto contribution of $2.2 million will be provided back to the city upon the first resale of each unit for reinvestment into future city-wide affordable ownership housing.

“Collaboration between Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office, Build Toronto and the non-profit and private sectors is generating affordable housing on Bicknell Avenue and across the city,” said Davenport Councillor Ana Bailão, chair of the Affordable Housing Committee, in the media release.

“These are the kinds of partnerships we will be pursuing through the city’s new Open Door program to accelerate the creation of affordable housing.”

Located off Rogers Road, between Keele Street and Weston Road, the 1.2-acre former industrial site previously housed a TTC bus loop, a former hydro building and a building supply company.

Build Toronto has relocated the building supply company to another Build Toronto property, allowing it to consolidate its operations in the City of Toronto and triple in size, generating employment growth.

“This parcel was the last remnant of the area’s past industrial life and was no longer being fully utilized, said Bill Bryck, president and CEO of Build Toronto. “This transaction lets us restore the property, improve its site conditions and complete the neighbourhood, all while providing financial returns to the City of Toronto, which is all part of our commitment to create greater value for the city through real estate opportunities.”

Trillium Housing and its partner Van Mar Constructors have a development plan for 2 Bicknell Ave. that includes 68 stacked townhomes that will front on all four sides of the block and integrate improved landscaping, completing the block and enhancing the corner of Bicknell Avenue and Rogers Road.

“Parcels of land that require further investment are a hidden gem for Toronto,” said York South-Weston Councillor Frank Di Giorgio. “The development at 2 Bicknell Ave. will be a catalyst for further growth and investment in an area of the city that is filled with mature residential neighbourhoods and new commercial growth.”

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