Feds lending Toronto $1.2 billion to build housing

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The federal government has a $1.2 billion plan to fund seven new projects and build 2,644 rental homes in Toronto. The fully repayable low-interest loans will be provided through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.

“With today’s investment through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, our government is taking concrete action to help the citizens of Toronto access the rental housing they need,” said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. “We will continue to do everything we can to make housing more affordable for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

The seven projects:

  • 855 rental homes at 373 Front Street East, with an investment of $444 million;
  • 484 rental homes at 94 Eastdale Avenue, with an investment of $215 million;
  • 389 rental homes at 55 Broadway Avenue, with an investment of $165.4 million;
  • 390 rental homes at 325 Moriyama Drive, with an investment of $130 million;
  • 233 rental homes at 1555 Queen Street East, with an investment of $126 million;
  • 225 rental homes at 610 Martin Grove Road, with an investment of $93.7 million; and,
  • 68 rental homes at 650 Kingston Road, with an investment of $34.1 million.

The Rental Construction Financing Initiative is expected to help build more than 71,000 new rental housing units across Canada by 2027–28.

“We need to boost housing supply. This is why we are making strategic investments, through programs like the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, to build much-needed rental units across the country,” said Sean Fraser, federal housing minister.

Last week the Freeland announced that six surplus federal properties will be developed into more than 2,800 new homes in Ottawa, Calgary, Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

By March 2024, Canada Lands Company—a Crown corporation that will have enabled the construction of more than 13,000 new homes since 2016—will make federal properties available for home building:

  • Calgary: 516 homes at Currie
  • Edmonton: 711 homes, at the Village at Griesbach, including 93 affordable homes
  • John’s: 34 homes at Pleasantville
  • Ottawa: 307 homes at Wateridge Village, 600 homes at Carling Avenue, and 710 homes on Booth Street, including 221 affordable homes

Between 2016 and 2023, Canada Lands Company has repurposed previously underused federal properties to enable over 10,300 new homes for Canadians. Of this, more than 1,100 affordable homes were created through land sales supported by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation programs.

As part of the 29,200 new homes Canada Lands Company will support by 2029, significant progress has already been made on projects including in: Vancouver, British Columbia, at Jericho Lands, which is being planned for 13,000 new homes; and at Heather Lands, which is being planned for 2,600 new homes. Both projects are in collaboration with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Partnership.

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