Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

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Reinventing life on George Street


George Street Revitalization (GSR) is a Council-approved project that will see the reinvention of one of Toronto's most unwelcoming streets through the redevelopment of Seaton House men's shelter into a world-class facility. It will provide specialized care for vulnerable populations, including a long-term care home, an assisted living facility, an emergency shelter, affordable housing, and a community hub serving residents of both the site and the local neighbourhood. GSR will be the catalyst for a more safe and vibrant community for all in the heart of the historic Garden District.

City-building project

City Council unanimously approved George Street Revitalization in principle in summer 2013. Program plans are being developed with the input of many stakeholders. To date, these plans include:

  • A long-term care home with 378 beds
  • A 100-bed emergency shelter for men
  • An innovative 130-bed "transitional living" service for men and women who need more care than traditional supportive housing can provide, but less than what a long-term care home involves
  • A service hub for program clients as well as members of the surrounding community
  • 21 units of affordable housing with supports

Transition planning is well underway in consultation with Seaton House clients and community partners, and construction will not proceed until the estimated $50 million plan is in place.

Project milestones

  • February 2017, Site Plan Control Stage One application submitted to City Planning
  • December 13, 2016, City Council approves report for 18 month long consultation contracts for Infrastructure Ontario, PRISM Partners and Montgomery Sisam Architects with Hilditch Architect
  • July 12, 2016, Council approves report on Alternative Financing & Procurement (AFP) via Design-Build-Finance (DBF) model
  • November 3, 2015, City Council adopted a staff report approving the project scope and an analysis of procurement options for GSR. Here is a helpful backgrounder
  • June 16, 2015, Community Open House held at Salvation Army Harbour Light Centre, 160 Jarvis Street
  • February 2015, Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. with Hilditch Architect chosen  the GSR project
  • August 2014, Council approval of the Downtown East Revitalization Action Plan and Planning Study OPA Status Report
  • September 2014, PRISM Partners Inc., project management consultants come onboard
  • April 2014, Stakeholder Advisory Group begins
  • April 2014, Project Vision and Mission are approved
  • July 2013, Council approves the project in principle

 What's next

  • Estimated cost of the project is $562 million of which $475 million is unfunded
  • GSR may be considered for funding through the 2018 Capital Budget process
  • City is negotiating with Infrastructure Ontario to advise the Project Specific Outcome Specifications (PSOS) process and to lead the procurement process through a public-private partnership (known as Alternative Financing and Procurement)
  • Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff have Council authority to implement the Seaton House transition plan regardless of when the GSR project is fully funded. The objective is to have Seaton House vacant by 2019
    • Staff are proceeding to find the four new shelter sites that are needed
    • Staff are negotiating with Habitat Services for the purchase of service for up to 150 units of housing with access to on-site supports
  • Montgomery Sisam Architects with Hilditch Architect are developing the PSOS, expected to be completed by spring 2018
  • KPMG consultants are developing a shared services governance model and operational structure for the future-state GSR

GSR estimated timeline: 2017-18 Implement Seaton House Transition Plan; 2017-18 Develop Project Specific Output Specifications 1yr process; 2018 Seek funding approval from Council; 2020-23 Construction new George St. facility * Subject to funding in 2018

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