Housing & Homelessness Services

George Street Revitalization

Using the site of Seaton House shelter for men, George Street Revitalization means the creation of a dynamic mix of housing and programs for homeless and vulnerable seniors alongside the delivery of services to meet the needs of a vibrant and mixed downtown neighbourhood. This is city-building to make a more welcoming and safe street--all in the context of the broader Downtown East Revitalization.

July 2016 update: In November 2015, City Council directed staff to retain consultants to assist with an analysis of procurement options for George Street Revitalization, and to report back in June 2016 on the recommended delivery model, the funding needed, and refined capital cost estimates. That report was adopted by City Council on July 12, 2016. 

This means:

  • Estimated cost of the project is $562 million of which $475 million is unfunded
  • GSR will be considered for funding through the 2017 Capital Budget process
  • City can begin negotiations with Infrastructure Ontario to lead the procurement process for the project through a public-private partnership and see it through to completion
  • Staff will report back in December 2016 with recommendations arising from these negotiations
  • Staff  continue working with architects (MSA+Hilditch) and project managers (Prism) at least until the end of this year
  • Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff can implement the Seaton House transition plan regardless of when the GSR project is fully funded. The objective is to have Seaton House vacant by late 2018
    • Staff can proceed with securing the four new shelter sites that are needed because of this redevelopment
    • Staff can negotiate with Habitat Services for the purchase of service for up to 150 units of housing with access to on-site supports, subject to approval of the 2017 Operating Budget
    • Staff can seek capital funding from the Feds and Province and seek enhanced funding from the Province for Habitat.

The November report outlined the project scope and a number of recommendations that, taken together, allowed the project to proceed. Here is a helpful backgrounder

Unanimous support

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 five areas:

  • 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
  • affordable housing with supports,

Communicate and consult

The driving principles behind George Street Revitalization include preserving and building partnerships and community linkages. Staff from several City divisions are proceeding in collaboration with existing Seaton House clients and long-term care residents, and other stakeholders, such as local community and health care agencies and local neighbours to develop a project everyone is proud to support.

GSR: in the spirit of system transformation

With its client-driven programming, design, and service model, GSR Revitalization embodies the principles and themes embedded in the City's planning framework for housing and homelessness services. The Housing Stability Service Planning Framework was unanimously passed by City Council December 2013. It is shaping the transformation of the housing and homelessness services into an integrated service system working to a common goal of housing stability for all residents.

Project milestones

What's next?

Please send any questions or comments about George Street Revitalization to newgeorge@toronto.ca.

Get to Know Seaton House