Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

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Reinventing life on George Street


GSR at a Glance

A Council-approved project, George Street Revitalization (GSR) will see the reinvention of the northernmost block of George Street and transform Seaton House men's shelter into a world-class facility providing specialized care for vulnerable populations, including a long-term care home, a transitional 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

  • 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
    • Health services review in partnership with Toronto Centre Local Health Integration Network; client assessments for housing support needs; site searches for four new shelter sites that are needed (Executive Committee recently recommended lease of 731 Runnymede as first transition site)
    • 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: due September 2017

GSR Funding

  • 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
  • 2018 Budget launch is November 30, 2017; Council approval is February 12/13, 2018
  • If GSR funding is included:
    • PSOS--which forms the basis of the Request for Proposals--to be completed mid-2018 and procurement begins
    • Late 2019, early 2010: demolition/construction begins
    • Late 2023, substantial completion
  • If GSR funding is not included in 2018 Capital Budget:
    • PSOS work will be completed
    • Transition Plan will continue to be implemented
    • GSR project on hold until funded

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

Please send any questions or comments about George Street Revitalization to

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