Development project at Don Summerville Apartments near Queen and Coxwell will create mixed-income neighbourhood

This artist's concept shows what the new development in the Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue area will look like. Inset photo shows on the new Don Summerville Apartments buildings that will be replaced as part of the new development.

A new development and revitalization plan for the site of the Don Summerville Apartments in the Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue area was announced Monday, Oct. 28, morning.

The plan will see the two Toronto Community Housing apartment buildings at 1555 and 1575 Queen St. E., which total 120 units, replaced by a similar number of TCHC units and the addition of 100 more affordable apartment units, 180 market-rent apartment units, and 350 condo units.

The new development, to be built by Context Development, will also include the addition of 16,000 square feet of commercial retail space to the area.

The announcement was made by Toronto Community Housing, the City of Toronto and Context Development at the East End Community Health Centre at the southeast corner of Queen and Coxwell.

“Building good quality affordable and market rental housing is a top priority for the city,” said Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher, who also sits on the TCHC Board, in a release on the revitalization plans by TCHC.

“This site is transit-friendly with good access to services and greenspace. In the coming weeks we will hold open houses to hear from the local community and we are working closely with tenants to ensure their needs are met through the construction phase.”

Fletcher had worked with Context and TCHC over the past year on the plan which increases the amount of both affordable and market-rate apartments in the area.

The plan has already been approved by the TCHC board and Toronto Council, but must still go through a community consultation process and city planning approvals.

Tenants who live in the existing buildings will be moved to other TCHC properties during construction of the new development and they will have the right to return once it is finished, the TCHC news release said.

Mayor John Tory was among a number of dignitaries who attended Monday’s announcement.

“As mayor, creating new, quality, affordable housing is a top priority for me. This new partnership with Context Development represents a significant investment in new affordable housing that will transform the Queen East neighbourhood,” said Tory in the press release. “Through this venture we are creating hundreds of new homes for people to enjoy in a growing and vibrant neighbourhood.”

In the release, Howard Cohen, President of Context Development, said, “This will truly be a mixed income neighborhood—with a mix of tenure. We have come together to place a greater emphasis on rental housing with a significant component at below-market rents.”

“This is a win for our tenants,” said TCHC President and CEO Kevin Marshman in the release. “This revitalization will benefit tenants by providing quality TCHC housing at a great location integrated into a new, vibrant mixed-income community.”

In the release, Leslieville resident Mark Richardson, Technical Lead,, said in the release that this project should set an example for similar affordable housing plans across the city. “This kind of dense, mixed-income development located on existing transit should become an affordable housing template for other Toronto neighbourhoods to follow.”

Work on the project is anticipated to be complete by 2023.

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