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Mount Dennis Quilt: Building Community Through Affordable Housing


Architectural rendering of a street view of Mount Dennis Quilt. Showcasing a new building with shops and services along the first floor, including greenery, outdoor seating and bike racks.

Mount Dennis is one of Toronto's most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, with 21% more visible minorities (63%) than Toronto's average. This area is undergoing a significant change with the introduction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and will become the second-largest transportation hub in the city after Union Station. The neighbourhood is poised to gain approximately 30,000 new residents over the next few years. However, with 52% of the residents being renters and the average median income in the area being 22% lower than the city-wide average, displacement is imminent.

 

Sonderbloom is pleased to announce the zoning approval of the Learning Enrichment Foundation's (LEF) Mount Dennis Quilt Project.

Sonderbloom, LEF,  LGA Architectural Partners and Gladki Planning Associates are bringing to life one of Toronto's largest approved affordable housing projects— The Mount Dennis Quilt (Quilt). This 14-storey, 175-unit affordable housing project will break ground in 2026. In addition to residences, it will have three floors dedicated to community programming and retail.


The bravery of pursuing this project comes from LEF's desire to ensure that Mount Dennis continues to be a community for all and make space for residents, community spaces and local businesses at risk of displacement due to significant condo developments in the area, which will drive up the price of real estate in the neighbourhood.

The Learning Enrichment Foundation has been a part of the Mount Dennis community 45 years. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing holistic, community-responsive initiatives that enable individuals to become valued contributors to their community’s social and economic development.

At Sonderbloom, we develop programs for community agencies that serve vulnerable individuals. However, we cannot support vulnerable populations and develop programs for them if they have no place to call home.


The Mount Dennis Quilt project represents more than just a housing solution; it is a collaborative effort with a shared vision of affordability, sustainability, and community enrichment. LEF and the team met regularly with the community to shape the project. We are creating a vibrant community with convenient access to retail shops, welcoming community areas, and sustainable outdoor spaces designed with accessibility and sustainability in mind.


With the fantastic work of the Project team and the relentless support of the City Councillor, Frances Nunziata, the project was approved within a year. Additionally, over eight community organizations supporting vulnerable populations partnered with LEF to support the individuals living in the new affordable supportive housing units. This will result in residents and community members having better access to much-needed support and community programs.


 

Current Affordable Housing Landscape

In October 2023, ABACUS Data released its report on the current Canadian housing landscape based on a nationwide survey of those with household incomes of $50,000.00 or less; 77% of those surveyed have faced challenges finding affordable rental properties over the past year.


The situation becomes more challenging when considering any supported living needs of these individuals and families. Access to caregivers, trauma and mental health support, medical equipment, and assistive technology are all crucial factors that need to be considered in addition to housing. Unfortunately, these challenges can make it increasingly difficult for those with lower incomes to find suitable housing that meets their needs.

 

To effectively address the housing crisis, we need to do more than just focus on big projects like these—including smaller initiatives is essential. While we recognize the value of large-scale efforts, we shouldn't overlook the impact of smaller groups that can convert current properties into multi-unit housing like triplexes or four-plexes. By working together on projects of all sizes, we can make real strides in overcoming the housing issue; Sonderbloom is committed to partnering with these organizations and helping them source the funding required to bring these projects to life.


If you are a part of an organization or community group that shares our mission, consider partnering with us on future projects or collaborations. By pooling our resources and expertise, we can amplify our impact to support our most vulnerable populations better and create meaningful change on a larger scale.


Contact us today at info@sonderbloom.com or through our Contact Us page.

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