Toronto council members and some in the city's Portuguese community are celebrating the upcoming construction of a new rental and long-term care building in the city's west end.
The new building, which will have 57 affordable rental apartments and 256 long-term care beds, is located on city land at 640 Lansdowne Avenue. It will be developed and operated by non-profit Magellan Community Charities, which builds and operates senior long-term care homes and affordable housing particularly for those in the Portuguese-Canadian community.
On Saturday, the city held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.
"This new affordable rental housing and long-term care site will help us ensure seniors have secure, affordable homes where they can age with dignity, pride and comfort," said mayor Olivia Chow in a news release Saturday.
The city says the building is funded by all three levels of government and is part of the city's housing action plan to build 40,000 affordable rental homes with 18,000 supportive homes — places where someone can live independently with some aid — for Toronto residents over the next 10 years. It did not provide a timeline on when the Lansdowne building is expected to be finished.
As part of the project, the city will also deliver a new 2,135-square-metre park to provide the "rapidly growing urban neighbourhood" with access to green space.
Manuel DaCosta, the board chair of Magellan Community Charities, called the project transformative.
"This ground-breaking ceremony marks the start of an exciting new chapter and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact this hub will bring to the lives of individuals and families," said DaCosta.
The groundbreaking was attended by local councillors, city staff, members of both the provincial and federal government and Portugese politicians and delegates, including Portugese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal João Gomes Cravinho. A full list can be found here.