• Client Profile: Parkdale United Church Foundation

    Green Phoenix is the redevelopment of Phoenix Place, a non-profit affordable housing apartment building built in 1976 and owned by Parkdale United Church Foundation (PUCF). Established by the church’s congregation in 1973, the foundation was formed to address rising housing costs in the changing Parkdale community.

    When the building started to show its age, the need for more amenity spaces, larger units, and rising utility costs, the redevelopment was deemed necessary.  

    Phoenix PlaceThe Project

    In Parkdale, Toronto, a diverse and multi-cultural neighbourhood, housing stock is steadily changing as rental properties are bought for renovation or owner-occupancy, affecting the number of affordable rental units in the area. To ensure the availability of clean, affordable units in the area PUCF decided to renovate its existing site. 

    The Solution

    Funding for affordable housing is difficult to obtain and requires finding creative ways to bridge the gap between building costs and what people can afford to pay in rent. 
    PUCF was able to secure funding through grants and fundraising, but fell short of the project’s $8.5 million project cost. Infrastructure Ontario’s Loan Program expanded eligibility  to include housing providers at a crucial time for PUCF, and it was able to secure a loan for just over $1.2 million, thus making the project happen. 

    “We’re very excited to begin the retrofit phase of the Green Phoenix project with Infrastructure Ontario’s help. Having geothermal and solar plant and ventilation systems will make a big difference for everyone’s comfort, and help keep the place affordable for decades to come.”

    Rod Layman - Project Coordinator

    The Result

    The new development provides many resources for both residents and community members to enjoy.  Recognizing the need for additional amenity space for residents, a new laundry facility and improved access to existing spaces was added. A kitchen, food bank, and space for other community programs were also added. There are also plans for community gardens and outdoor common areas.

    A life cycle cost analysis projects Green Phoenix will save $65,000 per year in utility costs. Over the next 50 years the site will save more than $3 million in operating costs, and more than $1.5 million compared to the life cycle cost of a conventional, non-green building upgrade. Green Phoenix is an environmental showcase that will increase understanding of sustainable building practices, and further the case for more green affordable housing.

    For more information on our client, please visit their website at www.phoenixplace.ca