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Civic Impact

Construction starts on new Eva’s Phoenix youth housing

This week Toronto got a sneak peak at the future of home of Eva’s Phoenix, freshly poured slabs, piles of newly delivered structural steel and all.
The new facility at 60 Brant Street, near Spadina and Richmond, will provide housing for 50 youth aged 16 to 24 years, for up to a full year in 10 townhouses. While living in transition housing, the youth get access to training, counselling and a wide range of other services, including opportunities working in the on-site commercial printing house.
The new location pretty much replicates the design of the existing location near Liberty Village, which the not-for-profit must leave by the end of the year—it’s slated for redevelopment by landlord Build Toronto. The original location was designed in consultation with homeless youth more than 12 years ago.
“The design has really stood the test of time, except there will be additional washrooms. Because when you have five people waiting for one washroom, that can be challenging,” says Maria Crawford, director of Eva’s Initiatives, which operates three projects for youth at risk, including Eva’s Phoenix. The new location, close to three streetcar routes, will be more convenient for young people trying to build lives and careers.
The move has already been about four years in the making. Build Toronto, along with the city, helped Eva’s Phoenix find its new home, which is part of a larger development that will have a mix of residential and commercial uses. The organization has had to fundraise $5 million of the $10.5-million cost of the move, though they’re currently in the home stretch of meeting their goal.
As about 50 homeless youth did during the construction of the original Eva’s Phoenix, youth will work with the builders as part of a construction and property maintenance program. Crawford says that idea has proven successful. Some of the youth who worked on the original location a dozen years ago are still working with the contractor they were matched up with back then—and will be returning to work on the new facility.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Maria Crawford
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