Affordable long-term care housing coming to West Don Lands

June 13 Rekai Centre announcement. Photo by Dan Phillips.

The Rekai Centres and Options for Homes announced a new partnership to deliver much needed long-term care beds and affordable condos in the West Don Lands on June 13.

The Rekai Centres is a non-profit, charitable corporation which owns and operates two long term care homes in the Downtown core.  Options for Homes is a non-profit developer that delivers affordable ownership homes. The partnership between Rekai Centres and Options for Homes creates Downtown Toronto’s newest community hub on the north-west corner of Front and Cherry streets.

Creative health care synergies are being considered to ensure residents, the seniors who will be living in the condominiums, can be offered care and services that permit them to remain in their home. The residents of the condominiums and the Rekai Centre will benefit from the many amenities in this community planned by Waterfront Toronto, including Corktown Commons, transit on its doorstep and the Cooper Koo Family Cherry St YMCA located directly across the street.

The Rekai Centre, as a teaching long term care home, is also pleased to be in the same neighbourhood as one of its academic partners, George Brown College.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, states, “Our parents and grandparents deserve to live in comfort and safety with access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place. That’s why our government is committed to redeveloping long-term care beds across Ontario to improve the quality of life for residents. This new Rekai Centres homes is exactly what we want to see in redeveloped homes: it will be modern, comfortable, and ready to accommodate people with increasingly complex health needs.”

Peter Rekai, chair of the board, continues, “The new Rekai Centre at Cherry Place, will provide over 200 long term care beds. We understand that long-term care beds are leaving the Downtown core mainly due to the escalating real estate prices.  We have always served the Downtown residents…indeed our mission statement requires us to ‘ensure our residents experience the pulse of the Downtown community.'”

The need in the community for more long-term care beds to support individuals living with dementia is growing exponentially.  The new home, with a dedicated floor for dementia, will begin to address this growing demand in the Greater Toronto Area. The peritoneal dialysis program currently offered at the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place will continue at the new home. The relatively new palliative care program established at the Rekai Centres to meet the needs of residents and families facing end-of-life situations will be further enhanced. In addition, a floor is being considered for patients in hospital that would benefit from an alternative level of care (ALC) program.

As the Rekai Centres are a teaching long-term care home, students from universities and colleges will apply their academic learnings, in a real live situation, truly benefitting from experiential education.

Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, explains, “The new Rekai Centre is an example of an integrated, multi-service community hub that will provide affordable housing and long-term care programs in a client-centred way, under one roof.  We are working hard to build the province up by making critical infrastructure investments, such as repurposing surplus lands for community hubs, upgrading hospitals, expanding child care spaces, and updating our transit systems and roads.  These are all key to helping people in their everyday lives and bringing economic prosperity to Ontario.”

Heather Tremain, CEO of Options for Homes, comments, “We are particularly proud to be offering a new site for affordable condos in Downtown Toronto since home ownership is a dream and a challenge for so many in this city.  Through this collaboration with the Rekai Centres, we are delighted to be adding real value to our city through affordable homes adjacent to support services that will enable people to age in place.”

Sales of these suites will be unrestricted and include Options’ traditional down payment support of up to $75,000, with priority given to seniors and persons with disabilities.

Meg Davis, chief development officer at Waterfront Toronto, adds, “One of Waterfront Toronto’s core objectives is creating dynamic, complete communities, including providing high quality living for people of all ages and stages of life as well as a wide range of incomes.  We have worked together with Rekai Centres to make this new and greatly needed facility a reality and couldn’t be more pleased about today’s announcement.  Rekai Centres and Options for Homes form an ideal partnership to meet a variety of urgent needs in Toronto: long-term care, aging in place and affordable home ownership.  This is a welcome addition to the West Don Lands.”

The Rekai Centres currently offers a combined 276 long-term care beds at its two homes: the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place and the Rekai Centre at Wellesley Central Place.  The new Rekai Centre on Cherry St., a larger home with its 200+ beds will replace the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place with 126 beds, many four bed wards, which opened in 1988 as a then state-of-the-art home.

Options for Homes is Canada’s largest non-profit developer of affordable ownership homes.  Over 23 years, Options has helped more than 3,100 Ontario families achieve the dream of becoming homeowners by passing along cost-savings and offering down payment support.

SOURCE The Rekai Centres


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