Seaton House plan include over 500 units for shelter, services

Dennis Hanagan — 

As the city gears up to revitalize George St. a report to the city’s executive committee says shelter capacity “will not” be negatively affected.

The report also told the committee’s Jan. 26 meeting that Seaton House residents will take part “in developing the transition plans” when Seaton House is demolished.

The city is trying to increase its overall shelter capacity to achieve a 90% occupancy standard. “The George St. revitalization will not negatively impact overall shelter system capacity,” said a report from the general manager of shelter, support and housing administration.

The revitalization plan includes demolishing the existing Seaton House, incorporating eight adjacent properties into the development site and the construction of a 600,000 square foot “multi-purpose” facility with a 100-bed men’s shelter, a 378-bed long-term care home, 130 units of assisted living, 21 units of affordable housing with supports and a community service hub.

The existing Seaton House is characterized as a shelter with programs that provide emergency and transitional shelter, assisted living and supportive living accommodation.

“All this capacity will be replaced as part of the George St. revitalization project both in the new facility … and offsite,” the report said.

During construction two temporary shelters will be opened to accommodate the 100 emergency shelter and 130 assisted living beds. Up to 200 housing allowances are “earmarked” to assist Seaton House clients to transition housing.

A chart in the report said post-revitalized Seaton House will have up to 710 beds. “Seaton House residents will participate in developing the transition plans and no one will be left without accommodation,” said the report.

By the end of the second quarter 2016, the executive committee will receive further details on transition relocation and assistance plans for Seaton House residents.

Toronto’s emergency shelter system serves seniors, people with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse issues, the working poor and “other vulnerable groups.”