Three floors of a former Super 8 hotel in downtown Toronto have been transformed into deeply affordable housing for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

On Tuesday morning, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie announced the opening of a new supportive housing residence for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Located at 222 Spadina Ave., between Queen and Dundas streets, it has 84 self-contained apartments – 79 studios, three one-bedroom units, and two two-bedroom suites – along with space for community uses, administration, and programming, and outdoor amenities.

Non-profit housing organization Homes First Society has been tapped to run the building and provide 24/7 support services like housing stability, clinical supports, life-skills training, and food and community-based programs.

Residents, who will begin moving in this month, will spend no more than 30 per cent of their monthly income towards rent, the City of Toronto said in a news release.

The city, which acquired this space in 2021, provided both capital funds as well as financial incentives to both deliver this project and ensure its long-term affordability, by waiving fees and charges and not requiring any property taxes to be paid for 99 years.

The federal government also contributed capital funding for this project through Phase 1 of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), while the Province has committed to funding wraparound support services, the city said.

Through Phase 1 and 2 of the RHI, Toronto has received more than $440 million, which has resulted in the creation of more than 1,000 new affordable and supportive homes.

Delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the National Housing Strategy, the federal funding aims to support the implementation of the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. Over the next decade, Toronto is aiming to build 40,000 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive dwellings.

“Building more affordable and supportive housing is a key priority for the City of Toronto and we're here today because we are getting it done. We're getting more affordable and supportive housing built,” said McKelvie, who serves as the chair of the city’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

“222 Spadina is a perfect example of how cooperation between all orders of government brings good results to meaningfully address the homelessness and housing crisis in Toronto.”

McKelvie went on to underline the importance of continued collaboration between all levels of government, along with the non-profit and private sectors, to address the city’s “housing challenges.”

“This project is a perfect example of what happens when we all set our sights on the same goal. I look forward to continuing to work with partners across all sectors to create more housing opportunities, especially for low and moderate income residents… ,” she said.

“Today is another important step to show that we can get this done.”

Local Coun. Ausma Malik said she’s “excited to welcome new residents to 222 Spadina Ave.”

“This new affordable supportive housing is more than just a place to live. It’s a place to call home and a supportive community that improves the health and well-being of Toronto residents and contributes to our vibrant neighbourhoods,” she said in a news release.

“My gratitude to our neighbours in Spadina-Fort York, Homes First Society, and our provincial and federal partners for working to hard to make this important project a reality. Together, we can commit to more projects like this that set a dignified standard for the kind of housing we need across Toronto.”

Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s minister of housing and diversity and inclusion, agreed.

“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” the York South-Weston MP said, noting the RHI is a way for the federal government to quickly provide homes for those most in need.

“(222 Spadina) is one of the many ways the National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”