The YSM Opportunity Centre

Located in Toronto’s Cabbagetown South (Ward 13), this mixed-use redevelopment site (306-310 Gerrard Street East) presents a unique opportunity to add much needed combination of affordable and market-rental housing, community programming, public green space and commercial area to the thriving local community.

November 25, 2021 – Public Meeting

On November 25th, YSM invited the public to learn more about the redevelopment proposal for the YSM Opportunity Centre, and share feedback to help shape the future of the project. You can also download the Meeting Presentation

Project Team

YSM is a local development agency with a goal of ending the cycle of multi-generational poverty that affects the lives of thousands of community members living in Toronto today.

For 125 years, YSM has focused on responding to immediate needs, while also helping individuals, families, youth, and entire communities living with chronic poverty move from surviving to thriving.

Learn more about YSM.

New Commons Development (NCD) is a non-profit real estate development company focused on building and preserving affordable housing. NCD works across Canada with co-operatives, non-profits, faith-based groups and municipalities to create and renew Canada’s social purpose real estate.

As the development partner, the team brings highly skilled real estate and affordable housing development expertise and capacity.

Learn more about NCD.

Architect:  Diamond Schmitt
Community Consultation:  PROCESS
Transportation: LEA Consulting
Landscape Architect: STUDIO tla
Planning: SvN

Proposal Overview

The YSM Opportunity Centre at 306-310 Gerrard Street East will be a mixed-use redevelopment site that offers a combination of affordable and market-rental housing, community programming, public green space and commercial area to the thriving local community.

The site will feature long-lasting energy-efficient infrastructure, indoor and outdoor community amenity spaces, as well as barrier-free access to YSM’s programs and supports. The YSM Opportunity Centre seeks to provide a safe, inclusive, sustainable, and accessible future for our community.

The YSM Opportunity Centre is all about creating connections. Through community connections, programming connections, neighbourhood connections, visual connections, and new public spaces. In the centre of the YSM Opportunity Centre is a new publicly accessible courtyard. The courtyard opens up the middle of the site as a privately owned public space that can be used by everyone in the community. The YSM Opportunity Centre will also link existing laneways, Rolston Avenue and Gerrard Place, and provide a new connection between Cabbagetown South and Gerrard Street East.

The YSM Opportunity Centre’s components are arranged around the central, landscaped courtyard. Surrounding and accessible from the courtyard are the program spaces of the YSM Opportunity Centre. The ground floor contains the YSM office and program spaces that have views and access from Gerrard St. E. and the courtyard. The ground floor will also contain gathering spaces for various community outreach programs and will also have a separate residential lobby. Both YSM spaces and the residential spaces will have views onto new green roofs and the courtyard.

The proposed building height at 10 storeys includes significant terraces to emphasize access to outdoor space and to ensure a pleasing architectural massing in relation to the lower-rise neighbourhood to the north and up towards anticipated heights for other housing developments, directly south and southeast of the YSM Opportunity Centre. The transition, setbacks and buffers to the adjacent neighbourhoods and streetscapes help ensure privacy, noise protection and reduced shadows on adjacent sites and buildings.

The YSM Opportunity Centre creates much needed affordable housing in Toronto. The development will provide Studios, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, and 3 Bedroom residential units to meet a variety of housing needs.

The YSM Opportunity Centre will have a prominent façade on Gerrard St. E. with welcoming signage. The design will balance transparency of glass with privacy using solid elements like brick and wood. The development will be setback considerably on Gerrard St. E. to allow for a generous streetscape that will include planting and street furniture around sidewalks. Pedestrian paths, lighting, and full visibility into the courtyard will be constant to provide safety and comfort.

PROJECT HISTORY

  • 2016/2017: YSM purchases 308 Gerrard St. E.
  • 2017: Demolition of heritage building at 308 Gerrard St. E. approved by Council
  • 2017/2018: Community Hub Vision
  • 2018/2019: Enlarged Vision
  • Spring 2020: YSM increases its food bank services to respond to COVID-19 pandemic conditions.
  • Fall 2021: Developing Current Vision for the YSM Opportunity Centre.

ANTICIPATED DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

  • August 2021: Pre-Application Meeting with City of Toronto
  • November 2021 (We are Here): YSM hosts initial Focus Groups and a Public Meeting to inform initial rezoning application
  • December 2021: YSM submits rezoning application to the City of Toronto for comment and review
  • 2022: YSM to host engagement activities to help inform 2nd submission
  • Winter/Spring 2022: City of Toronto hosts Statutory Public Meeting
  • Winter/Spring 2022: Detailed design phase  – YSM to respond to City’s comments and resubmit application (2nd submission)
  • Fall 2022/Winter 2023: Council Decision on rezoning application 
  • Fall 2023: Start of construction
  • Fall/Winter 2026: Occupancy

Key Stats

Proposal Overview

  • Site area: 5,190 sq.m.
  • Total Gross Floor Area (GFA): 20,400 sq.m.
  • Proposed floor index: 3.9
  • Building height: 36m

Programming

  • 30,000 square feet of Program Space GFA + YSM office
  • 14,000 square feet of retail space
  • 155,000 square feet of residential space and units (191 units as follows: 24 studio units, 58 one-bedroom units, 74 two-bedroom units, 35 three-bedroom units)
  • 200,000 square feet of above ground and 54,000 square feet below ground

Parking

  • 100 underground parking spaces
  • 221 bicycle parking spaces
    • 192 residential bicycle parking spaces (20 of which for for visitors)
    • 19 office bicycle parking spaces
    • 10 retail bicycle parking spaces
Site map of 306-310 Gerrard Street East

Proposed Housing

The YSM Opportunity Centre would offer 191 new housing units. The breakdown of the unit mix is as follows:

Stay Involved

The local community will play a major role in the stewardship of the YSM Opportunity Centre, and community input is essential to shaping the future of this project.

News and Updates

Contact

For more information, or to share any questions or concerns, please email: oppcentre@ysm.ca or phone: 416-355-3553

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