Toronto is getting a brand-new Indigenous Hub and it looks outstanding

Toronto is getting a brand-new Indigenous Hub and it looks outstanding

  • September 29th, 2023

BlogTO Jack Landau Posted 16 hours ago

A new development shaping up in Toronto’s Canary District area will soon serve Toronto’s Indigenous community with a purpose-built hub offering residential, commercial, health and child care uses.

The new Indigenous Hub is well under construction at the southeast corner of Cherry Street and Front Street East, completing a western gateway to the recently built neighbourhood.

Occupying Block 10 of the West Don Lands — land that sat idle for decades before being developed as an athlete’s village for the 2015 Pan Am Games — the new Indigenous Hub is one of the final plots of lands being developed in this newly-invigorated area.

The team of developers Dream Unlimited, Kilmer Group, Tricon Residential, and Anishnawbe Health Toronto is bringing a complex of 13-, 11- and 5-storey mixed-use complex containing condos, rentals, and a community health centre to the neighbourhood.

Construction of the Indigenous Hub began in mid-2021, and after over two years of work, the project’s design — from a team of architects that includes firms Stantec, BDP Quadrangle, and the Indigenous-led Two Row Architect — is finally emerging.

The complex’s 13- and 11-storey residential buildings, linked by a shared eight-storey podium, will house a mix of condominiums and market rate rentals.

Dream Unlimited and Kilmer Group’s Canary House development is quickly rising over the restored heritage building that once housed the area’s namesake, the Canary Restaurant, at the north end of the site fronting the Front and Cherry intersection.

Exterior finishes enclose the building as it rises taller.

At the south end, the 11-storey purpose-built rental apartment is already topped out at its final height. Once complete, the building will be operated by joint-venture partner Tricon Residential.

The community will also include a four-storey health centre and a five-storey building housing a child care centre and commercial space, now both structurally complete and in the process of being enclosed with exterior cladding.

The 45,000-square-foot Anishnawbe Health Toronto Community Health Centre will offer holistic health programs blending traditional Indigenous and Western methods to treat patients.

Among the Health Centre’s features, over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space is planned to accommodate a mix of public and private ceremonial and traditional practices, including a sweat lodge and ceremonial healing gardens.

Next door, the Miziwe Biik Training Institute will contain an early learning and child care centre for 49 children, plus an Indigenous EarlyON Child and Family Centre.

At the time of the project’s 2021 ground breaking, it was estimated that the health centre would open by the end of 2022, with the remaining complex targeting a 2024 completion.

This first projection has obviously come and passed without an opening, however, the current state of construction appears to align with the overall completion timeline of 2024.

Photos by Fareen Karim

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