Parkdale will soon be home to the first social medicine housing built in Canada. The project, currently under construction at 150 Dunn Avenue, will provide 51 new homes for unhoused neighbours who are also facing chronic, complex health conditions.
This is a new supportive housing model that combines direct onsite supports with health care access to help tenants stabilize, recover, and heal. The Parkdale Planning Table with the support of West Neighbourhood House is inviting neighbours to join us in welcoming new tenants. The project is a partnership between the University Health Network (UHN), the City of Toronto, and the United Way of Greater Toronto.
The housing crisis in Toronto impacts us all, as many struggle to find and afford decent housing. Some Torontonians are affected by this crisis deeply due to experiencing housing challenges along with chronic, complex health conditions.
A response to our housing crisis?
There are approximately 9000 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. Every year, over 100 people die because they are unhoused. The causes of homelessness and housing precarity are numerous, from job loss to health setbacks, as well as intergenerational trauma and poverty, that is often tied to racism and other systemic barriers. Refugees are often escaping violence and conflict back at home and also face difficulties securing housing after arriving in Canada.
We all deserve a chance to find safety and belonging in a new home. 150 Dunn Avenue will offer a range of services for new neighbours in Parkdale. Through the partnership with UHN, residents will also be connected to primary care and other health services.
Parkdale has a long-standing tradition of welcoming new neighbours and is proud to be a place for growing families, essential workers, immigrants, and others seeking a place to call home.
West Neighbourhood House and our Parkdale partners are working together to welcome new neighbours at 150 Dunn. We are championing more affordable housing like this in Parkdale because there are many existing supports and successful systems of care which address different barriers neighbours may experience.
Our local services work. Every year, they provide community members with food, jobs, and spaces to connect with each other. New supportive housing being created can rely on our experience connecting new neighbours with the many caring neighbours who are ready to welcome them.
Social medicine housing at 150 Dunn continues these traditions and is a demonstration of how our community can work together to solve the housing crisis with diverse, affordable options in our neighbourhood.
A study from UHN shows that over 57% of high-needs patients with chronic disease are living in low-income neighbourhoods and/or currently without any stable housing. Individuals who experience homelessness or precarious housing, are often more likely to suffer from chronic illness. Without a fixed address, other services can be difficult to access. Health outcomes are directly shaped by access to affordable, stable housing, and supportive services such as food, employment support and more. By improving patient access to not only housing, but also healthcare and crucial community services, the social medicine housing model at 150 Dunn aims to improve the wellbeing of its future residents. It will also undertake a proactive approach in reducing the development of new health issues before they arise by trying to address root social causes and needs. The development at 150 Dunn is supported by all three levels of government.
About the 150 Dunn Welcome Committee:
The Welcome Committee are a group of volunteers from the community who are working together. They meet every month to plan community integration activities that can be led by neighbours so that Parkdale remains a neighbourhood that welcomes everyone.
Find out more at our next event! You can meet Welcome Committee members and our project team at our Community Learning Circles series.
For more information about what we’re doing to welcome neighbours at 150 Dunn, contact:
For questions and comments, or to learn more about how to get involved, please email the Welcome Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re looking for artists!
The 150 Dunn project team is looking to work with local artists, designers, and creatives in Parkdale to create materials, activities, and other arts-based tools that will be part of our campaign for welcoming new, supportive housing in Parkdale. Let’s make art together that connects us.
Apply by September 10th! Information sessions will take place on August 16th (Online) and August 22nd (In-person). If you are interested, contact Mary at email@example.com or call 437-882-9986. For more information, download the call for proposals here.
Learn more about 150 Dunn – Resources
- Community Learning Circle #1 Workbook – Protecting Housing Diversity
- 150 Dunn Welcome Committee – Informational Postcard
- 150 Dunn Request For Proposals Explainer – Slidedeck
- Call for Proposals Info Session – Slidedeck
- Defining Parkdale – Visual
- Call for Proposals – Socially Engaged Housing Justice Art in Parkdale
- Community Learning Circle Sketch by Aleck Pang
For more updates about the project at 150 Dunn, including changes to the construction site and the announcement of the housing provider, visit the City of Toronto website page.
For further information about the Centre for Social Medicine at UHN, see their website: uhn.ca/SocialMedicine