New Men's Emergency and Transitional Housing
Supporting men experiencing and at risk of homelessness to find and keep housing
New building, new location, new opportunities
York Region is constructing a new emergency and transitional housing building to replace the existing aging emergency housing building, Porter Place, which is currently located in the Town of East Gwillimbury. This new location will provide space for more inclusive, diverse and flexible supports for adult men experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Preventing and ending homelessness takes a community coming together
The new location will bring community partners together to support men find and keep housing as well as prevent homelessness before it happens. We are also looking to York Region residents, businesses and community partners to join our Community Liaison Committee (CLC). The CLC will address issues throughout the planning and construction period and act as community advocates.
To learn more about the project or apply to the CLC, please email the project Community Liaison at @email
Thank you to everyone who has attended a previous PIC for this housing development. Recordings of the presentations made during the PICs are below.
The feedback received during each PIC helps to inform planning and community outreach as the project progresses.
Virtual PIC #3 – March 21, 2022
Virtual PIC #2 – December 2, 2021
Virtual PIC #1 – June 24, 2021
Status of Project
Design of the new emergency and transitional housing building will begin in summer 2021. The Region will be completing an extensive planning and public engagement process that will help define the building’s form, features and service delivery model. More information will be added to this page as the site plan and design are finalized.
Construction is anticipated to begin once the Henderson Sewage Pumping Station is completed in spring 2023. Completion of the emergency and transitional housing building is expected by December 2024.
The site at 14452 Yonge Street, Aurora
The proposed site for this building is at 14452 Yonge Street, just south of Industrial Parkway South, in the Town of Aurora. The site is located centrally in York Region on a main transit corridor with access to places of employment as well as social and health services.
The property is already owned by York Region and the site will be co-located with the new Henderson Sewage Pumping Station, making it a fiscally responsible option for taxpayers,
The new building will be planned and constructed by York Region and owned by Housing York Inc. (HYI). HYI’s model focuses on supporting healthy communities through functional design, appropriate scale, proactive management and community support.
Homelessness in York Region
There is no single contributing factor to homelessness. Factors such as rising housing costs, low income, and personal or family crisis contribute to this very complex problem.
For most residents, York Region is a vibrant and prosperous place to live and work. However, for some, living with the risk of homelessness or navigating the Region while experiencing homelessness is a daily reality. In 2020, approximately two out of three individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in York Region were male. Read the 2018 I Count report to learn more about homelessness in York Region.
Homelessness is often a symptom of a combination of life challenges experienced by a person. Men experiencing homelessness in York Region come from many different backgrounds and life circumstances.
More than just a place to stay
Similar to Belinda’s Place for women in the Town of Newmarket, the building will be more than just a place to stay. Men experiencing homelessness will have access to wraparound and aftercare supports that will be offered in the new emergency and transitional housing building using a housing first approach.
With a new building, caring staff, and a range of programs and services, we will be able to connect more men with the supports they need to stabilize their lives and achieve greater independence.
What is Emergency and Transitional Housing?
Emergency and transitional housing are two different forms of housing. Within the new building, both types of housing will be offered to support men at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Emergency housing offers safe short-term accommodation for people who are currently experiencing homelessness. This form of housing typically provides accommodation for up to 30 days. People accessing emergency housing are provided with flexible, inclusive, and client-centred supports to help them find and retain permanent housing.
Transitional housing is more long-term and private than emergency housing with individuals generally staying for three months to one year. Transitional housing provides a safe, secure, and supportive environment for those seeking affordable housing in the community. It is intended to bridge the gap between emergency housing and permanent housing. In transitional housing, individuals gain access to a range of individualized supports that assist with developing financial literacy, life-skills, pursuing education, training and/or employment to help them become independent and stay housed.
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, an emergency or transitional housing facility can provide immediate temporary housing and support. Learn more about the available supports and eligibility requirements at york.ca/emergencyhousing
Construction projects at or near 14452 Yonge Street
York Region is working to improve services and supports for residents in the area. While construction of the men’s emergency and transitional housing will not begin until spring 2023, there are several other projects underway in the area.
If you have general inquiries about any of these other projects, please contact Access York:
Henderson Sewage Pumping Station
Co-located on the site of 14452 Yonge Street in the Town of Aurora with the proposed men’s emergency and transitional housing will be the Henderson Sewage Pumping Station. This project will begin construction in spring 2021.
For more information about this project, visit Water and Wastewater Construction
Yonge Street Roadway Improvements
Improvements to Yonge Street between Henderson Drive and Industrial Parkway South in the Town of Aurora began in spring 2020 to improve the conditions of the roadway to provide safe travel for all users.
For more information about this project, visit Yonge Street Roadway Improvements
Aurora Stormwater Management Facility Retrofit
York Region, in partnership with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and the Town of Aurora, will be retrofitting the Tamarac Park Stormwater Management Facility. The updated completion date is spring 2021.
For more information about this project, visit Water and Wastewater Construction
Frequently asked questions
What is Emergency and Transitional Housing?
Emergency and transitional housing provide safe and supportive environments for people experiencing homelessness. In addition to providing a place to stay, people will have access to a range of supports that assist with developing financial literacy, life skills, pursuing education, training and/or employment to support housing stability.
Emergency housing provides short-term accommodation and transitional housing provides longer-term accommodation for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Why was this location chosen?
The proposed location for this building is at 14452 Yonge Street (just south of Industrial Parkway South) in the Town of Aurora. The location was chosen because of its size, central location in York Region and proximity to transit, places of employment, and social and medical services. The Industrial Parkway South area is one of York Region’s major employment areas and features manufacturing and wholesale trade employment.
The new location in the Town of Aurora will provide space for more inclusive and flexible supports for people experiencing homelessness to develop important life skills, gain employment and work towards moving into permanent housing.
Additionally, this property is already owned by York Region. The site will be shared with the new Henderson Sewage Pumping Station, making it a fiscally responsible option for taxpayers.
Why do we need a new building for men seeking housing support?
Porter Place, located in the Town of East Gwillimbury, is York Region’s only emergency housing building dedicated to men experiencing homelessness. Currently, there are limited transitional housing options available for men in York Region. Porter Place is an aging building with limited room for expansion and cannot fully support the range of programs that will best support men to find and keep housing. The proposed building at 14452 Yonge Street will expand emergency and transitional housing and supportive programming capacity in York Region for adult men.
What will the building look like?
The new building will be more than just a place to stay. Designed with an inclusive approach that puts people first, the building will include spaces for a range of resources such as life skills and wellness programming, medical and mental health supports, income assistance and options for emergency and transitional housing.
The new building’s design, size and height have not yet been finalized. A planning application must be submitted to and approved by the Town of Aurora. Currently, York Region anticipates submitting a planning application for a five-storey building plus basement. The height of the building will be comparable to the Delmanor Aurora building located to the south of the property at 14452 Yonge Street. Depending on the zoning proposed, Town of Aurora policies and regulations permit a four to six storey building.
COVID-19 Public Health measures continue to inform service delivery and space considerations for congregate living settings. Best practices will be incorporated as building plans are developed.
How much will this project cost?
The Council-approved budget for the design and construction of the new emergency and transitional housing building is approximately $15 million.
What is the planning approval process for this building?
The proposed emergency and transitional housing development at 14452 Yonge Street will require municipal planning approvals through a Zoning By-law and Site Plan Amendment from the Town of Aurora. Town Council will provide final approval of both amendments. Planning approval applications are anticipated to be submitted to the Town of Aurora in spring 2022. The required municipal approvals will include a public meeting where attendees will have a chance to share any questions or comments about the proposal.
A Site Plan Control application is also required. Site Plan Control is used to examine the design of a proposed development, or change on a site, to ensure it is functional as well as attractive and compatible with the surrounding area. Features such as building design, site access, servicing, waste, parking, landscaping and sustainability are reviewed.
How does this housing development fit into the town of aurora official plan?
One of the priorities in the Town of Aurora Official Plan is encouraging a broad range of housing, which includes affordable housing as well as emergency and transitional housing – just like the emergency and transitional housing York Region is proposing to build at 14452 Yonge Street. This proposed housing development will help to ensure that the Town of Aurora offers an appropriate range and mix of housing types and densities to meet the unique needs of current and future residents.
What is the impact to the existing community?
When the Town of Aurora considers York Region’s request for the proposed emergency and transitional housing building at 14452 Yonge Street, a number of studies, including environmental and traffic studies, will be required to secure approval.
Impacts on existing infrastructure and traffic
As part of the planning process, there will be a review of existing water and wastewater capacity. Any additional services required for the new development (hydro, water, sanitary and storm sewers) will also be considered through the planning process.
A traffic consultant will be retained to review the site plan design and analyze the traffic impact.
Impacts to the natural area
When York Region was planning the development of the Henderson Sewage Pumping Station, an arborist was retained to evaluate all trees on the property and assist with the preparation of the landscape plan for the site. For the parcel of land where the emergency and transitional housing has been proposed, most of the trees on site are in fair condition and will remain. With the preferred design option, two to three trees in satisfactory to good standing will be removed. A full landscape plan including new trees and plants will be proposed once the design concept is chosen.
IMPACTS TO Happy Woodlawn Pet Cemetery
The Happy Woodlawn Pet Cemetery is not located on the site. The cemetery is located on a different property owned by the Town of Aurora west of the Region-owned property.
IMPACTS TO Town of Aurora trail system
The site will be restored upon completion of the project. The trail to the west of the property will remain and be connected to the Town of Aurora’s trail system.
How will York Region ensure community safety?
York Region is one of the safest communities in Canada. The safety and security of both, building residents and neighbours is a priority for York Region. Skilled staff will be available in the building to support residents 24 hours a day. York Region uses Good Neighbour Agreements in other communities and will review the use of a similar agreement for this building. A Good Neighbour Agreement outlines expectations for positive community living and sets out accountability for all neighbours.
All HYI housing developments are designed with safety in mind and plans are reviewed by York Regional Police (YRP) as part of the development process.
Community safety is a shared responsibility and York Region is committed to working with the community and community agencies, including YRP, to provide safe, secure and inclusive housing for all York Region residents.
York Region will also work closely with neighbours and a Community Liaison Committee to ensure all perspectives about the design of the building and surrounding property are considered.
Are there connections between Emergency and Transitional Housing and an increase in neighbourhood crime?
Similar to jurisdictions across the country, within York Region, areas with higher population show higher volume of calls to YRP.
York Region has been supporting people experiencing homelessness for many years. According to YRP, there is no evidence or data to support any connections between the presence of emergency and transitional housing in a community and an increase in neighbourhood crime.
People call YRP for many reasons, including when they need help. Over a 12-month, period, most calls to YRP from emergency and transitional housing locations in the Newmarket/Aurora area were to support individuals in crisis and not related to crimes.
Providing support, resources, housing and community connections often results in a reduction in crime.
Will there be sidewalks built on Yonge Street in the area?
York Region is proposing to install sidewalks along the front of the property as part of the emergency and transitional housing development. As the Region works with the Town of Aurora through the planning approvals process, we will explore additional opportunities to enhance safety for pedestrians in the area.
What about the environmental sustainability of the project?
York Region is planning to pilot Passive House design to achieve increased energy efficiency and sustainability as part of the future emergency and transitional housing development. Passive House design is a voluntary standard for extremely energy-efficient buildings. By focusing on using “passive” influences like sunshine, shading and ventilation, Passive House buildings use 90% less energy than an average building.
Passive House design standards include:
- Proper insulation and airtight construction to reduce energy and heat leaving the building
- High performance windows to provide insulation from both hot and cold temperatures
- Proper positioning of windows and ventilation systems to use natural heat from the sun in winter and smart shading in summer
- Heat Recovery Ventilation to ensure air feels clean and refreshing
A constant supply of fresh air and protection from noise pollution will help create a peaceful environment where individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness can participate in supportive counselling and life-skills training.
Energy savings realized through Passive House design are not only better for the environment, but they will also assist in cost recovery by reducing utility costs paid by the Region. Incorporating sustainable and energy efficient design as part of planned housing developments allows York Region to explore additional federal and provincial funding opportunities.
What does homelessness look like in York Region?
There is no single contributing factor to homelessness. Factors such as rising housing costs, a shortage of affordable housing as well as low income, health challenges, and personal or family crisis contribute to this very complex problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for some of our vulnerable residents to keep their housing. Many residents have experienced homelessness for the first time because of the financial hardship imposed by the economic downturn during the pandemic.
How does the housing stability and homelessness prevention system in York Region help to prevent and reduce homelessness?
Preventing homelessness is key to York Region’s strategy of encouraging stable housing for all residents. Programs and services focus on preventing homelessness and, supporting people who experience homelessness to secure safe housing as quickly as possible.
Working with community partners, York Region is building a stronger network of services to help individuals and families at risk of homelessness stay housed while also helping those experiencing homelessness find and keep housing. This is done by offering financial help, case management and counselling, emergency and transitional housing with client-centred wraparound supports, drop-in and aftercare services, family reunification and homemaking help.
York Region’s Diversion Program works with residents at risk of homelessness by providing them with supports and interventions to find safe, alternative housing options to reduce their need to access emergency housing.
Read more in York Region’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.
What will happen to the value of my property?
Housing values on average have risen year over year for more than a decade in York Region. HYI has built affordable housing for many years, and the neighbourhoods surrounding their buildings continue to see the same trend of appreciation of property values. When Belinda’s Place was completed in 2016 it did not affect the average selling price of homes within the area. In fact, there has been a significant increase in the average selling price from 2016 to 2021.
This experience is supported by extensive Canadian and international peer-reviewed research. For example, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Centre for Real Estate looked at large, mixed-income buildings developed in single family neighbourhoods – particularly those where concerns about property devaluation were greatest. Results showed that these developments had no negative impact on property values.
Who will be responsible for building operations once the development is complete?
A service provider will be selected to operate the building and be on site to support residents 24 hours a day. York Region works closely with the operator in delivering services and programs, supporting residents and the community. While the service operator conducts day-to-day operations, York Region is continuously engaged, communicating and responding to the community, neighbours, residents and operator. As the property owner and manager, HYI is responsible for maintenance and offers an emergency line for issues related to the building and property.
York Region intends to be a good neighbour, as it does with all other HYI buildings. Residents and neighbours of the building will have several direct lines of contact with York Region, HYI, the service provider and York Regional Police.
How can I stay involved?
Planning for emergency and transitional housing at 14452 Yonge Street is just beginning and there will be many opportunities for the community to get involved.
A Community Liaison Committee made up of residents, business owners and local community agencies has been established to address community considerations, gather feedback and provide updates.
Members of the Community Liaison Committee will work closely to address issues throughout the planning and construction phases of the development.
Anyone interested in joining the Community Liaison Committee can email @email
Where can I get more information?
Presentations and Resources
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Community Liaison Committee Meeting #2 Presentation – May 11, 2022
Public Information Centre #3 - March 21, 2022
Community Liaison Committee Meeting #1 Presentation – February 17, 2022
Public Information Centre #2 – December 2, 2021
Public Information Centre #1 – June 24, 2021
Men’s Emergency and Transitional Housing Project Overview Sheet
Presentation to Town of Aurora Council – May 4, 2021