Foundation Proposes Affordable Rental Housing in Malvern

In July, Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation filed a Zoning By-law Amendment application to permit the development of new purpose-built, affordable rental housing at 25 Sewells Road in Scarborough’s Malvern community. Toronto’s Open Door program provides non-profit developers municipal tax exemptions, grants, and other incentives to build affordable homes. This 2-building, 317-unit proposal aims to provide flexible indoor and outdoor areas that promote active living, well-being, and intergenerational bonding.

25 Sewells Rd, Toronto, designed by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable FoundationLooking south to the 25 Sewells Road development, image by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation

Located at the southwest corner of Sewells Road and Brenyon Way, the site is generally bounded by Finch Avenue East to the north, Morningside Avenue to the east, Highway 401 to the south and Markham Road to the west. It currently consists of a 21-storey rental apartment building; 15 blocks of 2-storey rental townhouses; and a vacant lot (former place of worship at 25 Sewells Road). Two TTC bus routes pass the site, each serving Scarborough Centre station, while connecting routes pass by Agincourt GO station.

According to Toronto.com, Brenyon Way has maintained affordable apartments next door for decades. In early 2021, “Brenyon Way was pledged $2 million, just shy of $10 million in fee waivers and $5.6 million in property tax exemptions to build 202 apartments on the former site of Malvern Emmanuel United Church at 25 Sewells Rd.”

25 Sewells Rd, Toronto, designed by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable FoundationLooking south to the 25 Sewells Road site, image by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation

Designed by SvN Architects + Planners, the proposal adds one residential building and one mixed use building, both of which are 9 storeys tall and consist entirely of affordable rental units. The proposal provides 23,940.0 m² of gross floor area across the two buildings. As all existing buildings and rental units on site will remain, the resulting density for the entire site would be 1.77 FSI.

25 Sewells Rd, Toronto, designed by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable FoundationLooking south to 25 Sewells Road proposal, axonometric diagram, image by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation

Located on the west side of the site, the “S”-shaped Building A contributes to a defined street edge along Sewells Road and a landscaped area with amenity to the west, responding to the existing trail path. Building B, located on the east side, anchors the northeast corner of the site, framing both public street frontages. The positioning of the two buildings creates a sense of enclosure that supports a centralized courtyard located at the site’s interior.

The proposal’s buildings have been deliberately sited and massed to animate existing highly-trafficked pedestrian routes and frame new outdoor gathering spaces for existing and future residents, and the broader community. The massing and orientation of buildings has also been strategically designed and oriented to maximize sunlight into units.

25 Sewells Rd, Toronto, designed by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable FoundationSite plan; Building A (west side of site) will have 201 units, Building B (east side of site), 116, image by SvN Architects + Planners for Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation

The design also creates strong connections between interior and exterior amenity areas at grade. A total of 699 m² of indoor amenity space is provided, all oriented towards the corresponding outdoor spaces. The nearly equal (641 m²) amount of outdoor amenity space has been located in order to maximize daylight, based on time of day and anticipated uses.

The two new buildings will yield a total of 317 units in the following mix: 166 one-bedroom (52%), 118 two-bedroom (37%), 33 three-bedroom (11%) units. A small commercial space of 93m² along Brenyon Way is intended to provide amenities, retail, and employment opportunities for the neighbourhood.

Parking is proposed in an one-storey underground structure, which will be connected to the existing garage under the apartment complex at 250 Brenyon Way with ingress and egress through the existing ramp. With respect to residential parking, 144 new spaces are proposed in P1 with a total of 344 parking spaces located across two levels of underground parking. A total of 216 bicycle spots are also included.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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