Downtown Toronto Reside Project

By creating employment opportunities and new units of deeply affordable housing with wraparound supports, Raising the Roof’s Reside provides a tangible, targeted long-term solution to ending homelessness in Canada.

Raising the Roof is renovating a single family house in downtown Toronto that was deemed “uninhabitable” by City of Toronto and sat empty for years. HOTT (Houses Opening Today Toronto) is currently evaluating prospective refugee families in need of affordable housing and will be providing them the support they need to create a safe and stable home.

Through the Eastern Ave project, the social enterprise contractor, Building Up, has been able to provide hands-on training and employment to people with barriers to employment. To date, 27 people have been trained and employed, with an additional 13 people are expected to be trained by the end of the project. Of the 27, 16 have been placed in careers in the trades, 8 are continuing to work with Building Up on other projects, and 3 exited the program (1 to further their education in another program).

Project Impact


people with barriers to employment who will receive training, employment and support during the project renovations


out of the 27 trainees who have completed the training program and now are working full time in the construction sector


refugees who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness that will have a safe, affordable home with ongoing wraparound supports


people whose lives have been changed through full time employment in the trades and affordable housing with supports through the Reside program so far (and we're just getting started!)

"Before" Virtual Tour

Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth

The Reside Program is a fantastic initiative that provides homes for those in need while also providing training and career development for those searching for employment. It’s a win-win for everyone and I’m so glad to have this program in Ward 14. I’d like to extend my thanks to Raising the Roof, Houses Opening Today Toronto and all those involved. We need to continue building more quality, affordable housing and implementing these types of innovative programs.

Jenn St. Louis, Manager, Tenants First Project, City of Toronto

I have had the opportunity to engage closely with Raising the Roof on the transfer [the ownership of the downtown Toronto project]. Raising the Roof acted swiftly and fully fundraised the capital required to renovate the previously uninhabitable home into affordable housing. We particularly appreciated their approach in working with local social enterprises to connect the renovations to training opportunities for community members with employment barriers.

We believe that this project represents a model that is closely linked to community needs and could benefit other municipalities as well.

Lisa Horrocks, HOTT

HOTT is delighted to be partnering with Raising the Roof to support a refugee family with the opportunity of having a long-term, stable and affordable home in Toronto. We have great respect for Raising the Roof as an organization and the innovative, transformative approach they take to creating housing and career development opportunities through the Reside Program. Their approach has a high impact on individual lives as well as providing broader social and community benefit by renovating housing that would have otherwise been vacant. As HOTT continues working hard to provide affordable housing and a helping hand in communities across Toronto, Raising the Roof’s dedication and the support of many wonderful partners, means that we are making the most of every available opportunity to provide housing to those who need it most.

Tarah Clark, Building Up

Building Up is thrilled about our growing partnership with Raising the Roof. Raising the Roof provides our participants with the unique training opportunity of first hand work experience in construction. By renovating vacant spaces into energy efficient affordable housing our participants build not only their skills, confidence and employability, but they also go home proud of the work they have done. Our work with Raising the Roof gives us the ability to truly set our participants up for success in both their careers and their lives.

Completed Reside Project Tenant

I am able to focus on achieving my goals in a realistic way. I live independently and know where to get supports. In this short amount of time, I have been able to achieve goals and set new ones. I look forward to what is next. Thank you.

Project timeline

March 2021

November 2021

December 2021

March 2021

Building Up started the construction and hands on trades based training in March 2021 after Raising the Roof acquired the house from Toronto Community Housing.

November 2021

After extensive renovations and greening, the formerly “uninhabitable” house is being transformed into a safe, comfortable home for a refugee family. The renovations are expected to be completed in November 2021.

December 2021

Raising the Roof anticipates that the refugee family will move into their new home in December 2021. HOTT will help them move in and provide ongoing wraparound supports as they begin their new life in Canada.

Downtown Toronto

Before and Construction Photos

Contact us

You can help

To find out more about the Reside program, become a sponsor or participate in a Community Build Day with your team, please contact us.