Downtown Orillia Reside Project

Reside is an innovative affordable housing program operated by Raising the Roof. Through Reside, Raising the Roof acquires vacant and under-utilized properties and renovates them into affordable housing for individuals who are currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

In Orillia, Raising the Roof will be renovating the vacant commercial space on the second storey of the Canada Post building in downtown Orillia into 20 units of housing and adding a third storey with an additional 20 units of housing. 24 of the 40 units of housing will be made available to women and their children who have fled domestic violence and now are in need of permanent affordable housing. Redwood Park Communities will provide ongoing property management and holistic tenant supports.

Through the Orillia project, the social enterprise contractor, Community Builders, will provide hands-on training, employment and wraparound supports to 50+ youth with barriers to employment. Based on past projects, we expect that 85% of the trainees will obtain apprenticeships and other full time employment in the construction sector.

Raising the Roof is applying to the Rapid Housing Initiative for this project. If that application is successful, all 40 units will be made available at very deeply affordable rates with extensive wraparound supports from Redwood Park Communities.

Reside Orillia

Project Impact


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


new units of deeply affordable housing created


women and children who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness who will have safe, comfortable homes with 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!)

Mayor Steve Clarke, City of Orillia

There is a critical need for additional affordable housing with support services in the City of Orillia.  I am happy to support the concept and ultimately increase the supply of affordable housing and employment opportunities in the community.  As Council recently indicated, we will continue to look for ways to bring this project to successful implementation and look forward to working alongside Raising the Roof to create new social impact in our community.

Linda Goodall, Executive Director of The Lighthouse Orillia

The Lighthouse is pleased to be working alongside Raising the Roof to continue creating lasting impact and change in Orillia through housing and ongoing support. The addition of these much needed new affordable rental units to our portfolio will allow The Lighthouse to provide support at all stages of the housing continuum and further our ability to support those who need our services most in the community.

Brandon Day, CEO of Community Builders

Social impact projects like this one are very important to Community Builders as they meet our mandate to create affordable housing, provide meaningful employment and healthy communities. Community Builders operates a paid 16 week program for individuals with barriers to employment that is designed to give them the supports they need to enter into the labour market and find meaningful employment in the trades.

A project like this would secure long term work, give opportunity to train and employ marginalized people and create more affordable housing.

Joe, Community Builders Construction Training Program Grad

“The program has taught me that I’m capable of learning lots of new things, even during the hardest times of my life, and that no matter what obstacles are in your way, anything is possible. “

Joe is a 23 year old who participated in Community Builders’ Construction Training Program. A few weeks into the program, he confided in one of the trainers that he was sleeping outside on the street. With the money he had earned in the program and the help of the Community Builders staff, he was able to rent an apartment. Now Joe works full time at Community Builders as part of their construction crew and aspires to one day build a house from the ground up.

Cam Davidson, Chair of the Orillia Affordable Housing Committee

In my role as chair of Orillia’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, we are always looking for projects that offer a wide variety of community benefits. [Raising the Roof] has integrated seamlessly with local partners, City staff, Council and our committee and continue to uphold our community values as they proceed toward the necessary approvals. We look forward to continuing our support for this project and working alongside the Reside team to ensure its success.

Bruce Stanton, former MP for Simcoe-North

I was pleased to hear of Raising the Roof’s successful application under the Federal Lands Initiative. This project will bring much needed affordable housing into the downtown core and I look forward to this partnership in our community, building on existing supports to help combat homelessness while also providing support and career training.

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.

Mayor Jeff Lehman, City of Barrie

The social impact of Community Builders and their Construction Trainee Program will be far reaching, benefiting families in need, specifically individuals with barriers to employment. Recipients will receive paid training and life skills development in the construction industry with a focus on creating and maintaining affordable housing. The training will provide hands on trades training, math, essential skills training, career planning and employment support. This will assist with lifting families out of poverty, providing access to full time higher paying jobs and in turn reducing or eliminating social assistance payments and government subsidies.

Project timeline

Early 2024

Late 2024

Early 2025

Early 2024

Raising the Roof estimates that demolition and construction will begin in early 2024.

Late 2024

The construction of the 40 units of housing, including the extensive greening and hands-on training is estimated to be completed in late 2024.

Early 2025

Raising the Roof anticipates that tenants will move into their new homes in early 2024. Redwood Park Communities will help them move in and provide ongoing wraparound supports.

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.