Ontario's first purpose-built Indigenous Hub, to provide critical health care, spiritual, employment, training, and family support needs for the local Indigenous community, is currently in the middle of its excavation. The mixed-use project located on Block 10 of Toronto's West Don Lands is being built along with Canary House, a new condominium residence, by Dream and Kilmer Group, and a purpose-built rental apartment partnership that includes Tricon Residential, as joint-venture partner and operator.

Our last update on the project was in July, when it had just broken ground. Since then, excavation has been continuing, and now, a sizeable portion of the eastern end of the pit has been dug out. 

November update, image by UT Forum contributor bilked

Over the last few months, a lot of work has been done, leading up to today's progress. In September, the site was cleared and crews were preparing to start digging. By mid-month, the first dent in the ground had been made in the northeast corner of the site where Canary House will rise, kicking off the excavation. The heritage building that sits on the northwest corner of the property had also begun to be cleaned out ahead of its pending restoration, to be overseen by ERA Architects.

September update, image by UT Forum contributor DKB

About a month later in October, significant progress had been made from a digging perspective. A large portion of the eastern end of the site had been partially excavated, enough so that a tieback rig can be seen in the foreground of the image below, anchoring that shoring wall into the ground behind it. Tiebacks strengthen the shoring walls enough to allow digging to continue deeper, which will carry on for a few more months until the entire pit is bottomed out. 

October update, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

The multi-building complex is designed by BDP Quadrangle in collaboration with Stantec and Indigenous-owned Two Row Architect, and will be made up of buildings of 5, 11, and 13 storeys. Two Row is acting as design consultant and overseeing the project, which will adhere to eight Indigenous design guidelines honouring knowledge, history, and values. 

The west side of the complex is to include the four-storey, 45,000 ft²  Anishnawbe Health Toronto Community Health Centre, offering holistic health programs and services that combine Indigenous and Western methods. Next to the health centre, the Miziwe Biik Training Institute will serve as the complex's employment and training partner, and is set to contain a new early learning and childcare centre for 49 children along with an Indigenous EarlyON Child and Family Centre.

West Don Lands Indigenous Hub and Canary House, image via submission to City of Toronto

The eastern portions of the site will be occupied by the 13-storey Canary House, and an 11-storey purpose-built rental building. The Health Centre component is scheduled to open by the end of 2022 while the rest of the Indigenous Hub is targeting a 2024 completion.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, 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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Related Companies:  Baker Real Estate Incorporated, BDP Quadrangle, Dream Unlimited, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, NAK Design Strategies, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists, Snaile Inc., Terraprobe Inc, Tricon Residential