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Neighbourhoo Link/Senior Link

Location: 2802 Danforth Avenue, Toronto Ontario
Client: Neighbourhood Link/Senior Link Homes
Program: 25 Unit "Green" Apartment Building for the Frail Elderly
Robert Reimers Architect Ltd. is currently working with Neighbourhood Link Homes, a non-profit social service agency based in the east end of Toronto, to build a new 25 unit, four storey apartment building located at 2802 Danforth Avenue. This new project is specifically geared to the frail elderly who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless and was made possible in part through participation in the national Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) and has received provincial rent supplement funding for all 25 units (through the City of Toronto) for the next 15 years.


2802 Danforth Avenue is revolutionary project because it is the first federally funded social housing development in Canada to include extensive �green� design features.  The following are some highlights of the �green building� features which were an integral part of the design of the new building at 2802 Danforth Avenue;


  • The new building is an urban infill development, which will reduce resource and energy inputs by making the best use of the  existing urban infrastructure.
  • The project includes a �green roof� system, designed to improve the quality of storm water run off, increase the insulation in the roof, and contribute to better urban air quality.
  • A  thermal-solar energy system has been designed for the roof which will contribute to the building�s domestic hot water heating system, making effective use of the building�s south facing exposure and reducing reliance on traditional, non-renewable energy sources (working with Modial Energy)
  • Walls and windows have increased insulation factors, thereby surpassing industry standards for energy efficiency.

There are several features that were incorporated into the design of 2802 Danforth that were developed specifically to respond to the needs and desires of the residents. When physio therapists create a rehabilitation plan they seek ways for recovering seniors to easily integrate exercise into their daily routine. With this in mind, RRA designed a �stairs promenade� to encourage the use of stairs, which incorporates a lower stair height (smaller slope) to make the use of the stairs a more pleasurable experience.
Within the building itself, the lounge and private outdoor courtyard on the west side of the building will provide opportunities for social interaction, �lunch and learn�, or other activities as directed by the tenants themselves. The loungefaces the busy street of the Danforth so that there is always an opportunity to sit and watch the world go by.
The design of the building at 2802 Danforth Ave. respects the needs and desires of the residents, while also valuing the greater ecological needs. The detailed design elements sensitively developed by Robert Reimers work together to create a pleasant and healthy place for the residents. Furthermore, the added �green� design features work in combination to increase the overall energy efficiency of the building; thereby reducing it�s ecological footprint and helping to create a more ecologically sustainable city. RRA believes that architecture has a physical and social responsibility to produce environmentally conscious buildings and 2802 Danforth Avenue exemplifies the social and environmental context that our society demands, by producing much needed housing in an ecologically progressive manner.


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