At the upcoming regular meeting of Kingston City Council on Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022, members will discuss Providence Village Inc.’s (PVI) proposal to redevelop the existing Providence Manor site as a community hub, with a focus on providing “affordable and market-rental housing.” If approved, the plan would see Council earmark $50,000 from its Affordable Housing Capital Subsidiary budget for the project.
Providence Manor is currently a 243-bed long-term care facility located at 275 Sydenham Street, which is owned and operated by Providence Care. However, the organization and its services will be moving to Providence Village, a new site located at 1200 Princess Street (sometimes referred to as the Motherhouse or Heathfield Manor), owned by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, and leaving the Sydenham Street location in need of repurposing. To assist in the redevelopment efforts, the Sisters established Providence Village Inc., which hopes to partner with local organizations to establish the community hub.
According to a staff report, which is circulating ahead of next Tuesday’s meeting, a great deal of work has gone into ensuring that the project is both realistic and attainable. “PVI has utilized internal funding to complete the initial stages of feasibility assessment,” the report states, “and has requested funding assistance from the City to support further assessment which will advance the project and allow for access to additional upper-level government pre-development funding.”
”At this time PVI is seeking City of Kingston funding to underwrite additional studies,” City staff wrote in the report, noting that the recommended $50,000 would be used to help with the development and planning of the project. The report also relays ”the expectation that PVI or a development partner will apply for planning permissions and capital funding to operationalize the strategic vision for the site.” PVI plans to apply for additional funding through organizations such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The Sisters of Providence and PVI have outlined a number of key objectives for the project, including a combination of housing and various community-led initiatives, as well as a focus on supporting vulnerable women within the Kingston population. PVI hopes to remain a fiscally-sustainable project, which will “[realize] its mission through collaboration and partnerships.”
In terms of the housing options which could be made available through PVI, the staff report notes that several different types of housing and unit sizes will be included at the site. “PVI has reviewed the potential for transitional, supportive, affordable and market units from studios to 3-bedroom units, including the potential for co-living suites. Their preliminary feasibility report estimates that a redevelopment scheme could support 184 units of different sizes accommodating in the range of 230 individuals.”
The organization aims to have a better understanding of the different housing concepts, as well as project timelines and financial viability within the next year. The staff report does not address any potential planning approvals and heritage considerations, but those issues are expected to be addressed in the coming months.
The full agenda for the Kingston City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, can be viewed on the City of Kingston website. The full meeting can be watched live (or afterward) on the Kingston City Council YouTube page.
Editorial note: City of Kingston documents erroneously state that Providence Manor is owned by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. While the property where Providence Manor stands is owned by the Sisters, the organization and operation of the long-term care facility is owned by Providence Care, which is a separate entity.