The line for the food bank stretched out for half a block in downtown Toronto. Scores of people stood patiently along the sandstone façade of Saint Luke’s United Church, all waiting for their chance to be served. Across the street stood half a dozen people who are planning to redevelop the church.
But even with the redevelopment, the food bank won’t be going anywhere, said Tim Blair, chief executive officer of Kindred Works, a real estate company associated with the United Church of Canada. “We are going to create an ecosystem in which this place is serving many people.”
Kindred Works has a goal to transform the church’s properties across Canada. This includes renewing church facilities and housing 34,000 people over the next 15 years in new rental apartments. One-third of these will be below-market rentals, with financing from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. KPMB Architects are the lead designers for all of these projects.