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Renovated Toronto Hospice Building Welcomes Individuals Living With HIV/AIDS

With design support from HOK, Fife House Foundation has announced the opening of its new 20-bed Huntley Transitional Housing Program in Toronto. An opening ceremony was held on Nov. 4.

The Huntley Transitional Housing Program is an innovative approach to providing support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS who are in Toronto’s emergency shelter system. Located in a historic property that formerly operated as a hospice, the 20-bed facility now provides housing, clinical care and case management support to transition clients from shelter living into permanent housing solutions.

Taking a fully integrated approach to housing and healthcare, Fife House partnered with the Toronto Central LHIN, the City of Toronto, Habitat Services, Inner City Family Health Team and Inner City Health Associates to help address the complex health and social needs of this marginalized population.

HOK provided design services for the interior fit-out to convert the hospice into living space with single occupancy rooms, washrooms, a shared kitchen, a communal dining area, an activity room and office space for Fife House staff.

“The relationship started when we went to see the former director of Fife House about an unrelated project elsewhere in the city,” said Duncan Broyd, principal-in-charge based in HOK’s Toronto studio. “We heard about this expansion effort and their program was compelling so we stepped in to offer advice. A small group of colleagues took on the project as a passion project and Fife House was able to secure grant funding for some of the design work. It has been a great success on many levels.”

The design team and contractor TGA-ARS worked with vendors to secure in-kind donations for building materials, finishes and fixtures.

“The design of the interior respects the history of the building while providing a contemporary update,” said Allison King, interior designer in HOK’s Toronto studio. “Natural wood tones and colors accentuate the beautiful existing stained glass throughout the building. The project provides a living environment that is safe and that promotes the dignity and independence of residents.”

Fife House Foundation’s capital campaign for the project raised more than $1.8 million in private and public contributions and an additional $250,000 in donations. Among the campaign’s major funders and donors were the Government of Canada, Government of OntarioCity of Toronto, Clark Family Foundation, TD Bank Group, BMO Financial Group, the Rotary Club of Toronto, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network and Noble.

“Over the many years working on this project, we developed a very close relationship with the client and construction team,” said King. “It was a great group of people, which made it so much more meaningful.”

More information: Fife House

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