This two-building complex in downtown Toronto is home to the residential, administrative and community service facilities for YWCA Toronto. The Jean Tweed Centre, which works with women facing substance abuse, and Wigwamen Inc., an aboriginal housing development organization, are partners in the project. The complex is organized around an internal courtyard, and provides offices, meeting and multi-purpose rooms, and community services for the three organizations, as well as Wigwamen’s Economic Development Centre, and a YWCA-run restaurant and retail store. A playground for the children of all residents is also nestled within the courtyard. The residential floors of the complex contain 300 residential units for YWCA Toronto and Wigwamen tenants. YWCA Toronto will have its administrative offices in a heritage building on Elm.
The project has incorporated a number of Green Building strategies and systems, as found and referenced in the CAGBC’s LEED Rating System. In particular, energy-efficiency and reduced life-cycle costs were targeted. The building design includes an improved thermal building envelope, central ventilation energy recovery, radiant heating and cooling, and a ground source heat pump system. YWCA Elm Centre is being designed to LEED Silver criteria.
Construction began in the fall of 2009 and occupancy occured in late 2011.