About Vision SoHo Alliance
Convened by London Community Foundation, the Alliance includes Indwell, Zerin Development Corporation, Homes Unlimited, Chelsea Green Home Society, London Affordable Housing Foundation, and the Italian Seniors’ Project. The individual affordable housing developers have proven track records and many years of producing successful, award-winning projects that have greatly added to the architectural quality of the streetscape of London. The combined portfolios of the members comprise 35 projects and over 2,200 apartments and townhomes. Each member organization brings their long history of addressing housing needs in the community and specific expertise to the overall development.
With a single vision and concept, the member organizations have agreed to develop their individual projects respecting the Vision SoHo Development and Concept Plan, creating unique but complementary housing developments that respect the Secondary Plans and the SoHo neighbourhood.
The focus area for the development is the Old Victoria Hospital Lands Part II which includes 124 Colborne Street, as well as the lands bounded by Waterloo Street, South Street, Colborne Street and Hill Street. Two Heritage listed buildings, the former Health Services and War Memorial Children’s buildings remain on the site and will be re-purposed and adapted for residential use.
Urban Planning and Architecture
A design team of Nicholson Sheffield Architects, Invizij Architects, and Urban Strategies has been engaged to prepare a development vision and design concept for the Phase 2 Old Victoria Hospital Lands that embraces the vision, principles, and objectives of the Old Victoria Hospital Lands Secondary Plan, including how the cultural heritage resources and elements of affordable housing will be incorporated into the neighbourhood.
The design team has prepared the conceptual site plan that has been presented to the City of London and the SoHo Community Association. Each member organization shall engage an architect of their choice to prepare site plan and permit drawings in keeping with the approved development vision and design concept.
Vision SoHo will result in a healthy mix of energy efficient, accessible and socially inclusive housing creating a mixed-income and mixed-use community that reflects the demographics of London and specifically the SoHo neighbourhood. The vision and design concept will prioritize livability and sustainability through environmentally friendly buildings, green space, retail space, underground parking, and access to public transit.
The final number of units will be determined by the site plan and zoning process. Vision SoHo is proposing a total of approximately 500 residential units with ground floor commercial on Colborne Street.
Indwell and Invizij Architects have worked on a variety of heritage buildings of value, both designated and undesignated. In each project, they strive to maintain as many historic elements as possible and are guided by the value of enhancing meaning of place and purpose for both the broader community and tenants through heritage preservation. These values are what draws Invizij and Indwell to the renovation of the Old Victoria Hospital Lands and the War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Health Services Building as an important opportunity to cement the incredible history of both buildings into the architectural fabric of the neighbourhood and the City.
A range of affordability is envisioned with the number of affordable units varying in each development depending on the target population of that organization. For example, Indwell’s focus is supportive housing and consequently all the units will be at modest rents. Other projects will have over 50% at the lower end of market rental rates, with the remainder at less than 80% of the London median rental rate. As non-profit housing developers all the rents will be below the upper end of market, making the overall development affordable and attractive to a broad demographic. In addition, some of the affordable units will offer wrap around supports for residents seeking health, wellness and belonging.