Skip to content

Supply chain issues delay Grace Gardens opening

Permanent supportive housing project at the former Parkview Motel set to open in February

Like many construction projects, the permanent supportive housing project Grace Gardens has fallen victim to supply chain shortages.

It was previously thought the project in the city’s north end would be open this past summer, but now the target date for move-in is Feb. 1.

“That’s our goal,” said Gail Hoekstra, executive director of Stepping Stone, which is responsible for the project. “I can hardly believe it’s coming to an end given all the years we’ve been chasing this idea and it’s finally coming to fruition.

“We can see the finish line.”

The former Parkview Motel at 721 Woolwich St. – on the northeast corner of the intersection of Woolwich Street and Marilyn Drive, near Riverside Park – is being converted into 32 bachelor-style apartments intended to house members of the city’s homeless population.

In addition to their individual units, residents will have access to a variety of shared spaces, including a kitchen and areas for planned 24/7 support services.

Renovations began in March, when the front office area – the section closest to Woolwich Street – was removed so it could be re-built. Several alterations are also underway to convert former motel rooms into residential units.

“The building footprint is the same (as the former hotel),” Hoekstra said, noting the roof line for the rebuilt office area is taller.

Most of the supply chain issues have been resolved at this point.

“It’s so exciting. It’s really going to be beautiful,” Hoekstra said, noting the delay in construction has been disappointing. “There are pressures in our system for sheltering and having places for people to be.”

Stepping Stone, then known as the Welcome In Drop-In, bought motel property was purchased in 2021 for $3.8 million, with $1.2 million coming from the County of Wellington and Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund, as well as $600,000 in the form of a willed donation from longtime supporter Grace Frank, after whom the facility is named.

Last fall, Guelph city council agreed to chip in $884,000, with an additional $6.4 million announced from the federal government in February.

The United Way of Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin’s Home For Good campaign has also contributed to the project, Hoekstra said, as it has to other similar initiatives in the community.

The total cost of establishing Grace Gardens is about $9 million.

“2023’s going to be a great year,” Hoekstra said, adding that not only is Grace Gardens set to open, but movement is being made on similar projects in the city – a 32-unit supportive housing project from Kindle Communities off Willow Road, an eight-unit affordable supportive housing project from Wyndham House, geared to youth, and a 28-bedroom temporary supportive housing project from the County of Wellington on Delhi Street.

“All of these projects, it’s exciting for our community,” she continued. “I think it gives us all hope for moving forward, seeing ideas happen that are not just Band-aids but are solutions to chronic homelessness for our community.”


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Richard Vivian

About the Author: Richard Vivian

Richard Vivian is an award-winning journalist and longtime Guelph resident. He joined the GuelphToday team as assistant editor in 2020, largely covering municipal matters and general assignment duties
Read more