Feds, province give $4M boost to diocese's plan to replace Bells Corners rectory with affordable housing

Blueprints

The federal and provincial governments are chipping in $4 million to help the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa build a new affordable housing complex at a site of rectory in Bells Corners. 

The diocese wants to tear down the structure at 3865 Old Richmond Rd., next to Christ Church Bells Corners, and replace it with a four-level mixed-use building that will include 35 affordable housing units.

The church, which was expanded from a small country chapel in the 1980s and now serves a parish of about 300 households, would combine with the new building to form a “community hub” offering housing and a range of services, P.J. Hobbs, the director of mission for the diocese, told OBJ last year.

The development will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom rental apartments, with seven accessible units, the federal government said Friday in a news release.

The money is being delivered through the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative, which is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments.

The Bells Corners site is just one of several church properties the diocese is considering as potential locations for affordable housing.

In 2018, Hobbs told the Anglican Journal the organization is looking at tearing down or redeveloping existing churches in other parts of Ottawa ​– including Julian of Norwich Anglican Church in Nepean and Trinity Anglican Church in Old Ottawa South ​– as part of a goal to create at least 125 new affordable housing units in time for the diocese’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2021.

Last year, the diocese announced it had leased property it owns on Sparks Street to a Toronto developer that plans to build an 18-storey retirement residence.