Gull River Housing

Work in Progress

The Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing (City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton) waiting lists are grim. If you put your name on a list today, you could wait seven years to get into a housing unit – and that does not include the demand from employed singles and couples who need a place to live for their jobs. There are almost 1,700 unique households on the current waiting lists, a 375% increase since 2013. The largest group are singles and couples, with seniors and families making up the remainder of the roll. By and large, small one-bedroom units are the most needed, at 75% of the units required.

There have been small yet important gains over the past few years, but not enough rental housing exists to address the one and two-bedroom needs.  The low-income demand requires 121 units in the county annually to be developed. The targets are only achievable with funding and policy support from all levels of government as well as participation from private developers, the local housing corporation, non-profit housing providers, community agencies and residents.

This project is a partnership between private development, the KLH Housing Corp., who supply 65% of the affordable rental housing in the area, and the Township of Minden Hills and has already garnered the collaboration and support from city councilors, housing advocates and local builders.

Consisting of 30 rental units on a wooded site with water access to the Gull River, this development will provide an unprecedented amenity for low income housing. Typically, water access at a home in this area is found at cottage properties and not low-income housing. Having the Gull River as your back yard can allow possible site amenities like a dock or fishing pier.

The site is sandwiched between two heavily used public amenities. To the south is Rotary Park. This beautiful park is located along the Gull River and features plenty of parking, a boat launch and small dock. There are two separate beaches, a playground, and multiple park benches, two picnic shelters, and plenty of grassy areas for playing. To the north is the Royal Canadian Legion. It is a local magnet for seniors and people of all ages with well organized activities, good food, and a welcome atmosphere.

The housing units feature sets of reciprocating sloped roof profiles that help define the overall array of units on the site while also providing unique front entrances and rear patio spaces focused upon the River beyond.

The interior spaces are designed to be accessible and fluid with the living room taking advantage of the sloped roof for an expansive gallery window in the rear of each unit.

Modular in character, each unit will be pre-frabricated off-site and upon completion will meet Passiv Haus standards. We hope to see Gull River Housing set a precedent for building sustainable rental housing in Ontario.