Location: Port Credit, Mississauga, ON
Construction Budget: $14,500,000
Architect of Record: Invizij Architects
The Region of Peel issued a request for prequalification to develop new supportive housing on the lot of a former auto repair shop along Lakeshore Boulevard in Port Credit in November of 2017. After Indwell was awarded the contract, it was important to their team that they be very involved with the community throughout the development process: holding meeting to receive input from residents and working with the community to ensure their needs were met.
“It was amazing to see the kind of support we received from the community for this project – there was no opposition as everyone understood the needs and wanted to see new solutions to homelessness challenges.” – Graham Cubitt, Director of Projects & Development at Indwell
Indwell is an affordable housing developer that provides permanent supportive housing with a mission to create communities for people seeking health, wellness, and belonging. This is their first project in Mississauga, with a second project under construction in Streetsville. Construction began in November 2019 and wrapped up in early 2022, despite pandemic impacts.
The four-storey 51,000 ft2 Lakeshore Lofts has become a new gateway on the east side of the Port Credit community along Lakeshore Boulevard. The building is mixed-use and is wholly designed for community-benefit purposes.
The building is shared with The Compass Food Bank & Outreach Centre, a nonprofit organization rooted in Mississauga. The synergies between the affordable housing development and food bank are significant, with 95% of tenants having already participated in The Compass programs, ranging from the food bank to financial coaching.
Supportive housing encompasses affordable and accessible residential accommodation that provide individual-based support and services so that residents can live independently. This can include assistance with activities of daily living, medical care, or access to other community supports. Community-led projects like this one are made possible by meaningful partnerships with government and local agencies.
“Lakeshore Lofts was built with the community in mind, and we’re pleased we were able to respond to the needs identified by individuals, families, other agencies, and the Region of Peel to complete this project.” – Graham Cubitt, Director of Projects & Development at Indwell
The 68-unit apartment complex (primarily composed of one-bedroom units with six studios) includes amenity space for tenants on the first and fourth levels. The site is adjacent to a public transit stop and close to all civic amenities, enabling tenants to actively engage in the broader community without relying on automotive transportation. The ground floor space is used for larger gatherings/ activities while the top floor common room is for smaller groups and offers a view of the lake. The furnishings were created by students from Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Craft and Design program in collaboration with Lakeshore Lofts tenants.
A significant feature of Lakeshore Lofts is the energy efficiency it provides, following the Passive House US (PHIUS+ 2018) standard, considered to be one of the most rigorous voluntary energy-based standards in the design and construction industry. By following this standard, Indwell is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering tenant lower utility costs. In fact, the entire building is powered by electricity, and there is no fossil fuel service connection.
The building design includes the following energy efficiency features:
- Passive House level of whole building air tightness testing, 0.06 cfm/ft2 @ 50 Pa
- Improved floor slab, R-22
- Improved above-grade wall enclosure, R-30 Improved roof assembly, R-44
- Optimized window-to-wall ratio, reducing excessive fenestration
- Fiberglass window frames with triple pane glass
- High energy recovery for residential and common area ventilation systems
- Air source heat pump heating and cooling systems with high levels of energy efficiency
- Reduction of energy use associated with hybrid air source heat pump water heaters distributed on all floors and water fixtures with lower flow rates
- Reduced lighting power density for residential common areas, office spaces and exterior lighting
The façade design is inspired by the multi-faceted undulation of the waves on nearby Lake Ontario, and where the blue ombre ACM paneling was inspired by water, the interior uses biomimicry with maple plywood paneling to create a sense of warmth and place for the tenants. Each apartment has a unique entrance with a variation in blue paints and maple panels, creating a welcoming niche.
Animating the pedestrian experience is a large-scale public art installation celebrating Port Credit. The Mississauga Arts Council and Port Credit BIA held a design competition, with local artist David Anthony selected for this project. The three themes highlighted were the musical community, food culture, and Lake Ontario as central aspects of local identity. While the building itself is a flagship emblem of the possibility to create new housing solutions to address homelessness, including public art allows the building to broaden its social impacts even further.