The resdesign and rebuilding of 145 Queen Street East
It's not EVERY day you see four smiling faces at Fred Victor's new, central reception. But, EVERY day, you do see ONE. It's Natalie! She greets and guides every person who enters the building. She's the first woman in the front of the picture to the right.
It’s hard to believe how fantastic the improvement is at 145 Queen Street East. That’s where we have tenant housing, harm reduction, a drop-In program, healthcare services, a clothing room... not to mention Friends Restaurant and Friends Catering Company!
The old building was really well-used. Everyone agreed it needed to be redesigned and rebuilt. An 11-million-dollar funding opportunity made it possible. It was a huge demolition and reconstruction project.
Friends Restaurant, in the picture to the right, has never looked so fabulous. New floor tiles, a coat of paint and an upgraded ceiling have turned up the "bright and cheerful" like never before!
Fred Victor got a lot of help getting furniture from a terrific, environmentally-minded non-profit called Waste2Wonder. They supplied Fred Victor with re-purposed, gently-used furniture -- desks, a boardroom table, filing cabinets and much more. The idea of keeping furniture out of landfills was really appealing, also. From both a budgetary and environmental point of view, it was great.
Here are the “concrete” changes that have been made to Fred Victor Housing:
1. Each tenant has more private living space.
2. Air conditioning, now essential in high rises in Toronto during the summer, has been added.
3. Easy contact with housing staff is possible through an upgraded intercom system and a higher staff- to-tenant ratio.
4. A new fire alarm and suppression system, and energy efficiency features have improved the safety and air quality.
5. A single, common entrance to the site, with fulltime staff at the reception desk provides a knowledgeable human face to the building.
Finally, look at the outside of the building in the photo below... small changes have made a big impact. And read what the United Church is saying about the redesign and rebuilding at 145 Queen Street East. Toronto Conference's section of the United Church Observer is called, Insight, and you'll see a story about Fred Victor on page three.