The Working Centre’s Queen Street Apartments at 44 Queen St. S. opened their doors on May 26. The building includes 21 affordable housing units designed and built over 18 months and prioritize immigrant and racialized women.   

Joe Mancini, co-founder and executive director of the Working Centre, said the units were built with single mothers in mind. They use electricity for heating and have lots of insulation. The units are also lofts, which allow for a separation of private and living space.   

The apartments include high ceilings, a closet, a full bathroom, a kitchen, a living space and a loft space. Some of the units had two separate bedrooms.  

“The idea of the loft space is that these are really designed as bachelors. And so, then the loft space allows someone to, you know, for that child, the mother to have the bedroom upstairs and then still have the main space for living on the main floor,” Mancini said.  

Since the applications for the units opened, Mancini said the centre received 30 applications in a two-week period.   

“But we’re all from people coming into shelters and bad situations or precarious situations. And to see to see that we could house people so quickly and meet a real need that we had identified and to see how strong that need was, but also to be able to offer a solution—that was pretty good,” Mancini said.   

Mancini said that residents would be part of a Queen St. Community. In addition to the 21 units in this building, there are eight units in 66 Queen St. Moreover, the Working Centre is on the ground floor with resources for community and employment.  

They also hope to open the Green Door Clothing store in one of the units and reopen the Queen Street Commons Café.   

“The Working Centre as a real community of supports on Queen Street and this is a real demonstration of those supports in a new kind of way,” Mancini said.