Published on: March 24, 2020

THUNDER BAY – A planned transitional housing project on Junot Avenue is set to go ahead, after an appeal against a city zoning decision to allow the facility was dismissed.

The project, which will be located between the EMS station and Boys & Girls Club building on Junot, would accommodate up to 58 people. It’s intended to support Indigenous youth struggling with addiction, and will provide education and employment services as well as accommodation. Some community members voiced strong objections to the facility, while many community groups and other residents rallied to its defense over the summer.

City council only narrowly approved a zoning by-law amendment to allow the facility to go ahead in October, on a 7-5 vote. The amendment added “Residence and Community Resource Centre” as an acceptable use for the subject property.

Red River Holdings, which owns rental properties in the general vicinity, appealed the city’s decision to Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in November. A planner representing the company argued Thunder Bay has sufficient land available that is already appropriately zoned, saying the city should have sought land at one of those sites. He also argued the housing facility’s size and institutional nature make it incompatible with a residential area.

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