Skip to main content

New facility aims to make Muskoka housing more affordable


A new facility officially unveiled in Gravenhurst aims to significantly reduce the ongoing housing affordability crisis.

As of this week residents are starting to move in to The Alexander, a new senior assisted living and independent living facility.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday. The years-long project is bringing 101 new housing units to market, with just under a third of those slated to be deeply affordable, says District of Muskoka Chair Jeff Lehman.

"This was a big day for Gravenhurst, a big day for the owners and especially for all the people who are going to get to live in this community going forward," Lehman said.

Of the 101 units at the facility, which will offer some medical services and have units for seniors who can live independently, 30 will be priced well below market rates. The District of Muskoka invested $ 2.4 million to make that possible.

That funding came through the Muskoka Affordable Housing Incentive program. Developers who apply to the program receive a capital contribution towards construction costs in exchange for a commitment to keep rent affordable for at least 20 years.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also contributed to the project.

"It's the vision and result of Leonard and Marie Ohja, who are the owners," Lehman said. "They are themselves medical professionals who ten years ago decided they wanted to build a senior's home in Muskoka, and they have been working on it ever since to see it through. They arranged the financing."

According to Lehman, located on Isaac Street, The Alexander is an iconic property that overlooks the steamships docked at the Muskoka Wharf.

"It's pretty amazing," Lehman said. "The seniors who are going to live there are going to be able to sit out on the deck and look at Lake Muskoka. It's a location that really can't be beat; just an iconic Muskoka spot."

In addition to housing well over 100 residents, Lehman points to the employment benefits it will bring, with 55 employees currently hired at the facility.

"I think seniors housing is in particular demand, both in Muskoka and elsewhere," said Lehman. "It's awful that people get to a late stage in their life and can't afford rent and maybe can't retire the way that they were hoping to. I think these kinds of facilities provide not just a place to live but some of the services, some of the community, some of the friendships that really make them a wonderful place to retire." Top Stories

Stay Connected