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Eva’s Phoenix, Build Toronto in talks over shelter’s relocation

Eva’s Phoenix, a renowned shelter and training centre for homeless Toronto youths, must relocate after the city decided to sell the property it leases.

The shelter is working with Build Toronto, the city’s arm’s-length real estate and development firm, on a relocation plan.

Eva’s Phoenix at 11 Ordnance St. provides yearly housing for 50 people and gives homeless and at-risk youths the help they need to develop life skills, build careers and live independently.

On Wednesday, the city’s governing management committee announced that the two parties must reach a deal by Nov. 29. If a plan is not ironed out by then, city council will decide what will be done.

“I’m forcing all my energies on working with Build Toronto and coming up with a plan,” said Maria Crawford, executive director of Eva’s Initiatives, which runs the shelter.

She said she is currently negotiating a financial package with Build Toronto and searching for land to relocate to, which has been the most challenging part for the organization right now.

Crawford said that the deadline is tight for coming up with the plan. The facility’s lease expires in three years, and it’s expected to relocate by then.

“The youths are very concerned. It’s their home,” Crawford said. “The shelter has been a very critical source to making significant changes in their lives.”

Build Toronto spokesman Bruce Logan said the two sides met Thursday afternoon and have several meetings scheduled between now and Nov. 29.

“Progress is being made,” said Logan, adding that the company has every intention of meeting the deadline.