Residence helps seniors gain independence through integration
By Jacquelin Bhandari
Plans for the Trinity Ravine Towers Condo Residence are changing the face of one of Scarborough’s busiest intersections. The two-tower complex will be built across from the Global Kingdom Ministries building, a long-term fixture in the Toronto, Ontario suburb. Once completed, the towers will stand an impressive 25 floors above the intersection of Markham Road and Highway 401.
Formerly known as the Scarborough Gospel Temple, Global Kingdom Ministries is the result of a network of religious institutions begun in 1957. Rooted in a calling to serve, Global Kingdom Ministries provides a variety of programs serving the Greater Toronto Area such as food drives, ESL classes for adults, community sports programming, and a soup kitchen ministry, to name a few.
Kern Kalideen, the Executive Pastor at Global Kingdom Ministries, is working to meet the needs of the aging population who have lived in Scarborough all of their lives.
Scarborough is located at the eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area. The largest suburb outside the downtown core, Scarborough has been a part of Toronto’s multicultural mosaic and is home to some of the city’s most popular natural landmarks, such as the Scarborough Bluffs and Rouge Park.
In 2005, Global Kingdom Ministries purchased 11 acres of land near the southwest corner of Markham Road and Progress Avenue. In 2013, Global Kingdom Ministries decided that three acres of their property would be designated for the building of a progressive seniors’ residence.
“We are aiming to build communities that have a real community feeling,” says Kalideen. “There are many condo developments for first-time buyers and young families, but they do not meet the needs of consumers who are over 55.”
Because of this, Kalideen and Global Kingdom Ministries plan to build not just a retirement home, but a community of shared values where seniors can access the necessities of life without being isolated. His vision is an active community of seniors that can be integrated into the community they love whether it’s through volunteerism or hobby groups.
Unlike many condominium developers who move on from one development to the next, Kalideen promises that Global Kingdom Ministries will continue to be involved in the building’s projects and services well after the complex is built.
In order to allow the people living there to be more than just residents, Kalideen chose to use the life lease model for Trinity Ravine Towers’ applicants. Life lease is a form of real estate tenure that has been popular throughout North America and Europe for many years. Global Kingdom Ministries’ agreement for the Trinity Ravine Towers will be one of 140 life lease projects operating in Ontario. According to the life lease agreement Global Kingdom Ministries offers, individuals have the right to occupy their suite in perpetuity. This means that residents have the flexibility to sell the suite at market value or pass it on to a friend or family member, at any point in their lives.
The two-tower complex, being built by Reinders + Rieder Ltd, will be developed in two stages, with 209 units available in its first phase. Each unit within the residence is designed to provide a sense of comfort and mobility for its residents. The standard suite features wider doors and hallways and 24-hour access to emergency services. Kitchens include U-shaped counter space with a 360-degree turnaround to help people using wheelchairs and walkers move around. Each bathroom comes complete with walk-in shower, a bench and grab bars.
“We want to create a safe, secure environment so that children will also know that their parents are safe and secure,” says Kalideen. “We have a passion for it and we believe in it.”
Beyond the interiors of the unit, Trinity Ravine Towers also offers low-impact fitness programming designed for their residents over 55. Professional care services will be available at their on-site wellness centre, equipped with both medical and rehabilitative staff.
“People might not need the facilities we have right away,” says Kalideen. “But it will be there when they do.”
The Trinity Ravine Towers will also come complete with other luxury features like a rooftop patio and dining hall. Kalideen says that in co-operation with the city, Global Kingdom Ministries will develop manicured gardens and walking parks on the side of the property that borders a large ravine. People living in the Trinity Ravine Towers residence will be able to have a soothing, active lifestyle just outside their door.
When it comes to the Trinity Ravine Towers complex, Kalideen says that Global Kingdom Ministries is committed to nurturing a sense of integrity within the 55-plus population. “Our service will be one of respect, one of care and concern and overall commitment to serving the community.”
For more information on the Trinity Ravine Towers, visit www.trinityravine.ca.