Renderings and Public Dashboard Site Unveiled

Renderings and Public Dashboard site unveiled for rapid housing initiative coming to the North End of Sydney.

Today marks a significant milestone for the joint rapid housing initiative between New Dawn Enterprises and the Ally Centre of Cape Breton as the renderings for the upcoming Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) Building and Public Dashboard site are unveiled.

While the final touches are still being crafted, the renderings reveal a 25-unit, two-story L-shaped structure with a private courtyard greenspace. The building has been thoughtfully designed to respect the integrity and beauty of the North End, and will consist of small, private units, some of which are accessible.

The RHI building will house adult individuals and couples from the CBRM who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness and face barriers to being housed without support.

The construction of the building is being led by general contractor and builder, Dora Construction, and architect, Passive Design Solutions (PDS). Dora and PDS have decades of experience working on development projects like the RHI building, including True North and Sunflower Court in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The RHI development will be completely net zero and have solar panels installed to provide for the building’s heating and power needs, with the potential of selling surplus power back to the grid.

Development of the site is set to begin in September 2023 and will have residents living in the building by 2025.

After significant study about the design of the building and health of the trees on site, it is determined that eight trees will need to be removed. The first phase of construction will consist of the removal of these trees on New Dawn’s property. The trees will be milled and given a new life as the wood will be used as decorative accents in the interior design of the building.

Additional milled wood will be passed on to the community for free thanks to a partnership with the Sydney Makerspace who will distribute the wood to those who would like to use it in their own building and art projects. More details about the program will be provided in the coming months.

The RHI building development, made possible by funding from the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative and the Federal Homelessness Strategy’s Reaching Home Initiative, isn’t just about housing; it’s about fostering a sense of belonging and community.

Incorporated in the building design is an inviting communal space that encourages residents to participate in social interaction, time with friends and family, and program participation. The design also reveals a reception and wellness area which will be staffed 24/7 by the building’s operating partner, the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, to provide support and resources to residents.

“The residents who will live in the RHI Building are contributing members of our community.   They will be bringing with them a diverse range of knowledge and talent, which has often been hidden in poverty, to our neighborhood,” says Christine Porter, Executive Director, Ally Centre of Cape Breton. “Most importantly, the individuals who move into the RHI building have been struggling immensely with housing and the many physical and mental consequences that come from precarious housing.”

“As the operating partner of the RHI building, residents will have access to 24-hour support from our highly skilled and compassionate team and receive essential services to nurture both their physical and mental health,” says Porter.

New Dawn’s CEO, Erika Shea, says that this rapid housing development is a testament to the organization’s belief in the power of compassion, collaboration, and community.

“For the last twenty years, New Dawn Enterprises has operated almost 30 Supportive Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness (SHIMI) units in the CBRM. This development is a continuation of our ongoing dedication to supporting vulnerable individuals within the CBRM,” says Erika Shea, CEO, New Dawn Enterprises.

As the landlord of the RHI building, New Dawn Enterprises emphasizes their commitment to education and transparency throughout the project.

In an effort to answer questions and provide updates on the RHI building development, they have created a Public Dashboard which will act as an ongoing information hub for the general public, North End residents, and future residents of the RHI Building.

If you would like to learn more about the rapid housing development, please visit: