From the ashes, the apartment building 100 Little Ave., in south-end Barrie, is beginning to take shape.
And it won’t be long before it's full of residents again, a local housing official tells BarrieToday.
The devastating late-night fire on April 23, 2018, which displaced 25 families from their Little Avenue homes may never be forgotten, but the building is being rebuilt bigger than before, with a new fourth floor being added to accommodate more people in a city that is strapped for affordable housing.
Barrie Housing executive director Erika Erteki says the project is moving along as scheduled, with tenants expected in by spring of next year.
“We are anticipating occupancy in April 2020, though as is usual in cases of construction that could change depending on many factors,” she said. “All in all, we still have the end of April of next year (set) as our move-in time.”
Barrie Housing owns and manages 953 units, with approximately 3,000 people under its roofs.
After the fire, many residents affected were relocated to other Barrie Housing properties around the city, with some choosing other places to live.
Former tenants of 100 Little could return to the building, Erteki said.
“All tenants will be given a chance to return, though some have already told us they will not be,” she said. “We will have a grace period for anyone who has declined to come back, in case they change their mind, but then we will over forward with filling the units with the process we find best at that time.
"We are still working out how that will look," Erteki added.
The new fourth floor and its 11 units will be something different, as it is being reserved for seniors, following an announcement made this past April.
Erteki said the plan is still to accommodate seniors, and consultation with Simcoe County, which also manages social housing, will take place soon to discuss the issue.
“The fourth floor is a different issue than the rest of the building and we will be dealing with the County of Simcoe on that as they will be a part of the process,” she said. “The main part here is that, thankfully, the whole project is moving on target and we can’t wait to get tenants back into 100 Little.”