Cornerstone Housing for Women: Redeveloping 44 Eccles Street under the Rapid Housing Initiative

Written by Ellen McGowan

June 15, 2022

We are delighted to share that Cornerstone Housing for Women was successful in its application to the second round of the CMHC Rapid Housing Initiative!

Cornerstone has more than 38 years of experience in providing housing and support for women in Ottawa. The organization provides a range of service options in its four residences and emergency shelter. The redevelopment of 44 Eccles Street will add 46 housing units to Cornerstone’s portfolio, enabling the organization to further its mission and strategic direction to provide permanent supportive and affordable housing for women and gender diverse individuals.

44 Eccles Street, Ottawa

From left: Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, Sarah Davis, Executive Director of Cornerstone Housing for Women, Ahmed Hussein, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, and Catherine McKenney, City Councillor for Somerset Ward 14.

Project Details

The project entails the development of 46 new affordable supportive housing units for women at 44 Eccles Street in Ottawa’s Chinatown neighbourhood. The site is located on the south side of Eccles Street, across from the Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) and close to Cornerstone’s Booth Street residence.

The building is an existing 4-storey office building that will be retrofitted into residential studio apartments. Prior to its use as an office, the building and site were used as a school for several decades. The exterior of the building will be retained and respectfully integrated into the new design.

The building will feature a community kitchen and shared living space, offices for Cornerstone staff and other service providers, communal laundry facilitates, and an outdoor landscaped amenity area. To accommodate residents of all abilities, a new elevator will be added at the southwest corner of the building.

The building will incorporate a range of features that will significantly improve its energy performance. Accessible design will also extend through all public areas of the building and site, and will include a new entrance.

The Project Team

Cornerstone is assisted by:

Schematic Design

Exterior rendering by CSV Architects

What’s Next?

Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2022. Occupancy of the building is expected about one year following the start of construction.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kyla Tanner ( or myself (

Patricia Hassard, Cornerstone Chair of the Board of Directors, and Sarah Davis, Executive Director, out front of 44 Eccles.

Ellen McGowan

Development Project Manager

June 15, 2022