Fred Dowling Co-operative Inc. was funded under the Section 61 Program. We were initially formed in 1977 by Canadian Food & Allied Workers Local 114 (now United Food & Commercial Workers) at Canada Packers, where Fred Dowling was a leader in organizing workers in the packinghouse industry. The project was organized and supervised by the Labour Council Development Foundation and was the ninth Labour Council Co-op in Toronto.
The original part of Fred Dowling Co-op is on a parcel of land leased from the City of Toronto for 99 years, starting on October 5, 1979. Phase 1 consists of two six-plexes and two rows of stacked townhouses, which mirror each other on Wychcrest Avenue and Melita Crescent. The buildings were completed for move-in on July 1 and August 1, 1980. There are 52 units in Phase 1.
Around 1980-82, the company developing the “Lambert Terrace” townhouse block on Melita Crescent went bankrupt. The co-op arranged to purchase this property. This section of the co-op was funded under the Section 95 Program. Phase 2 provides housing for 20 households.
For more about our history, check out “Fred Dowling Co-op – How It Began,” a storytelling project undertaken by one of our members to collect and record memories from our early residents about our co-op and its community, that culminated in a pamphlet produced in Fall 2022.