Upcoming Events

Jan 25 2022 Forum /

IDEAS Forum | Confronting the Housing Crisis

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Part of DesignTO Festival 2022


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Modular Supportive Housing Phase 1 – Image Courtesy of Montgomery Sisam

Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘Ideas Forum: Confronting the Housing Crisis’ features five fast-paced presentations (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each) exploring housing equity, modular housing initiatives, rent-then-own models, and community support and consultation.


  • Kellie Chin, Architect, Workshop Architecture
  • Diana Chan McNally
  • Reverend Faith Fowler, Executive Director, Cass Community Social Services; Detroit Tiny Homes
  • Daniel Ling, Principal, Montgomery Sisam
  • Eric Philip, Dixon Hall


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This event is one of a two-part series exploring topics related to Toronto’s housing crisis as part of DesignTO Festival 2022. Join us on Monday, January 24 at 6PM for Part 1, an Urban Affairs Forum organized in partnership with DesignTO, which will look at understanding the forces behind the GTA’s housing affordability crisis.

About DesignTO

The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s largest annual celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 21-30, 2022.

Going into its 12th year, the Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban sphere. The Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary culture, provides opportunities for emerging talent, and engages the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.

About our speakers:

Kellie Chin is an architect at WORKSHOP with an interest in promoting social responsibility and invigorating local communities. She has completed various buildings in Toronto, as well as projects with Toronto’s Shelter, Support & Housing Administration, working on the new Rapid Housing Initiative, and 1,000 Shelter Beds Project. With an interest in housing equity, she contributed to work published in the book House Divided and in Azure Magazine. Most recently, she co-authored ‘The Case for Compassionate Design in Housing Standards’, an independent project to research the connection between health and housing published by Spacing.

Diana Chan McNally (she/they) Dipl. Community Work, BFA, MA, MEd. Diana is a former frontline worker in homelessness services who is currently employed by the Toronto Drop-in Network, where she oversees advocacy initiatives and learning opportunities for 56 organizations across the City of Toronto supporting unhoused people. As someone with lived experience of social services and being unhoused, Diana’s work focuses on human rights and equity issues for people who are experiencing homelessness, and she is particularly involved in rights protections for residents of encampments.

Reverend Faith Fowler is a graduate of Albion College, Boston University School of Theology and the University of Michigan. She has been the Executive Director at Cass Community Social Services for 25 years. The non-profit provides food, housing, health and mental health care, as well as jobs in Detroit. The Tiny Homes project was started in 2016 and, to date, has built 25 250-450 square-foot homes. It is a seven year rent-then-own model for low-income people.

Daniel Ling is a Director and Principal of Montgomery Sisam Architects in Toronto. With an outstanding combination of design talent and project management skills, Daniel has built a rich and varied body of work that includes residential, education, infrastructure, healthcare, office, and civic projects. His work focuses on creating vibrant, dynamic spaces that respond constructively to their surrounding context, and encourage positive, sustainable growth. He has contributed to many complex housing initiatives, including the City of Toronto’s Modular Supportive Housing projects and the Region of Durham’s Modular Supportive Housing project. He has also directed a number of assignments for Housing Now, a City of Toronto initiative that invests in city-owned lands to build affordable housing and mixed-use developments near transit, creating accessible, livable communities.

Eric Philip has been actively working within the supportive housing community for over 10 years, with the last four being in support of Dixon Hall in its dedication to those at risk within Toronto’s downtown east community. He is currently overseeing the multi-phased restoration of 22 historic rooming houses in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood, as well as the construction of a new community hub in the Corktown neighbourhood. His work is focused on developing models and systems that support individuals while engaging in effective community consultation. The capital repairs associated with the Rooming House Project are in tandem with the effective provision of social support by Dixon Hall to over 200 at-risk individuals.