Study prepared for Salvation Army suggests $15 million economic boost from proposed shelter project

A new study suggests a proposed Salvation Army shelter and community hub would bring millions of dollars of economic benefit to Vanier.

The study, by Shore-Tanner & Associates, was commissioned by the Salvation Army to examine what benefits the proposed hub at 333 Montreal Road could bring.

It finds the project would generate over $15 million a year in economic activity, once it’s up and running, and would create hundreds of new, full-time jobs.

The study says the direct economic benefits would increase to $17 million by the shelter’s fifth year of operation, benefiting community and family services; outreach services; arts, education and spiritual care programs; room and board for the Salvation Army’s clients; and the site’s operation and maintenance.

150 Salvation Army staff would work at the site, and the study suggests 137 new, full-time jobs would be created in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, the trades, professional services and property maintenance. These jobs would generate nearly $5.5 million in payroll, which could go to Vanier residents who get them.

The site could also create 275 indirect full-time jobs, and generate over $2 million annually from the retail space provided in the proposed plan.

Just building the $53 million hub is expected to create 480 direct and indirect one-time jobs, putting more than $20 million into people’s pockets, according to the study.

The study also suggests the look of the building would have benefits of its own.

“Another significant benefit of the proposed Community Hub is the physical improvements, landscaping and other visually attractive features it would create for the Subject Site, and for its entire block” the study says.Such benefits are not, strictly speaking, economic. However, the safety, security and visual pleasure they create, will ultimately promote economic prosperity and further gentrification. The main beneficiary of these improvements, furthermore, would be Montreal Road, and more generally, all of Vanier.”

The project has faced stiff criticism from residents, area businesses and the local City Councillor, who are concerned about the impact of the shelter and an apparent lack of public consultation.