The banging of hammers and buzzing of chainsaws are the sounds of dreams coming true.
Twenty-nine townhouses are going up at 4572 Kingston Rd. A project of Habitat for Humanity Toronto, the homes are set to be complete next year.
“The best thing is standing with these volunteers when we hand over the keys,” Habitat Toronto CEO Neil Hetherington said Sept. 24. “You’ll see 29 families’ lives change instantly and they’ll be breaking this cycle of poverty.”
The ReTooling Blitz Build, a week dedicated to retired individuals, attracted more than 900 people from Sept. 20 to 25. About 85 per cent of them were first-time volunteers, according to Habitat for Humanity Toronto.
“I’ve been wanting to get on a build for seven years and finally this time everything came together,” said 53-year-old Eva Dornellas, a new volunteer.
ReTooling Blitz volunteers donned hard hats and work boots, and got down to sweeping dust, putting up drywall and nailing lumber to roofs.
“I didn’t know anything about houses before, but they take everyone with no experience and make sure everyone has a role and a job to do,” Dornellas said.
Toronto is going through a housing crisis and Habitat — which has built 224 homes in the city to date — and its volunteers are part of the solution, Hetherington said.
“We think the volunteers will come back because they have what we call ‘habititis,’ ” he said. “They’re addicted to Habit for Humanity.”