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Gingerbread house listing raises awareness and funds to help ease Toronto’s housing crisis

With the exorbitant housing prices in Toronto, home ownership is unattainable for many — the 2023 UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index found the average Ontarian needs to save for nearly 20 years to have enough for a down payment.

With this and the holiday season in mind, last month FUSE Create set out to raise awareness and funds for the issue through its “Gingerbread House-ing Crisis”. The team collected donations for Mainstay Housing, the city’s largest non-profit housing agency.


A single square-foot gingerbread house


The agency built a 1:1 scale model of a typical Toronto home entirely of gingerbread. Measuring one square foot, the “home” is listed on real estate sites for $1,000: the average price of one square foot of real estate in Toronto.

“Gingerbread houses connote feelings of warmth and comfort – something a lot of people are struggling to find in this city’s housing market,” says Linda Carte, creative director at FUSE Create. “Taking such a well-known holiday symbol and using it to illustrate the reality of 2023 is a stark commentary on where this city and country are struggling. We want to support the innovation that Mainstay Housing is incubating for future homeowners.”


The results


Mainstay Housing reports that about $4,300 was raised for the cause. The agency says that the campaign “created awareness of homelessness in our city and the cost of housing, as well as raised the profile of Houselink and Mainstay Community Housing … It had an impact.

The biggest win for us was that you actively raised issues around housing costs and homelessness with a much wider audience than we would normally reach.”


The house is currently listed on Kijiji and FC Realty’s business pages.