The Remover of Obstacles

Development Consulting for Affordable and Supportive Housing



Employing Private Sector Strategies to Achieve Social Goals

Ganesh is a solidarity co-operative based in Toronto that provides consulting services to non-profit housing providers and agencies assisting them develop and operate affordable and supportive housing.

Named after the Hindu deity Ganesh: The Remover of Obstacles. In India, Ganesh has a reputation for cutting through red tape. Every day over 1 million people call on Ganesh to help them deal with bureaucrats.

Ganesh Delivers

Ganesh gets housing built.

Since 2001, four projects (182 units) assisted by Ganesh have been occupied. This represents one-third of the new social housing units completed in Toronto in the past four years.

Currently (April 2005) Ganesh has one project (26 units) under construction and two projects (99 units) with funding in place that will start construction in the next twelve months.

The TD Bank, in their report, Affordable Housing in Canada, described Ganesh’s project at 25 Leonard as being “the new paradigm for affordable housing,” and commented that they “took an unusually entrepreneurial approach to assembling and deploying the public funds... formulating a sound business plan, bringing in private sector stakeholders, and aiming from the start to develop affordable housing units that could eventually operate without ongoing government assistance,” and concluded that the development of “25 Leonard offers a model for a new approach to building social housing.”

Ganesh is constantly reinventing the way it develops non-profit housing, finding new ways to layer assistance and reinterpret funding guidelines to get social housing built. Ganesh’s success shows that it is possible to build social housing despite the obstacles.

Code of Conduct

Ganesh Community Development Co-operative is a for-profit business with non-profit ideals.

We seek to use our skills and experience to develop new housing, to enhance community and individuals abilities to meet their needs and to provide examples of what can be done to improve the quality of life of many within our diverse communities.

To that end, we shall attempt the following:

  1. All projects that we undertake are for the greater public good.
  2. We primarily work with charities and non-profits. We will accept other clients who share a vision of a more just, sustainable society.
  3. We consider capacity building to be of equal importance to providing direct services to clients.
  4. Our services we contract to provide will be fully outlined in our contracts and letters of agreement. There will be no hidden costs or surprise activities.

Services Offered

Technical Assistance

Business Plan Development

Project Management



Ganesh’s Consulting Team

Andrea Adams

Andrea has more than ten years of experience developing and managing non-profit housing. In the 1990’s Andrea worked for the Tenants Non-Profit Rehabilitation Co-operative, an organization that bought and renovated apartment buildings on behalf of the existing tenants. Andrea is currently managing the development of Phase 2 at 25 Leonard Ave.

Elizabeth Anacleto

Elizabeth Anacleto is a recent York University graduate. She is the vice president of Homefree, a group that is developing housing for youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Elizabeth co-ordinated the renovation of the Full Circle Café, a social enterprise located at 138 Pears Ave.

Jon Harstone

Jon has over thirty years of experience developing non-profit and affordable housing, and assisted clients develop almost 3,500 units of affordable housing, with and without government assistance.

Gabriella Micallef

Gabriella Micallef has worked in the social service sector for over 25 years, and brings to Ganesh her expertise working with the homeless, as well as her ability to bring together various stakeholders to develop and support of new housing projects. In addition to her work at Ganesh, Gabriella is the executive director of the Home First Foundation and a founding director of Times Square North.

Projects assisted by Ganesh Staff


Funding Approved


Contact us at:

138 Pears Ave. #810
Toronto ON M5R 3K6

Tel/Fax: (416) 927-7627

or by e-mail to: