The Old Continental at 1390 Granville Street was built in 1911 and has been operating as a single room occupancy (SRO) hotel with shared toilets and showers since 1974. The building was slated for demolition in the mid 1990s once the New Continental on Seymour Street was completed. Due to an immediate need for housing in the Downtown South, the building was reopened initially as a shelter, and later as a single room occupancy hotel. This building is now well beyond its useful life and maintenance costs continue to increase. The Old Continental is no longer able to meet the needs of its current residents and will be decommissioned. Under the Granville Loops Policy Plan, the area will be redeveloped to include both new market and non-market housing.
The Kingsway Continental will be used primarily to accommodate tenants from the Old Continental. Space permitting, it will also accommodate other tenants, including residents affected by renovations or closures of other buildings. Area residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will also be considered based on availability.
The Kingsway Continental is located on a major bus route and is a short walk to the Joyce Skytrain station. There are a range of retail shops and services within walking distance, including amenities such as the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Evergreen Community Health Centre and the Collingwood Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.