Don Mount Court
The revitalized Don Mount Court/Rivertowne community is Canada’s first public housing development rebuilt as a mixed-income community. It has transformed one of the city’s oldest downtown communities into a dynamic, new mixed-income neighbourhood. Located in south Riverdale on the city’s east side, Don Mount Court/Rivertowne demonstrates the success of joint venture partnering and community engagement to improve the city’s aging public housing and the quality of the communities where it is located.
Don Mount Court/Rivertowne brings together urban condominium townhomes and a modern community housing redevelopment on new public streets with landscaped boulevards, courtyards and pedestrian walkways. The new community includes the extension of Munro Street to Queen Street East and the creation of a two-acre neighbourhood park.
The housing part of the Rivertowne revitalization is complete. Phase one tenants moved into their new homes in 2008. Construction on phase two was done at the end of 2010 and new tenants started moving into the last townhomes at the beginning of 2011. All 232 rental units and 187 condominium units are done and occupied.
The Toronto Community Housing rental townhomes and three-storey apartment building include a mix of one to five bedroom units in different suite styles, including wheelchair accessible units. The buildings were designed in the height and style of surrounding low-rise buildings, with designs similar to the market housing.
The last part of the revitalization is the new park. Construction on the park started in fall 2011 and the park will be ready for use for summer of 2012. All the demolition work is done and all the waste has been removed. This includes the removal of the part of Carroll Street that goes through the park. Mechanical and electrical for the new splash pad and lighting has started. The work to lay down new soil is almost done and concrete work in ongoing. Park construction was shut down over the winter months. Construction activity resumed as of April 17 and will continue through spring 2012.
The project was redeveloped by the Don Mount Court Development Corporation, Intracorp Development Inc. and Marion Hill Development Corp., with support from the City of Toronto and the Ontario government. A consultation process involved tenants of Don Mount Court, local residents, businesses and community agencies through advisory committees, public meetings and open houses over close to five years. The Don Mount Court Development Corporation’s Board of Directors includes a tenant, a neighbour and people with the range of skills and experience to oversee this development.
The original Don Mount Court development was built in 1968 at a time when providing housing only for low income households was thought to be the best approach. The design removed city streets and placed buildings in a self-contained, park-like setting. The unintended result was a design that isolated the community from the surrounding neighbourhood.
In 2000, an engineering study revealed extensive concrete deterioration and the need to take action to ensure resident safety and meet provincial housing standards. When Toronto Community Housing was created and had responsibility for Don Mount Court in 2002, a significant number of units were deemed uninhabitable. Based on tenant and community input and engineering advice, Toronto Community Housing and its partners decided to revitalize Don Mount Court as a mixed community, including both rental and ownership housing.
|Making revitalization happen
Toronto Community Housing created a subsidiary, the Don Mount Court Development Corporation (DMCDC), to oversee redevelopment plan.
Through a request-for-proposals process, the Don Mount Court Development Corporation Board selected Intracorp Development Inc. and Marion-Hill Development Corporation to redevelop the site and oversee the redevelopment.
|About the plan
The The Don Mount Court Plan knits social housing back into the fabric of the surrounding community. The plan calls for all original 232 rent-geared-to-income units to be replaced within stacked townhouses and a low-rise apartment building. In addition, 187 market-ownership condominium townhouses are included in the plan. The result is a mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood that is reintegrated with surrounding communities. A new neighbourhood park is being built to expand the Joel Weeks Parkette into a two-acre community-designed facility.
|Revitalization in action
Demolition began in October 2004, with care taken to recycle building materials, save as many trees as possible and minimize dust and noise during the demolition.
About the Don Mount Court Development Corporation
The Don Mount Court Development Corporation was incorporated in 2002 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toronto Community Housing Corporation to oversee the redevelopment of Don Mount Court. The subsidiary is managed by a 6-member Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Dino Chiesa (Chair)