First stage of Lawrence Heights transformation gets green light

November 6, 2012

TORONTO, November 6, 2012—Toronto Community Housing’s transformation of the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood took an important step from vision to reality with the unanimous approval of the phase one by-law amendments today.

During his deputation at North York Community Council, Toronto Community Housing President and CEO Gene Jones noted that this planning approval for phase one is a crucial step forward for the Lawrence Heights revitalization, which will transform the neighbourhood into a vibrant, mixed-use community.

The first phase of the Lawrence Heights revitalization will include 233 new rental units and 828 market condominiums and townhomes, as well as new retail space and three times more parkland.

When complete, revitalization will replace the 1,208 aging social housing units in Lawrence Heights with new, quality, energy-efficient homes side-by-side with 4,100 new units of market housing. In addition to the new housing, the revitalization will bring new retail services, community amenities, green spaces, private sector investment, and jobs and training opportunities. The revitalization follows years of input and involvement with Lawrence Heights residents, community organizations and the City of Toronto.

Toronto Community Housing is in the process of procuring a development and construction partner for Lawrence Heights. The new partner is expected to be announced in the New Year.

Toronto Community Housing has unique experience in making revitalization happen, and is working with private sector developers in Allenbury Gardens (FRAM Building Group), Alexandra Park (Tridel), Leslie Nymark (Tridel), Railway Lands (Context) and Regent Park (The Daniels Corporation) to revitalize communities by building new, quality replacement social housing, attracting new community amenities, and creating job and training opportunities for residents.

Quotes

“We have seen what we can accomplish when we all work together—housing providers, developers, charitable organizations, community groups, and all levels of government.  In Regent Park, we have proven that revitalization works. And now, we’re excited to apply our knowledge from that experience in Lawrence Heights.

“Phase one will kick-start the rebirth of the entire Lawrence Heights community. It will see this part of Lawrence Heights transformed into a mixed-use community that is fully integrated into the surrounding neighbourhoods. Toronto Community Housing is proud to be the catalyst for transforming this neighbourhood into a vital, healthy and economically vibrant part of the city.”

—Gene Jones, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing

Key Facts

• Phase one of the Lawrence Heights revitalization will cover 25.6 acres (10.4 hectares). The location is adjacent to the Yorkdale subway station and a short distance from the Lawrence West station, with convenient access to the Allen Road Expressway and Highway 401.
• When phase one is complete, the area will include 233 rent-geared-to-income units and 828 market units in mid-rise buildings and townhomes.
• Construction of the first buildings in phase one could begin as early as 2014.
• Toronto Community Housing is leading the revitalization and, through the sale of market housing with the private sector, will invest an estimated $65 million in new social housing in phase one.
• Toronto City Council endorsed the Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan on November 30, 2011.

About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes—about six per cent of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing and its subsidiaries employ 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs, who deliver its mission to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and work together to build healthy communities.

--30--

Media Contact: Sara Goldvine, 416-981-4252 or media@torontohousing.ca

Related Links: