Backgrounder: Lawrence Heights Revitalization at 20 Zachary Court

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), the City of Toronto, Phase 1 developer partner Heights Development, and tenants celebrated the official opening of 20 Zachary Court on June 8, 2019. 20 Zachary Court is the first new TCHC building constructed to replace aging homes as part of the Lawrence Heights revitalization.

TCHC's approach to revitalization is about transforming communities by leveraging land value to replace aging social housing, build new market housing, add new public spaces and amenities, and create benefits for tenants, their neighbours and the city as a whole.

Scope of the revitalization of Lawrence Heights

At 40.5 hectares (100 acres), Lawrence Heights is Toronto Community Housing's largest revitalization project. Through the revitalization, this site south of Yorkdale Shopping Centre is being transformed into a vibrant, mixed-income, mixed-use community. Phase 1 of the project, currently underway and scheduled for completion in 2022, will build a total of 255 rental units.

Once all phases are completed, the project will have replaced 1,208 TCHC units and added more than 4,000 new private market condominium units, along with new parks, retail spaces, a community hub with an aquatic centre, athletic facilities, multi-purpose rooms, a child care centre and new public school, and roads, sideways and walkways connecting Lawrence Heights to the surrounding community.

Tenant input into the revitalization

TCHC's plan to revitalize Lawrence Heights reflects years of input from tenants, neighbourhood organizations, community partners and the City of Toronto. Tenants have had a direct voice in the choice of developer partner and in the design of their new homes. Since the start of the project in 2008, TCHC's revitalization team has been on the ground, organizing hundreds of meetings and community events to help inform and prepare tenants for the revitalization process.

Employment and educational opportunities

Along with the new buildings and amenities, revitalization has also brought employment and educational opportunities to the community. Our phase 1 developer partners Context and Metropia (operating as Heights Development) committed $3.5 million for education and employment opportunities for tenants. Since 2013, more than $400,000 in scholarships have been awarded to tenants of Lawrence Heights and Neptune through the Building our Future: Limitless Heights Scholarship program. In addition, Heights Development and its consultants and trades have provided more than 200 full-time, part-time and contract job and training opportunities to tenants.

20 Zachary Court

A seven-storey building with 77 rental units, 20 Zachary Court has amenity space on the seventh floor, including a multi-purpose meeting room and kitchenette/party room with access to an outdoor terrace on the seventh floor.

Close to 80 per cent of the units are 3- to 5-bedroom family-sized units. There are also two-storey grade-related units at the base of the building.

The building has been designed with tenant safety and comfort in mind. Some of the building's key features include:

  • Security cameras at all entrances of the building, common spaces, hallways, elevators and underground parking garage
  • Fob key entry system for front and back building entrances and the common spaces and underground parking garage
  • One level of underground parking for TCHC tenants and visitors
  • Bicycle parking on the P1 level of the underground parking
  • Laundry room on the seventh floor
  • Two fully modified units
  • A three-chute garbage system on each floor

The building's design meets Tier 1 of the Toronto Green Standards. Environmentally friendly ("green") features include:

  • Energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and lighting
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Green roof with plants to help keep the building cool in the summer

About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing landlord, providing homes for nearly 60,000 low and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. We are wholly owned by the City of Toronto and our 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset. Toronto through its $5 billion community revitalization program, Toronto Community Housing is working with private development partners to replace or refurbish more than 5,000 TCHC homes in some of Toronto's oldest public housing developments.

TCHC media line 416-737-1352 or