Lawrence Heights Community Shines at #LH10 Summer Festival
Celebrating 10 years of progress in the heart of TCHC’s largest revitalization community
Lawrence Heights shined bright on an overcast summer afternoon as residents gathered at 10 Old Meadow Lane to showcase their community spirit at the #LH10 Summer Festival.
The annual—and beloved—community tradition was held outdoors on August 30 in the heart of this large and culturally diverse Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) neighbourhood located south of the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
This year’s festivities also marked 10 years since the community’s revitalization began. As a result, it gave tenants and TCHC staff the opportunity to pay tribute to Lawrence Heights’ history and the progress the community has made over the past decade. It was also a chance for residents to look ahead to the future as the vibrant community continues to transform into a mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood.
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Community Roots Run Deep
The buzz and excitement of the day was highlighted by the sounds of the Majestic Warriors band. Eventgoers also enjoyed an array of multicultural foods and fun activities through the early evening celebration. Food was prepared by tenant caterers, hired by TCHC, and offered to residents free of charge.
The Summer Festival included a market, where participants could shop and support local vendors from the tenant community. A resident-led backpack giveaway, sponsored by TCHC, aimed to give students in the community a great head start to the new school year.
Additionally, TCHC staff created a business directory to promote the day’s caterers, vendors and entertainers. They distributed the directory at the event to grow awareness and support for local businesses.
It was easy to see the depth of community connections that exist within Lawrence Heights, thanks to an interactive art exhibit, the Deep Roots Tree. Throughout the evening, tenants were provided the opportunity to reflect and share their favourite memories and hopes for the community by completing a leaf for the tree.
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Tenants and staff also used spoken words to reflect on the growth of Lawrence Heights and what the community means to them.
Marking 10 years of revitalization in Lawrence Heights
The Summer Festival arrived at a time when Phase 1 of the ongoing revitalization of Lawrence Heights is nearing completion. At #LH10, TCHC recognized its development partner for Phase 1, Heights Development (a co-venture of Context and Metropia), with an award for their work in supporting community economic development.
Tom Hunter, TCHC’s Interim President and CEO, reflected on the progress of TCHC’s largest revitalization project: “A project of this size and scope doesn’t happen without collaboration. I want to recognize Heights Development. Over the past decade, they’ve exceeded their commitment of providing more than $500,000 in scholarships and over $3.5 million in training and employment as well as tenant-led initiatives. Congratulations to everyone involved in this celebration. Happy 10th Anniversary!”
Learn more about the Lawrence Heights revitalization project.