Backgrounder: Regent Park revitalization

Backgrounder: Regent Park revitalization

December 15, 2020

​The Regent Park revitalization project showcases how Toronto Community Housing 's approach to city building can transform a community into a successful, mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood, with rental buildings, market condominium buildings, townhomes, commercial space, community facilities, active parks and open space.

About the Regent Park revitalization

  • The Regent Park revitalization is a five-phase, 25-year project to redevelop 28 hectares (69 acres) of land located east of downtown Toronto. The site is bordered by River Street (east), Queen Street East (south), Gerrard Street (north), and Parliament Street (west).

  • Built in the 1940s and 50s, the old Regent Park was characterized by narrow streets closed off from the city with few amenities and consisted entirely of social housing units owned and operated by TCHC.

  • Tenant advocacy for change combined with an aging building stock, lack of government funding for capital investment, and poor urban design which resulted in isolating the community were the driving forces for change.

  • Once the Regent Park revitalization is fully completed, a total of 2,083 replacement rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units, 399 new affordable rental units, and 5,500 new market condominium units will have been built.

  • As of March 2020, a total of 1,662 TCHC rental replacement units (1,263 RGI and 399 affordable rental) had been completed.

  • 189 RGI units are planned at Block 16N, the last TCHC building in Phase 3.

  • New amenities built in Regent Park through the revitalization include the arts and cultural centre (Daniels Spectrum), the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, the new Regent Park and the Regent Park Athletic Grounds.

  • New retail spaces along Dundas Street East and Parliament Street include Freshco by Sobeys, Tim Hortons, RBC and Shoppers Drug Mart.

  • New neighbourhood services on Parliament Street, Dundas Street East and Regent Park Boulevard include Main Drug Mart, Dundas East Dental and the Toronto Birth Centre.

  • There are also new spaces for social service agencies such as the TD Centre for Community Learning and Development and the S.E.A.S. Centre (Support Enhance Access Service Centre), and Dixon Hall.

Revitalization vision

  • The vision for the Regent Park revitalization is that the new buildings and emerging new community will be a seamless new neighbourhood where all homes are of high calibre, with modern heating and ventilation, and attractive landscaping and interior finishes.
  • Everyone in Regent Park is a neighbour. There are no visible distinctions in the appearance of the homes that have been purchased and those which are rented, which is part of a modern approach to social housing.
  • Urban planners have long argued that mixed-income communities in turn support vibrant, creative downtown cores, and contribute to the livability of urban centres.


Affordable rental housing

  • In addition to offering market rent and rent-geared-to-income (RGI) homes, Regent Park offers homes with an affordable rental option.

  • Affordable rental housing is made available to families and individuals who have a maximum income ceiling of four times the average market rent of their homes.

  • 399 affordable rental housing units are being built through the Regent Park revitalization.

  • The Ontario government supports this mixed-income approach to neighbourhood planning and has provided substantive funding to build affordable rental housing in Regent Park.

 

Development timeline:

1995 - Tenants approach Toronto Community Housing about revitalization

2003 - City Council approves the revitalization of Regent Park

2006 - Toronto Community Housing selects The Daniels Corporation as development partner for Phase 1 after a public Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

2007 - City Council passes the Social Development Plan, developed with residents

2009 - Phase 2 construction begins

2012 - Phase 1 completed

2014 - Phase 3 construction begins

2018 - Phase 2 completed

2019 - RFP process begins for to select a developer partner for Phases 4 and 5

2023 - Phase 3 completed (estimated)

About Toronto Community Housing 

Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider. Toronto Community Housing provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. Toronto Community Housing is wholly owned by the City of Toronto and its 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset. 

Media contact: Bruce Malloch, 416-737-6642 or media@torontohousing.ca