Backgrounder- Revitalization of Lawrence Heights

Backgrounder- Revitalization of Lawrence Heights

October 13, 2015


At over 100 acres (40.5 hectares) in size and located south and east of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Lawrence Heights is Toronto Community Housing’s largest revitalization project to date.


  • Start date: 2011
  • Developer Partner: Context-Metropia (Heights Development Inc.)
  • The new Lawrence Heights will include:
    • New replacement Toronto Community Housing rental units: 1,208, with 233 in Phase 1
    • Private market condominiums: 4,902, with 824 in Phase 1
  • Total site size: 100 acres / 40.5 hectares
  • New amenities for residents, including:
    • Public parks and open spaces
    • Community centre and daycare spaces
    • Elementary School
    • New streets, sidewalks, retail space, and a pedestrian walkway over the Allen Expressway

Jobs and scholarships for residents

As part of their commitment as the developer partner for Phase 1, Heights Development Inc. (Context and Metropia) contributed $500,000 in 2013 for scholarships for local residents and committed $3.5 million worth of resident employment and training. To date, 66 scholarships valued at $252,000 have been awarded, and 24 new jobs have been created for Lawrence Heights residents. This is in addition to the nearly 100 employment and training opportunities created by Toronto Community Housing in Lawrence Heights since revitalization started in 2008.

Phase 1 timeline:

Phase 1 of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization is currently in progress.
  • Demolition: October 2015
  • Construction: December 2015
  • First occupancy of Toronto Community Housing units: 2018
  • End of Phase 1: 2021 (233 Toronto Community Housing units, 824 private condos)

Toronto Community Housing's Revitalization program

Toronto Community Housing's $5 billion world-renowned Revitalization program is making real progress in creating clean, safe, affordable homes in vibrant communities like the new Lawrence Heights. Working together with private developer partners, Toronto Community Housing is leveraging the value of its land to replace or refurbish over 5,000 Toronto Community Housing homes across Toronto.

Revitalization communities:

  • 250 Davenport
  • Alexandra Park
  • Allenbury Gardens
  • Lawrence Heights
  • Leslie Nymark
  • Regent Park
  • Don Summerville (planned)

Impacts of revitalization and capital repairs

Toronto Community Housing currently has $7.5 billion in public and private investments underway or planned through its Revitalization ($5 billion) program and 10-year capital action plan.
With strong support from the City of Toronto, Toronto Community Housing has ramped up capital repair investments from $68 million in 2013 to $128 million in 2014 and $175 million in 2015, and plans to invest at least $200 million in 2016. Unless one- third of the funding towards the $2.6 billion repair bill is secured from each of the provincial and federal governments, Toronto Community Housing will have to drastically scale back its capital program. This will mean having to board up more than 7,500 homes by 2023 as they become uninhabitable.
A recent third-party economic impact study by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis shows the clear benefits for Toronto, the GTA and Canada over the next 30 years of making these investments.

  • Economic benefits

    • 220,000 person years of employment over 30 years, including an average of 14,000 jobs per year for the first 10 years.
    • $18.5 billion boost in GDP through labour and material needs, with 68 per cent of this GDP growth occurring in the Greater Toronto Area.
    • $5 billion in further private capital investment.
    • $4.5 billion in tax revenue for the federal and provincial governments, meaning they will earn back their share of the required investment within the first 10 years.
  • Health benefits

    • 2.1 million fewer doctor or hospital visits
    • $3.8 billion in avoided healthcare costs
  • Social benefits

    • Increase property values to surrounding private homes
    • 15 per cent reduction in neighbourhood crime
  • Environmental benefits

    • 10 per cent reduction in utility costs, a savings of $12 million per year
    • Nine per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (an average of 390 kg per home)

About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing ( is Canada’s largest provider of social housing, providing homes for nearly 60,000 households with low and moderate incomes. Toronto Community Housing is working with private development partners to replace or refurbish over 5,000 homes in some of our oldest public housing developments across Toronto through our $5 billion Revitalization program.

Media contact

Lisa Murray, Manager, Media and Public Relations T: 416-981-4252 C: 416-737-1352