Toronto Community Housing announced the members of a consulting team and the start of an extensive community engagement process. Toronto Community Housing and its consultants will work closely with the community and the City of Toronto to create a plan to address current issues at Lawrence Heights that include the poor state of repair of housing, safety concerns, isolation from the surrounding community, and few social and economic opportunities.
"The Revitalization Plan - when it is completed - will empower the community and build on the community knowledge, community identity and community pride. I want area residents to think big about the neighbourhood's long-term future and imagine opportunities to positively transform the area and deliver positive change," said Toronto City Councillor Howard Moscoe.
"We want a Lawrence Heights revitalization plan that rebuilds this community from the ground up. We want better housing. We want a better mix of housing - rental and ownership. We want the community to fit the fabric of the surrounding neighbourhood. And we want tenants to have better access to economic development opportunities, social services and recreational facilities," said Toronto Community Housing chair, David Mitchell.
At the same time, the City of Toronto will develop a Revitalization Plan that will guide future decision-making in a manner that meets the hopes and aspirations of all community stakeholders, builds on existing strengths and opportunities, and achieves broader City building objectives. The goal of the Revitalization Plan will be to create a livable and sustainable community with a mix of housing, retail, community services and facilities, parks and employment opportunities. This comprehensive plan will also find practical solutions for creating connections across Allen Road, which will then join the two sides of this community.
Both the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto District Catholic School Board are partners in the revitalization. The TDSB has five school sites within the Lawrence-Allen area and will be looking at how best to plan for their future.
"We have a tremendous opportunity here for city-building," said Gary Wright, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto. "With the help of our partners - Toronto Community Housing and the Toronto and Toronto Catholic School Boards, we are going to re-imagine 165 acres of publicly-owned land in the Lawrence Heights area to build a livable mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood."
"Toronto Community Housing will work with the consulting team, the City of Toronto, school boards, tenants and their neighbours to create a healthier and more vibrant Lawrence Heights," Toronto Community Housing CEO Derek Ballantyne said.
A community meeting with Lawrence Heights tenants will be held tonight. It will be the first in a series of outreach activities that will include neighbouring residents, agencies and other stakeholders. Toronto Community Housing, the City of Toronto and the school boards will coordinate community engagement activities and planning work to ensure an integrated and comprehensive approach.
Toronto Community Housing expects to have a development plan and business strategy complete in early 2009. City Planning will be targeting the fourth quarter of 2009 for a Secondary Plan for the Lawrence-Allen area.
Lawrence Heights Revitalization
Jeffrey Ferrier, Media Relations
Toronto Community Housing
(416) 981-4252 or at
Chief Planner, City of Toronto
(416) 392-8772 or at