Demolition makes way for 233 new Toronto Community Housing homes in Lawrence Heights, begins transformation of neighbourhood

Demolition makes way for 233 new Toronto Community Housing homes in Lawrence Heights, begins transformation of neighbourhood

October 13, 2015

​Summary:

​​​​​​Demolition began today on 22 aging townhomes in Lawrence Heights, launching the first phase of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization, Toronto Community Housing’s largest community revitalization project.

October 13, 2015
TORONTO — Demolition began today on 22 aging townhomes in Lawrence Heights, launching the first phase of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization, Toronto Community Housing’s largest community revitalization project.

A total of 233 Toronto Community Housing homes will be replaced in Phase 1 of Lawrence Heights’ Revitalization at no cost to Toronto Community Housing. At over 100 acres in size, Lawrence Heights is Toronto Community Housing’s largest revitalization project. Over 1,200 Toronto Community Housing homes will be replaced and more than 4,000 private condominiums and townhomes will be constructed during the 15 to 20 year project.

Mayor John Tory, Greg Spearn, President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing (Interim), Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15), Toronto’s Housing Advocate and Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18), Howard Cohen, President of Context and Howard Sokolowski, President of Metropia joined community residents to celebrate the launch which takes place after seven years of planning and preparation.

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.

By partnering with the private sector and leveraging the value of land assets, over 5,000 homes in aging Toronto Community Housing developments will be replaced or refurbished through the company’s $5 billion Revitalization program. Toronto Community Housing’s expertise in multi-unit construction is being applied to its innovative capital repair program, ReSet, and to the capital work currently underway across the city.

Toronto Community Housing’s Revitalization program combined with its $2.6 billion capital repair action plan will create 220,000 employment years of jobs over the next 30 years including 5,600 jobs in 2016. As a third party report shows, investing in Toronto Community Housing’s aging buildings will spur $5 billion in private investment, avoid a $3.8 billion spike in provincial health care costs and generate $4.5 billion in government revenue over the next 30 years while providing nearly 60,000 households with clean, safe and affordable homes.

Quotes

“The transformation of the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood shows how we can reimagine Toronto and build up the city when we work together. Through this partnership, residents are going to get a complete neighbourhood with mixed housing, a new school, park and community centre. All of us have the right to live in a clean home and feel safe and secure in our communities, and that includes Toronto Community Housing residents.”
—Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto

“Today’s demolition in Lawrence Heights is an exciting start to Toronto Community Housing’s largest Revitalization project. Over the next 15 to 20 years, more than 1,200 Toronto Community Housing homes will be replaced. Combined with almost 5,000 new private condominiums and townhomes, this will transform Lawrence Heights into a vibrant mixed-income neighbourhood. Investing in Toronto Community Housing’s capital repairs and revitalization projects benefits our entire city and will create more than 5,600 jobs in 2016.”
—Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), Toronto Community Housing

"After years of planning and engagement with residents, construction work is finally beginning on the Lawrence Heights Revitalization. Beyond new housing and neighbourhoods for this community, this revitalization will bring new opportunities and improve the lives of countless families."
—Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15)

"Toronto Community Housing's partnership with Context and Metropia will help deliver real results for residents in the vibrant Lawrence Heights community with new, clean, safe, and affordable homes. I am particularly excited by the creation of local employment opportunities and scholarships for residents in Lawrence Heights as part of the revitalization."
—Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18), Toronto’s Housing Advocate

“Heights Development, a co-venture of Context Development Inc. and Metropia, is honoured to join Toronto Community Housing to launch the first phase of the revitalization of Lawrence Heights. Today’s demolition is one more step to the exciting change that will be unrolling over the next several years for all residents of Lawrence Heights and the surrounding community.”
—Howard Cohen and Howard Sokolowski, Heights Development Inc.

Learn more​

About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing​ is Canada's largest provider of social housing, with nearly 60,000 low and moderate income households. Toronto Community Housing is working with private development partners to replace or refurbish over 5,000 homes in some of the oldest public housing developments across Toronto through its $5 billion Revitalization program.

Media contact

Lisa Murray, Manager, Media and Public Relations ​
T: 416-981-4252 C: 416-737-1352
media@torontohousing.ca