Regent Park Revitalization

Regent Park Revitalization

March 27, 2012

  • Regent Park is undergoing a revitalization that is rebuilding the neighbourhood for over 12,500 residents. This means changing what was once a community made up of 100 per cent social housing and applying tried-and-true planning principles to create a mixed-income, mixed-use community.�
  • The project is being carried forward as a public-private partnership ("P3"), through a project agreement and joint venture with The Daniels Corporation.�
  • The project's business plan is to use profits from the sale of some 3,000 market condominiums to help pay for the replacement of 2,083 new social housing units and contribute toward the construction of 700 new affordable rental units.
  • We also work with government partners, like the City of Toronto, to make sure revitalization plans include community facilities and to add new affordable rental and affordable home ownership opportunities.
  • Every Regent Park household that has been relocated because of the revitalization has the right to a new unit being built as part of the revitalization.

About the revitalization

  • Regent Park was built starting in 1948. Most of the community was inaccessible by traffic vehicles because of its planning. It was designed as a "garden city," with many walkways and park spaces instead of streets. This led to the isolation of the neighbourhood's more than 7,500 residents from Toronto's downtown. When revitalization had begun, most of the buildings had gone 50 years without any significant capital upgrades.
  • In Regent Park, revitalization is the most viable business strategy to replace or repair poor quality housing at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. This approach benefits tenants living in Regent Park and elsewhere in our portfolio, as it enables us to direct our limited capital repair money to other communities that don't have the opportunity for revitalization.
  • Revitalization is transforming Regent Park into a successful, mixed-income, mixed use neighbourhood, like many others in Toronto, offering residents a mix of rental buildings, market condominium buildings, townhomes, commercial space and community facilities.
  • The revitalization plan includes diverse architecture, expanding and reconnecting the road networks and adding new pedestrian-friendly streets. It also means adding new parks and open spaces and new retail and community facilities.
  • Before revitalization there were 7,500 tenants living in 2,083 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units. After revitalization, there will be:
    • About 12,500 residents
    • 2,083 RGI units replaced (about 1,583 on the original site and 500 nearby in east downtown)
    • 700 new affordable rental units (about 200 on the original site and 500 nearby in the east downtown)
    • about 3,000 market condominium units, including some affordable ownership opportunities
    • a mix of townhomes and mid-rise and high-rise buildings
    • new places for residents to get to know each other in the buildings and throughout the neighbourhood such as:
      • parks
      • an new aquatic centre
      • a new community centre
      • an arts and cultural centre and�
      • new retail and commercial spaces

About relocation and return

  • Toronto Community Housing has made a clear commitment to Regent Park tenants: If you have been relocated because of the revitalization, you have the right to return to a new unit being built as part of the revitalization
  • To date, 820 households have moved because of revitalization
  • Of those, 416 households are in a new unit built as part of the Regent Park revitalization
  • Those tenants chose to move into one of three rental buildings or 57 townhomes on the Regent Park footprint, or to one of three new buildings nearby in the east downtown: 501 Adelaide Street East, 92 Carlton Street and 60 Richmond Street East.
  • Tenants were provided with many details about their options, including information about building features and nearby community amenities.
  • Tenants did not have to choose a unit in one of these buildings and always have the right to defer their choice of housing to a later phase.�
  • There are only 187 households who have not had an opportunity to choose a new unit yet. They will have an opportunity to move into a new unit when phase two return begins in late 2013.
  • 144 households have either left Toronto Community Housing since relocation, did not respond to letters and phone calls about relocation or chose to stay in their relocation unit instead of moving to a new unit.
  • 73 households are in their relocation unit and have chosen to defer the right to return to a later phase.

Condominium sales

  • When condominium units go on sale, Regent Park tenants have the first choice of the units. So far, 12 tenants have purchased condo units with help from the Foundation Program.
  • The Foundation Program helps Regent Park tenants who want to make the move from living in social housing to owning a new home in their community. It provides a second mortgage of up to 35 per cent of the purchase price to tenants who have the employment income to carry the first mortgage of at least 65 per cent.
  • The second choice of units goes to members of the Inner Circle program. Anyone can join for a small fee. Members get first access to information and then sales of condos.�
  • Finally, sales are opened to the general public.

Financial plan

  • The entire revitalization is expected to cost $1 billion. Private interests and commercial service providers will invest more than $500 million. Toronto Community Housing and the City of Toronto will invest more than $450 million to replace existing housing and build community facilities. New and more efficient buildings will result in lower long-term operating costs.
  • Toronto Community Housing is funding its investment in infrastructure and replacement housing in Regent Park through a bond issuance. The organization has issued two bonds worth $450 million. A portion of these bonds is being used as part of the funding for the revitalization of Regent Park.
  • Public funding for revitalization comes in the form of infrastructure (like roads and sewers), public facilities (like an aquatic centre, community centre, park), capital money to help pay for the construction of new affordable rental units and down payment assistance for affordable home ownership.
  • Government funding for the Regent Park revitalization includes:
    • $19.5 million from the governments of Ontario and Canada in Affordable Housing Program funding
    • $3.3 million in Infrastructure Stimulus Funding for the Children and Youth Hub from the province of Ontario
    • $24 million in Infrastructure Stimulus Funding for the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre from the governments of Ontario and Canada
    • $11.7 million over 20 years for Provincial Affordability Payments to service debt incurred from the construction of the new affordable rental units
    • $62.6 million by the City of Toronto to pay for most of the city community facilities and the City's 60 per cent share of municipal infrastructure
    • $5.1 million�from the governments of Ontario and Canada in Affordable Home Ownership Program funding.