Community selects award-winning architects and urban designers at the forefront of public housing design in the UK to bring their expertise to Toronto neighbourhood.
TORONTO, OCTOBER 27, 2022 — Toronto Community Housing is announcing exciting progress in the revitalization of Alexandra Park. After a competitive bidding process, Karakusevic Carson Architects (KCA) has been selected by the residents of Alexandra Park and TCHC to create a new community centre and apartment building in the historic TCHC community, home to the Atkinson Housing Co-operative.
Supported by TCHC’s developer partner, Tridel, and the highly awarded ERA Architects, KCA will work closely with Alexandra Park residents in the design of new affordable and low-energy homes along Augusta Ave and Paul Lane Garden and the creation of a unique community centre that is operated and governed by the Alexandra Park Residents Association. This new centre will function as a ‘neighbourhood living room’ and provide spaces for a range of leisure, learning and enterprise activities to be determined by the community in a beautiful, practical and low-carbon building that will carry the historic culture and connections of the neighbourhood forward in a revitalized Alexandra Park.
The architects will intensively collaborate with the Alexandra Park residents to translate their vision for the centre into an actionable plan for a centrally-located multi-purpose community hub that will continue to meet the day-to-day needs of all residents and user groups in Alexandra Park, both new and established. The involvement of Alexandra Park’s residents has been a hallmark of the community’s revitalization, making it a standout example of what is possible when a community can be involved in co-creating its future.
The Alexandra Park housing project was built in 1966, a mix of medium-rise apartment buildings and townhouses over seven hectares of land. On April 1, 2003, with support from the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT), Alexandra Park became the Atkinson Housing Co-operative—the first public housing project to convert into a co-op in Canada and a vibrant, thriving community of residents. The Co-operative was deeply involved in the selection of KCA for this project and they will continue to be an integral part of the process, bringing the community’s shared vision for the future of Alexandra Park into reality.
“Karakusevic Carson distinguished themselves in this process, living up to their reputation. TCHC is already familiar with their good work, as KCA is involved in the planning of Regent Park Phase 4 and 5, and Alexandra Park is confident in them, as well. This project is the truest example of partnership between TCHC and a community, and I am very grateful to the Atkinson Housing Co-operative and the residents of Alexandra Park for their work to get us to this point. I look forward to seeing the community’s ideas come to life as this revitalization takes shape.”
- Jag Sharma, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
“Alexandra Park Community Centre is excited to have Karakusevic Carson Architects (KCA) work with the community and key stakeholders to design our new home. The Community Centre is the focal point of the revitalization. After many years of hard work and a strong engagement process with residents, we are excited to finally be in a position to design this new facility. The Alexandra Park revitalization is a resident-led process and KCA’s commitment to support and engage in that process made them stand out. We look forward to working with KCA, ERA and PROCESS during this exciting time in our community’s history.”
- Mohsin Khattak, Interim Executive Director, Alexandra Park Community Centre
“The brief for a new community centre and apartment building for Alexandra Park is one of the most interesting architectural briefs we have responded to in a competition. We are delighted to be working with Toronto Community Housing (TCHC), Tridel and the Atkinson Co-op, in collaboration with local architects ERA, engagement specialists Process and a carefully selected team of British practices, drawing together our respective expertise to deliver an exemplary community building and new, truly affordable, low-carbon housing for Alexandra Park..”
- Paul Karakusevic, Founding Partner, Karakusevic Carson Architects
“Through a commitment to resilient, affordable and decarbonized housing, this project represents a milestone for Toronto Community Housing and housing development broadly in Toronto. This is an example of key public leadership in demanding the industry shift to net zero, and supporting the housing and community infrastructure demanded by the community, and required to meet the challenges and opportunities of this Century. We commend the Atkinson Co-Op, Toronto Community Housing and Alexandra Park community in putting together this brief, and with the broader team are committed to meeting the challenge of bringing it to life.”
- Graeme Stewart, Principal, ERA Architects
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca
) is Canada's largest social housing provider. We provide homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city.