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Regent Park Revitalization
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regent park in toronto is canada's oldest and largest community housing project. it is home to a tight-knit community of new immigrants and other low-income residents, but it has also suffered from a number of problems like violence, drugs, and prostitution. the city has decided to tackle these problems, rooted in poverty and social isolation, by redeveloping the neighbourhood.
regent park consists of two sections, north and south, split by dundas street east. the north (circa 1940s) was designed along british "garden city" ideals to encourage low rise development, limit car use, and provide "modern" living arrangements. the south (circa 1950s) contains more high rises. both were considered slum clearance projects, which is an interesting point. they were designed with seemingly good intentions, and yet here we are again. will it work this time?
the new neighbourhood is planned according to new urbanist ideas - mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhoods, mid-rise buildings studded with taller ones. the new development will include the same number of affordable housing units, also known as rent-geared-to-income units. one big change will be the street layout. people said the existing layout cuts the neighbourhood off from the city. take a look for yourself, and check out the planned solution (from the 'regent park revitalization study'):
the full study is here: www.regentparkplan.ca/pdfs/revitalization/revitalization_study_full.pdf
i went there today and took some photos of the neighbourhood as it exists now.
the first part to be demolished is in the north section, near dundas and parliament. this is what the remaining buildings look like:
then i crossed to the south section to take photos of some community murals:
as i took photos a guy got out of his car and asked me if i was a cop. i said no, and that i was just interested in the murals. he said to watch out, because people would think i was a cop, and told me to have a good day. he also pointed me toward another mural. as i left the neighbourhood i passed one more sign of the times:
This article has been viewed 39066 times in the last 6 years
chiamattt: 26th Nov 2006 - 03:21 GMT
it is rather sad when someone tells you to watch out because people might think you are a cop.
Mike Jones: 1st Dec 2006 - 16:29 GMT
I like the photo of the people lounging on the grass. Hopefully that's what it will really turn out like.
anon (localhost): 11th Dec 2006 - 22:16 GMT
The Toronto Free Gallery is having a screening of NFB movies dealing with Regent Park. http://publicspace.ca/streetstoscreens.htm
TB: 24th Dec 2006 - 21:47 GMT
I use to live out on the northside of regent park...and now that its slowly being broken down is totally wrong...i still got homeis out there..and that shit is wrong...they tearing down tha hood..save regent park on da real'
Deb: 21st Jan 2007 - 00:01 GMT
Very well done.
I was raised at River & Dundas throughout the 60's & mid 70's. I can't help but follow the changes that are happening; it's like a part of it is always in the blood, I guess.
You did a great job and I loved your pictures as well. Funny, I remember the windows being changed, as well as the balcony railings. They used to be more like a railing with green, plastic covering over the outside; I should have a picture somewhere. Anyway...obviously I enjoyed it.
anon (exterior.flemingc.on.ca): 15th May 2007 - 15:39 GMT
i am doin a history reaserch paper in college about regent park
Janelle: 4th Dec 2007 - 21:45 GMT
Would it be possible to get an update on this? It's been over a year since this post, and I was wondering if you might have any up-to-date photographs available, or at least some follow-up information?
jeeff: 3rd Feb 2008 - 22:40 GMT
thanks for the suggestion. i'll try to post an update in the future, and i'll put a link in the comments here.
Katybee, London: 3rd Mar 2008 - 21:01 GMT
My Grandma was born in Sackville st,in 1922. I'm trying to find out what the area was like then. Any ideas?
jeeff: 5th Aug 2008 - 22:48 GMT
for janelle and whoever else was interested in updates, here's a new article on the redevelopment.
jeeff: 5th Aug 2008 - 22:51 GMT
and this is far too late, but if katybee is still around, check out the novel cabbagetown by hugh garner.
Mike's little sister: 9th Oct 2008 - 17:17 GMT
I grew up in Regent Park, almost 18 years there, and left in 1981. I am far away and only have been told about the revitalization.
Lot of sadness and a lot of happiness found too.
regent parker: 18th Mar 2009 - 21:24 GMT
as a resident of regent park most of my life i like to say great page, keep up the good work. the last mural on life is about choices is spot on. people should really take that message to heart.
As i'm doing a thesis on regent park revitalization, i like to share a link for those interested.
it offers some history and debate on mixing social classes
Joe: 27th Nov 2009 - 03:40 GMT
I was recently (October, 2009) conducting research in Regent Park for a school project with several classmates. We approached two police officers to ask a question, we were told to keep out of trouble. Take that as you may. I was cautious when it came to picture taking and was still challenged by a group of youths once during photo taking. No harm done, just told them it was for a school project and they were cool.
god bless the park: 9th May 2013 - 02:36 GMT
my dad grew up in the park before and after the first development. All he had to say about the new development was you can change the park but you can't change the people.
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