The revitalization of Canada's largest public housing community recently moved on to its third phase, starting with the demolition of rows of townhouses at Shuter and River Streets on the east side of the neighbourhood. A couple months have passed since the teardown started, and work has now moved on to the demolition of the adjacent high-rise apartment tower at 42 Blevins Place, the second last of five similar towers on the site which were designed by the late Canadian architect Peter Dickinson. Dickinson is chiiefly credited with moving Toronto into the era of Modernist architecture.

14 and 42 Blevins Place, Regent Park, Toronto14 and 42 Blevins Place await demolition as seen in May 2014 by Sean Marshall

ProGreen Demolition is handling the teardown at Regent Park, including 42 Blevins Place, which is being taken down manually with the help of a portable hydraulic crane.

Regent Park Revitalization, phase three, 3, demolition, TorontoDemolition of 42 Blevins Place in Regent Park, image by Bryan Bonnici

Below, large window frames come crashing down into a growing pile of debris after being cut away from the upper floors of the tower.

Regent Park Revitalization, phase three, 3, demolition, TorontoDemolition of 42 Blevins Place in Regent Park, image by Bryan Bonnici

The tower is being meticulously taken down one unit at a time, moving from top to bottom, the image below illustrating the process.

Regent Park Revitalization, phase three, 3, demolition, TorontoDemolition of 42 Blevins Place in Regent Park, image by Bryan Bonnici

Breaking up brick, concrete and masonry can be a messy process, with the potential to release plenty of airborne particulate. To minimize that, water is sprayed onto the building from the hydraulic crane as it chews into the building's walls and floors. 

Regent Park Revitalization, phase three, 3, demolition, TorontoDemolition of 42 Blevins Place in Regent Park, image by Bryan Bonnici

Where 42 Blevins Place currently stands will be a new athletics ground for the neighbourhood. If everything is on schedule, the first of the new affordable rental townhomes of Phase Three will be under construction before the end of this year, just adjacent to this site. A number of new market condominium towers, affordable housing buildings, and a new community centre are already under construction in Regent Park Phase Two.

UrbanToronto will return to Regent Park with additional updates as work continues. In the meantime, you can jump in on the ongoing conversations in the associated Forum threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.