East of Parliament, the reinvention of Regent Park has seen the area become a temporary palimpsest of Toronto history. On Dundas East, modern buildings like Daniels Spectrum and One Park Place now join the showpiece Central Park and Aquatic Centre, the Athletic Grounds, and the new Community Centre, standing as the early landmarks of a new neighbourhood hailed as a "model of inclusion" by the New York Times last year.
To the north and east, however, construction sites and empty lots are interspersed with the last of the old neighbourhood. Moving west from River Street, the past gradually seems to give way to the future. With the Daniels Corporation and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC)-led redevelopment process already well into its third phase, that balance is quickly giving way to the vision of a new Regent Park. East of Sumach Street and One Park Place, the south side of Dundas is now alive with activity, with construction on Block 28's 'The Wyatt' recently beginning construction just west of the now above-grade apartment complex at Block 27 and north of the Block 28 townhomes east of Sumach.
North of Dundas, meanwhile, refined site plans for Phase 3's Block 16 have now been submitted to the City of Toronto. Situated between Sumach Street and Tubman Avenue, the block stretching from Dundas to Oak Street will be divided into two halves. The south side of the block is set to be occupied by a mid-rise co-op and a market-rate condo tower (below), while the north side will see a new TCHC building replace some of Regent Park's former affordable housing stock.
The division of the block into discrete halves also sees the master plan for the neighbourhood revised (above). While earlier plans for Blocks 16 and 17 (both of which were cleared last year) called for trios of buildings to surround a mid-block courtyard, the plans see the blocks now divided into halves; a new lane dividing the blocks with a tighter urban grid. Eschewing the courtyard typology in favour of individual lots separated by a 'living lane,' the revised plan is more conducive to the podium and point tower typology that typifies much of Toronto's new urban development.
Fronting Dundas, Block 16 South would see a two-storey commercial podium topped with a pair of residential buildings. Designed by Core Architects, the development includes a 29-storey condo tower and an 11-storey residential co-op building, with 318 and 126 residential units respectively.
At grade, the two-level podium's colonnade allows for an expanded sidewalk, which is intended to encourage a more dynamic street-level experience. Five storefronts line the Dundas frontage, with a total of 1,076 m² of retail space proposed. Lining Sumach and Tubman, the quieter streets are set to be fronted by residential units. Above, most of the podium's second level is given over to office space, with 1,305 m² of office uses planned. The project targets Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard.
Meanwhile, the north side of the block would see a 12-storey TCHC building front Oak Street. Designed by RAW, the Block 16 North building steps down towards the east, with the 12-storey Sumach frontage giving way to the 7-storey building facing Oak Street, and then a three-storey element on Tubman. Though almost exclusively residential, the development stillincludes 385 m² office space. Like its neighbour to the south, the project targets Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard, with extensive green roof coverage planned.
With townhome units lining the Oak, Sumach, and Tubman frontages, the project strives to place "eyes on the street," extending the residential street-level character of the taller development to its south. Throughout the building, a strong emphasis on family-oriented suites characterizes the unit mix. Of the 181 new homes, just over 100 units will feature three, four, or five bedrooms.
With the site of Block 16 now cleared and awaiting redevelopment, we will keep you updated as the planning process continues, and more information becomes available.
In the meantime, you can learn more about each of the projects mentioned above via our associated dataBase files, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below, or join one of the ongoing Regent Park conversations in our Forum.