Now over thirteen years into work on the five-phase revitalization of Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood, only about 25% remains of what was a 1940s public housing experiment deemed to have failed. Now, about a half of the community has been replaced with a mix of market and public housing developments by a partnership of The Daniels Corporation and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), while a third quarter is under reconstruction with the same mix. The remaining northern quarter, an area bounded by Parliament, Gerrard, River and Oak streets, offers the last window into the decayed 1940s-50s community of cul-de-sacs and few community facilities, and its days are now numbered.
Demolition recently began on buildings at the corner of Parliament and Gerrard, on a block indicated in red dashes on the map below, separated from the rest of the third phase which shown in light blue at the southeast side of the community. The inclusion of the block as part of Phase 3 was a response to community concerns that it be the first of the blocks along Gerrard Street to be redeveloped.
Following the relocation of tenants last year, the 3 and 6-storey affordable housing buildings at 365 Parliament and 295 Gerrard were fenced off in December, and the first signs of exterior demolition were evident by February. Now into March, large sections of 295 Gerrard have been taken down, and 365 Parliament awaits a similar fate to the south.
The ongoing teardown is offering a rare glimpse into the gutted interiors of the former apartments revealing eerie remnants of life like radiators , shelving, empty fluorescent light housings, and dangling hallway exit signs.
The ongoing teardown is offering a rare glimpse into the gutted interiors of the former apartments revealing eerie remnants of life like radiator heaters and familiar common areas like hallways with empty fluorescent light housings and dangling exit signs.
No plans for the new buildings on the Parliament ad Gerrard block have been submitted to the City yet, though according to the heights shown in the original Regent Park phasing map, the block is envisioned with mid-rises of 8 storeys fronting Parliament and Gerrard, a 20-storey tower element at the corner of Parliament and Oak, and 3-storey townhomes fronting a new north-south street called Dreamer's Way. It is likely that plans being submitted to the City will look for more density.
Work on Phase 3 is expected to wrap up in 2021.
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