The once-neglected neighbourhood may have a new outdoor athletics facility when all is said and done.
That picture, above, is what the part of Regent Park around Blevins Place will look like in a few years, if the City gives the go-ahead. It’s part of the Regent Park revitalization’s third phase, the details of which were announced yesterday.
At the moment, the area is classic Regent Park: an isolated campus of aging residential high-rises rented as social housing by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. (For reference, here is what the area looked like the last time Google’s streetview cameras rolled through.)
TCHC and its construction partner, the Daniels Corporation, want to turn the area into several blocks of street-level retail and mixed-income housing. There would be about 2,000 market-rate condos, and some 550 subsidized rental apartments. All of it would be built around a new outdoor sports facility called the Regent Park Athletic Grounds, to be paid for with funds raised by the MLSE Team Up Foundation, the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
The thing you see in the image is a soccer field that can be converted into a cricket pitch. There would also be a basketball court, as well some refurbishment for the existing hockey rink.
TCHC is hoping to file the necessary rezoning application by early 2013. That would be a first step toward getting official City approval for all of this.
Regent Park’s redevelopment has been ongoing since 2005. The first two phases have already replaced some aging towers with new condo buildings and community amenities. A new arts and cultural centre and a new aquatic centre are both set to open this fall.
It all looks great on paper. Granted, the original Regent Park did too, when it was originally planned and built, in the late ’40s and into the ’50s. It turned into an insular, impoverished community.
But so far, this second attempt at urban revitalization is looking like the real deal.
Images courtesy of TCHC.