Toronto the Good: Regent Park Revitalization Project

09 January 2014,   By ,  

It’s the first official week back to work, school and whatever it is you usually do all day long outside of the holiday season.

We’re just moving down our list of New Year’s resolutions, checking items off right, left and center. Reading more books? Check. Hitting the gym? You betcha. Doing more good? Hmm, we did help an elderly woman cross the street this morning… but let’s do it bigger!

Last year, we sat down with Adil Dhalla from the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) to chat about what makes a good social entrepreneur and the importance of community. When we said we wanted to do more good this year, we meant we want everyone in Toronto to do a little more good this year. So, let’s take a look at what makes goes into building a great community – like the future Regent Park.

Regent Park is undergoing a major revitalization project that will completely rebuild and revamp the neighbourhood of 12,500 residents. What was once a social housing development, is now on its way to becoming a mixed-income, mixed-use community with plenty of rental buildings, market condominium buildings, commercial space and community facilities. And this is all possible because of the intention and desire behind the project, social capital and overall support of partners, big and small.

Adil Dhalla said it best himself, “There are three things that are essential to good community building: an intention to build community in the first place, designing for serendipity and of course, social capital.” And this is proof as seen with the Regent Park revitalization project – Adil probably has the Park in mind when he was talking about communities seeing as the CSI has a workspace there.

Building plenty of new homes isn’t the only reason behind the revitalization project; some of the Community Planning Principles include re-introducing pedestrian-friendly streets and park spaces; involving the community in the process; and ultimately creating a successful Toronto neighbourhood.

So what makes a good community? Goals, hard work and support! Can’t wait to see what’s next for Regent Park and other parts of Toronto. How are you planning on doing more good this year? Let us know below or join the conversation on Twitter!