A Social Development Plan reflects a shared vision and key strategies for enhancing the quality of life of a specific geographic area, and focuses on collaboratively planning with community to develop this vision and related strategies.
By working with the community, Social Development Plans create more inclusive communities by:
City staff are currently working with stakeholders in Regent Park, Lawrence Heights and Alexandra Park on Social Development Plans.
In September 2007, City Council adopted the Regent Park Social Development Plan including the seventy-five recommendations that provided a plan of action for managing social change in Regent Park over the course of the community’s shift from a purely social housing neighbourhood, to a mixed-income, mixed-use community. The Social Development Plan laid the foundation for social inclusion and social cohesion—the crucial elements of a healthy and vibrant neighbourhood.
In 2019, after more than a decade of redevelopment and change in Regent Park, a Refreshed Social Development Plan was completed. The process of refreshing the Regent Park Social Development Plan (SDP) was initiated and managed by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCH) in collaboration with the City of Toronto. The refresh was based directly on the feedback and contributions of Regent Park residents who participated in the 10-Year Lessons Learned process in December 2016, and the residents, organizations, City divisions, and social service agencies who participated in various workshops and meetings in 2017 and 2018.
Based on resident expertise, four major areas of focus were developed to improve the neighbourhood and contribute to social cohesion and social inclusion. The four focus areas are:
The City offers a variety of grants and funding opportunities to help Regent Park residents, service agencies, and grassroots groups implement their social and economic goals. These grants and funding opportunities are available on a time-limited basis to support new and emerging groups, support sector resilience, as well as encourage resident engagement and leadership development.
The Refreshed Social Development Plan provides a guide to building a successful, cohesive, and inclusive community. It is a living document for the Regent Park community and is intended to adapt to the changing needs of current and future residents.
The Lawrence Heights Social Development Plan was created in 2012. It was developed through more than three years of consultations and engagement with local stakeholders, working collaboratively to identify the characteristics that make the community unique. Six Action Priorities were identified to help the community realize the goals of the Lawrence Heights Social Development Plan. These came directly from community members and reflect their strengths and vision for the future of their neighbourhood.
The Social Development Plan was created to lay the foundation for a collaborative, cooperative and inclusive community, and guide us through all of the phases of the revitalization process. It is a road map for the neighborhood’s revitalized future, supporting the shift from a pure social housing neighbourhood to a mixed-income, mixed-use community. It is also a living document for the community, and is intended to adapt to the changing needs of Lawrence Heights and its current and future residents.
These principles were developed in the Social Development Plan to help focus the goals of building a more collaborative and socially-inclusive Lawrence Heights—where residents live, work, play and connect to each other:
In spring 2019, a Social Development Plan Working Group was formed in partnership with the Lawrence Heights Inter-Organizational Network (LHION). The residents and agencies co-created a process for information gathering to provide a progress report and action plan. In Summer/Fall 2019, more than 400 residents and services partners contributed through:
Through this process, the following action plan priority themes were identified:
Find out how you might get involved with the Lawrence Heights Revitalization.
Together with Toronto Community Housing, residents, neighbours and development partners, City of Toronto staff support a social development plan in Alexandra Park. Since 2009, stakeholders have been working to revitalize Alexandra Park with new housing and amenities that connect this vibrant downtown community with surrounding neighbourhoods.
Currently, City staff are engaged in improving surrounding park space which propose to include upgraded pathways, lighting, seating/gathering areas and a new pickleball court. Learn more about improvements to Alexandra Park.