As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, effective immediately all Community Development Unit activities have been suspended and redirected to support the City of Toronto’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay up-to-date on all changes to City services.

Neighbourhood Improvement Area:

#72 Regent Park

Councillor & Ward:

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 13, Toronto Centre

The Social Development Plan (SDP) In Regent Park

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:

  • Community Safety: To create the reality and the positive image that Regent Park is a safe space for everybody
  • Employment and Economic Development: To increase sustainable employment rates and entrepreneurial opportunities for residents
  • Community Building: To create accessible informal and formal spaces, events and groups that bring residents together by removing social and physical barriers; build bridges between market and Toronto Community Housing residents, as well as between residents and agencies/institutions
  • Communication: To make information easily accessible for everyone in the community

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 Stakeholders’ Table was established to guide the revitalization and work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders who live or work in Regent Park. It incorporates the leadership of residents, grassroots groups, agency partners, institutions, government, Toronto Community Housing, and the City of Toronto. The Stakeholders’ Table is responsible for the implementation, coordination, resourcing, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of the Refreshed Social Development Plan, as well as maintain its ongoing relevancy and responsiveness to community needs.

Working Groups & Committees of the Stakeholders’ Table

Four Working Groups actively lead the implementation of action plans on work related to the four focus areas of the Refreshed Social Development Plan: Community Safety, Employment and Economic Development, Community Building, and Communications.

Four Committees actively lead the overall coordination of funding, evaluation, planning, data management as well as maintaining the needed reference or action documents to implement the Refreshed Social Development Plan:

  • Planning Committee: Coordinates all needed preparation for Stakeholders’ Table meetings, as well as monitors and enhances stakeholder engagement, working group alignment, and addresses other time-sensitive responses
  • Evaluation & Benchmarks Committee: Reviews methods and metrics for the assessment of the Social Development Plan, SDP Stakeholders’ Table and its working groups and committees
  • Funding Committee: Identifies, develops and secures sufficient and sustainable funding for the implementation of the Refreshed Social Development Plan
  • Terms of Reference Committee: Maintains all reference and governance documents for the Stakeholders’ Table

If you are interested in joining the work of the Social Development Plan Stakeholders’ Table, its Working Groups or Committees, please contact the Community Development Unit for more information.

Regent Park Community Wealth Building Feasibility Study

In December 2020, the City of Toronto’s Community Development Unit and Poverty Reduction Strategy Office partnered with local non-profit organizations in Regent Park to conduct a feasibility study to develop a people-centred approach to support local economic development. This study will attempt to understand the relationship between current social, economic, employment, and other investments in Regent Park and those that need to be made to create and thriving and sustainable community.

Community wealth building is a holistic strategy for strengthening local community by developing supportive social and economic infrastructure. It works by creating more equitable economic systems that support diversely-owned and community-based social enterprises. Community wealth building seeks to build economic resilience and sustainability, while empowering equity-deserving groups and reducing inequality. Projects from across the globe have used community wealth strategies to establish supporting resources such as land trusts and credit unions. They can also integrate anchor institutions that provide place-based partnerships supporting community wealth through workforce development, social procurement policies, and local impact investment.

This work is informing the City on how to leverage the investments occurring in Regent Park to drive unique, equitable, and sustainable approaches to economic development—all driven by the outcomes identified by the community. This, along with other initiatives, is advancing our knowledge and capacity to support an inclusive economic development ecosystem in Regent Park, and across Toronto.

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.

Participation is the heartbeat of community. This strong sense of civic participation in Regent Park is one of its greatest strengths. The neighbourhood has a long history of resident engagement and stakeholder collaboration that has fostered a thriving group looking to take on leadership roles as their community continues to change.

Help create a strong welcoming, inclusive, and thriving Regent Park by getting involved in a variety of resident-led and community initiatives in Regent Park. City staff are available to talk with you about the City’s work in Regent Park, how to participate in the Stakeholders’ Table, or how to apply to various funding opportunities available.