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.
#72 Regent Park
Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 13, Toronto Centre
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 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.
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.
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.