Toronto’s Alexandra Park Community Revitalization Wins Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence

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Toronto’s Alexandra Park Community Revitalization Wins Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence

International Award Represents Calibre of Toronto’s Urban Planning Strategy as Sole Canadian Winner

TORONTO, August 17, 2021 – Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Tridel and their Toronto community design team have been awarded one of the most sought after international awards for development and urban design, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Awards for Excellence, for the outstanding first phase revitalization of the Alexandra Park community.

Of the nine Global Awards for Excellence winners, Alexandra Park was the only Canadian community to earn this prestigious honour. TCHC and developer partner Tridel were recognized along with Toronto design firms Urban Strategies Inc.LGA Architectural PartnersTeeple Architects and Janet Rosenberg & Studio for their superior design and programming strategy and execution for this downtown development.  The Alexandra Park community also won one of the ULI Americas Awards for Excellence earlier this summer, before advancing to being one of 45 international submissions for the Global Awards.

Toronto’s vibrant Alexandra Park community is located north of Queen St. West and west of Spadina Ave. TCHC selected developer partner Tridel along with an experienced project team to update aging buildings, reimagine community amenities to better serve tenants and improve tenants’ homes and lived experience.

In revitalizing the 18-acre Alexandra Park community, TCHC, Tridel, design partners and community members focused on ‘Building a Great Neighbourhood’: a mixed-use masterplanned community with a variety of housing types and land uses, improved access to services, community economic development opportunities, quality urban design, social cohesion programming, enhanced community safety, and a greener, more sustainable community.

The Alexandra Park revitalization was designed as a cohesive mixed-income community, where construction quality and design are indistinguishable between market and affordable housing, and where tenant input was sought and incorporated into all the features in the community, from the publicly owned child care space, to a resident operated community centre with a new community kitchen, to shared green spaces.

In particular, The Alexandra Park Revitalization Working Group, a dedicated group of Alexandra Park and Atkinson Co-op residents, provided guidance and leadership from the start of the project and have been instrumental in the success of the revitalization.

Central to the revitalization were 10 guiding principles that were created by the residents and TCHC to direct development decisions. The first and most important principle was zero displacement, which guaranteed each resident the right to remain in the community throughout the redevelopment. This planning approach was approved in 2011 by the City of Toronto with full endorsement from the community and local stakeholders.

The ULI Americas and ULI Global Awards for Excellence highlight urban projects which reflect overall excellence, including achievements in marketplace acceptance, design, planning, technology, amenities, economic impact, management, community engagement, innovation, sustainability, and equitable development.  Winners of the Global Awards for Excellence exhibited community enhancement, uniqueness, innovation and replicability at a global scale, allowing developers around the world to learn and adopt aspects to future communities around the world. The jury highlighted the successful emphasis on socially equitable design which is one of the hallmarks of the Alexandra Park urban redesign.

Following the success of phase one, TCHC and Tridel are currently working through the second phase of the 18-acre masterplanned redevelopment. Phase two will encompass 349 replacement social housing units, 257 refurbished rent-geared to-income units and more than 1,350 new market condominium suites, retail along Dundas Street reinforcing a connection to Kensington Market, as well as a new 1.53 acre community park and community centre.

Photos courtesy of Janet Rosenberg & Studio and LGA Architectural Partners.

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