One goal of the Regent Park revitalization is to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhood close to the nearby amenities of downtown Toronto. Phase one includes 3,700 m2 of commercial gross floor area (gfa), 72,121 m2 of residential gfa and 1,092 m2 of community agency gfa. In the immediate vicinity of phase one of the redevelopment, new community amenities include: two daycare centres; a centre for learning: an employment office, a central park, an indoor aquatic centre; a community centre; an arts and cultural centre; a children and youth hub. There is also new retail, including: Frescho by Sobeys (grocery); Rogers; Tim Hortons; RBC (bank); and Main Drug Mart.
One goal of the Regent Park revitalization is to create a mixed-income, mixed-tenure community. Before the revitalization, Regent Park had 2,083 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units. After the revitalization, there will be: 2,083 RGI units (1,583 in Regent Park and 500 in new buildings nearby): more than 3,000 market condominiums; 700 new affordable rental units (500 in Regent park and 200 in new buildings nearby). Phase 1 has 520 market condominiums and 365 affordable rental units, for low to moderate income residents in a mix of townhouses and high-rise apartments.
Affordable ownership is an important goal. The Foundation Program provides funding to assist Regent Park tenants own a new home within Regent Park in one of the new condominium buildings or town homes. The program provides a second mortgage of up to 35% of the purchase price to tenants who have the employment income to carry the first mortgage of at least 65% of the original purchase price. Recipients of Foundation Program funding attend financial planning sessions to learn about the true cost of owning a home so that they can make a successful transition from subsidized housing to homeownership. The Down Payment Assistance Program (BOOST) is open to people with moderate incomes who do not already live in Regent Park. It provides up to 10% of the purchase price of a home in Regent Park.
The new Regent Park Community Energy System provides clean, reliable and competitively-priced heating, cooling and hot water to all buildings in Regent Park while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by 8,000 tonnes a year (within the phase one area). The plant – which includes both boilers and chillers – is located in the basement of the 252 Sackville seniors’ affordable rental building. The system works by distributing hot or chilled water from the plant through insulated underground pipes from the plant to the buildings within the development. The CES is very adaptable and it will allow TCH to seamlessly add or switch to renewable sources of energy, like solar or geothermal power. The system will grow as new phases of Regent Park are completed and it has the future potential to connect to other communities.
Plans also call for the future generation of clean electricity for Regent Park. The use of cogeneration through a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system, could produce up to five megawatts of power. When generated, the power will be distributed to Toronto Community Housing rental buildings in Regent Park. There is also the potential option to sell electricity to the power grid through the Standard Offer Program offered by the Ontario Power Authority. But even without the CHP or integration of renewable sources of energy, the CES is about 30% more energy efficient than individual building boilers due to efficiencies in operation/maintenance of one centralized plant vs. many smaller systems.
The building envelope, lighting and mechanical features included in phase one have achieved approximately 47% energy use savings compared to conventional buildings built to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.
building envelope features increase overall R-value and air tightness of exterior wall assembly, including minimization of thermal bridging;
overall window to wall ratio between 40% - 50% (transparent to opaque);
improved window performance including glazing and window frames;
Energy Star rated appliances;
compact fluorescent light fixtures;
suites are individually “compartmentalized” in which each suite is airtight and has its own in-suite energy recovery ventilation system to reduce air movement between suites, improve air quality and reduce energy use;
reuse of heat that is wasted to pre-heat incoming ventilation air.
Phase one integrates many water use reduction strategies. Based on a 12 month monitoring study funded by EQuilibrium™ Communities, they have resulted in annual water use reduction of 14% per square foot in the mid-rise apartments, 40% per square foot reduction in the high-rise apartments, and 60% per square foot reduction in the townhouse units, compared to conventional buildings outside phase one. Strategies and fixtures include:
ultra low-flush toilets (3 litres per flush)
semi low-flush toilets (4 litres per flush)
low-flow bathroom faucets (1.9 litres per minute)
low-flow kitchen faucets (6.8 litres per minute)
low-flow showerheads (5.7 litres per minute)
all landscape plants are drought resistant, eliminating the need for an outdoor irrigation system
tenant awareness program
persistent water monitoring and proactive response
At 450 occupants per hectare, the density of Regent Park exceeds the minimum transit-supportive gross density target of 400 residents and jobs combined per hectare for urban growth centres in the Greater Toronto Area. 100% of Regent Park residents are within 400m of a transit point, including two streetcar routes that operate 24hours/day, running at a frequency of every 7-15 minutes, depending on time of day. One streetcar route is in operation for 19 hours/day, running at a frequency of every 7-15 minutes, depending on time of day. One bus route runs 18 hours/day at a frequency of 12-15 minutes in peak time and every 30 minutes at off-peak time.
The design of pedestrian friendly streets to promote walking is a key element of the community plan. A mix of residential, commercial and civic uses enables people to work, live, play. Residents are able to meet their daily needs on foot, bike or a short walk to transit, providing alternatives to car use.
Phase 1 has 4.65 pedestrian route intersections per hectare and 52 pedestrian route connections per km of the project boundary. The following design features enhance pedestrian comfort and safety:
all routes are landscaped with treed boulevards and street seating for pedestrians along major routes;
extra wide sidewalks along major routes;
buildings are designed with views to/from the street. On local streets within the development, the base of buildings are designed with grade-related units to create more entrances on the street, creating a finer grain pedestrian environment with few blank walls;
entrances to underground parking garages and rear lane parking are placed to minimize impact on the pedestrian environment;
traffic calming measures such as street narrowing at intersections and special paving treatments at crosswalks.
Key destinations/amenities within walking distance and jobs with 5km
100% of the units in phase one are within a 400m radius of a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, café. Within an 800 m radius, there are approximately: 10 restaurants, 2 grocery stores, 2 pharmacies, 5 cafes, 6 public schools, 1 library, 3 municipal community centres, 3 child care centres, 1 community health centre, over 20 social and human service organizations, employment services, and eldercare services, and 7 theatres/performing arts companies. Regent Park has over 550,000 jobs within 5 km - a radius that includes Toronto’s downtown, the financial district and the industrial waterfront, universities and hospitals.
Phase 1 integrates the following features aimed at achieving the maximum allowable runoff volume from the site at 50% of the total average annual rainfall depth. This is done primarily by maximizing permeable surfaces that let stormwater infiltrate into the ground:
Reducing road widths and surface parking lots: parking for multi-residential buildings is underground or on-street and for townhouses is in small rear-lot garages. See “pedestrian connectivity” for information on road widths;
Permeable pavers through-out the site;
Maximizing planted areas where stormwater can infiltrate into the soil;
Use of underground stormwater retention tanks by directing roof drainage to infiltration galleries
During construction, steps were taken to reduce the amount of soil being carried off-site into storm sewers and then into local streams and lakes.
TCH will be planting an estimated 1,600 trees over the course of the revitalization. Over 3.4 hectares of land, or 12.2% of the Regent Park revitalization area, is for parks and green space which will be conveyed to the City of Toronto. 100% of the dwelling units are within 400m of public open space, including a 2.35 hectare central park surrounded by residential buildings on three sides. There are also three public elementary/middle schools immediately adjacent to Regent Park with playgrounds and sport fields.
The urban heat island effect refers to the way cities are warmer than the countryside around them. This is because dark-coloured surfaces such as roads and roofs absorb heat from the sun and increase surrounding air temperature. Phase one includes reflective landscaped surfaces and green roofs to minimize this impact. For example, green roofs are located on the roofs of the One Oak and 246 Sackville affordable rental apartment buildings as well as a landscaped terrace on the second floor level between the 246 and 252 Sackville affordable rental buildings. The terrace includes such plants as basswood, red maple, grey dogwood and bearberry. These spaces provide a pleasant garden for residents, reduce the urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater sent to the sewer system. Otherwise, roofs are covered with white reflective materials.
252 Sackville Ave
159 residential units
1-2 bedroom apartments;
TCH affordable rental for seniors;
common rooms (lounges, fitness rooms, winter garden)