Lawrence Heights Development Plan and Phase 1 Implementation
Lawrence Heights is a large social housing community with 1208 rent-geared-to-income housing units, situated in a socially, physically and economically isolated suburban landscape in North Toronto. Many of the issues facing the area are a result of its physical layout, which was designed in the post-War planning period, with a network of streets and built-form that are difficult to navigate. Socially, the consequences are reflected in limited employment opportunities and access to recreation facilities. Despite these challenges, the community has a vibrant internal dynamic and a strong sense of identity.
GPA members were part of the consultant team retained to develop a revitalization plan that supports a sustainable and mixed-use community integrated with the surrounding neighbourhoods. The engagement of residents and stakeholders was central to the process, which resulted in the development of a plan that has collaboration at its foundation, and which successfully balances a variety of interests. Sustainability is being supported not just through sustainable construction of new buildings, but also through a reconfigured layout, making Lawrence Heights a walkable community with easy access to transit. The redevelopment is also diversifying socioeconomic conditions, in part through the introduction of market housing, mixed-use development and increased employment opportunities. Access to recreational facilities, parks, and other community services are also being improved.
GPA was also brought onboard to assist with the implementation of Phase 1 of the revitalization plan. Part of the work involved preparing a Community Services and Facilities Implementation Plan to support the submission of the Lawrence Heights Phase 1 Development Proposal.
Toronto Community Housing, Context Development Corporation, and Metropia
& Co (project lead), Dillon Consulting (transportation and servicing)
City of Toronto, 2009 Urban Design Award