Alexandra Park Revitalization Project

Alexandra (Alex) Park is a vibrant 18-acre downtown community bordered by Spadina Avenue (east), Queen Street West (south), Dundas Street West (north), and Bathurst Street (west). It was previously a Toronto Community Housing community. In 2014, a revitalization project was initiated to provide a mix of quality, affordable, rental and market housing. Through a first-of-its-kind partnership with an independent housing co-operative, Toronto Community Housing has been revitalizing Alexandra Park with new housing and amenities that connect this vibrant downtown community with the thriving neighbourhoods around it.

As plans were being developed for the revitalization of Alex Park, local residents shared concerns that the interior pathways that they relied on to move through the community would not be retained in the new development. The residents used these pathways to easily access their neighbours’ backyards, and for them, it was a core element to the social life of their community. Planners were initially resistant to the idea of having interior connections that connected to the backyards of houses – modern urban design guidelines recommend access off of public streets to the front doors of buildings.

Through the advocacy of local residents, planners came to realize the importance of these interior pathways between houses to the local community members, and revised the development concepts to include them accordingly. Although it was only a small act of power sharing, the planners went beyond performative engagement and ensured that community members felt heard.


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