Toronto’s Alexandra Park Community Revitalization Wins Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence
Toronto, Aug. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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 Partners, Teeple 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, https://americas.uli.org/winners-selected-americas-awards-for-excellence/ before advancing to being one of 45 international submissions for the Global Awards. https://urbanland.uli.org/planning-design/nine-developments-selected-as-winners-of-the-urban-land-institutes-global-awards-for-excellence/
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.
“The ULI Global Award for Excellence is a reflection of Alexandra Park as a successful revitalization partnership between TCHC, Tridel and many other partners, all drawing on community input to improve homes, amenities and services for Toronto Community Housing tenants, and adding housing options in Toronto.”
—Jag Sharma, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
“As home builders it’s imperative that the communities we create integrate seamlessly, not only with the existing architectural fabric of the neighbourhood, but also with the people who live there. Alexandra Park is a perfect example of how strategic and collaborative community building can be applied to revitalize a previously under-utilized space intro a thriving neighbourhood with mixed-land uses and enhanced community characteristics. We’re proud of the international recognition this community has received for its design excellence, and the remarkable impact our strong partnership with TCHC and Alexandra Park residents has made, creating a long-lasting, sustainable community. We look forward to the continued growth and revitalization of the Alexandra Park neighbourhood.”— Jim Ritchie, Chief Operating Officer, Tridel Group of Companies
“We are honoured by this global recognition and proud to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Alexandra Park community in guiding its regeneration from broad city-building visions to human scaled placemaking.” — Michel Trocmé, Partner, Urban Strategies, Member ULI Placemaking Product Council
“Alexandra Park demonstrates good urban design – beautiful streets and squares, exciting architecture that draws people in, with sustainability and inclusivity top of mind – these essential building blocks are not mutually exclusive. Together they bring a balance of coherent form and variety of expression to the creation of an engaging and diverse neighbourhood.”
— Stephen Teeple, Founding Principal, Teeple Architects
“One of the transformative aspects of the new Alexandra Park neighbourhood is how the residential streets and houses now have legibility and clarity. It might sound simple, but previously the houses didn’t have distinguishable fronts and backs. Now doors, stoops and benches help to define the streetscape and to enhance a sense of community. The materials and colours offer simultaneous variety and visual connectivity. Inside, the units also have tremendous flexibility to house multi-generational families, and to fluidly embrace the shoulder seasons so that residents can maximize outdoor use. We’re proud of the collaboration and commitment invested to realize this revitalization.”
— Dean Goodman, Partner and Co-Founder, LGA Architectural Partners
“We are very proud of the creative and collaborative work by Toronto Community Housing, Tridel and the consultant team to realize flexible, sustainable, equitable and livable spaces for the Alexandra Park community. We hope that this important example of strategic partnerships helps to shift how we think about housing and place-making in our urban communities.”
– Janet Rosenberg, Founding Principal, Janet Rosenberg & Studio
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada’s largest social housing provider. Toronto Community Housing provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. Toronto Community Housing is wholly owned by the City of Toronto and its buildings represent a $10-billion public asset. Alexandra Park is one of eight active TCHC revitalization projects in Toronto designed to provide a mix of quality, affordable, rental and market housing in neighbourhoods where social housing has traditionally dominated, and where the need for newer housing and improved community amenities has been identified.
Tridel® (tridel.com) is Canada’s leading developer and builder of condominium residences with more than 85 years of homebuilding experience. To date, the Tridel Group of Companies is responsible for producing over 87,000 homes. Tridel is determined to develop condominium communities that meet the needs of today’s homeowners while safeguarding the well-being of future generations. The company is working to meet this goal by focusing on innovation including environmentally sustainable design, performance in construction and corporate stewardship.
Tridel is committed to building the highest quality condominiums possible and has won virtually every award in the industry for design, customer service, sales, marketing and construction excellence. Tridel looks forward to continuing the long, proud history of award winning excellence with over 20 new condominium communities currently under development in the Greater Toronto Area.
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.