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2006 08 14
The Power of Regent Park
imageProspective residents check out appliances at new Regent Park Housing Development; City of Toronto Archives, 132149-S
For many, Regent Park conjures up images of drugs, gun violence and decaying buildings. So you'd think that anyone living there who had a chance to leave would do so in a heartbeat and never look back.
Not necessarily so.
Today's Toronto Star has a story on why people want to continue living in Regent Park. It turns out that when given the opportunity to leave the much maligned housing project, many of its residents decide they want to stay.

I lived in Cabbagetown just north of Regent Park while I was in architecture school. At the time, consensus had it that in many US cities the proximity to a high-density housing project would make a middle-class enclave like Cabbagetown untenable. There was then and is now some friction between the two visions of urbanity but they do coexist quite well without the need for gates and security fences.

There are many lesson to be learned from fifty years of Regent Park. One of the most important is that lower income residents, no matter how poor, can coexist with middle-class communities.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 08/14 at 10:53 AM

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