regent park development

Wealthy Toronto residents are fighting developments in a low-income neighbourhood

The rebuild of Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood is injecting desperately-needed affordable and market housing into the city's critically low supply. But a nearby enclave of charming single-family homes with brick-paved streets has some super-entitled wealthy residents fighting progress.

An anonymous letter titled "Stop the Rezoning of Regent Park" has been found plastered all over the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. However, it's not yet known which person or group is responsible for the push to fight development in a community that they don't even call home.

For what it's worth, the local Cabbagetown Residents Association has a long list of issues posted on their website, none of them concerning development in surrounding areas, so it's unlikely that the leading voice of the community is behind this campaign.

"In the early new year, Toronto Community Housing and Tridel will be submitting a rezoning application to further increase the population density and the number of high rises in the final phases of Regent Park," the letter reads. "This will be the second rezoning in the last six years, in addition to the new towers approved for River Street."

"Already, in 2014, 2,000 more units were added to Regent Park. The number of tall buildings were increased, and so were heights," the letter continues, seemingly oblivious to fact that we're in a housing crisis and that Regent Park's condo towers are funding the construction of desperately-needed affordable homes.

"Now, Tridel and TCHC are looking to add even more units, and to increase tower heights up to 30 storeys at the north end of Regent Park."

More affordable housing? The horror! Think of the children!

The letter goes on to list concerns ranging from misinformed to offensive (crime associated with high-rise neighbourhoods? Really?) along with classic complaints such as added traffic, and the vague but comical concern about a "less livable, less desirable downtown area."

While the letter states that "the latest rezoning is not being done with local interests in mind," the real "local interests" in this city lie in a collective desire to get affordable homes built and catch up with the demand for housing supply.

It's especially puzzling that a community spared from development due to its heritage value and protected densities is the one complaining about new housing being built in an adjacent neighbourhood.

Toronto is a city in crisis, and while it's fair to complain about overpriced condos popping up in your neck of the woods, affordable housing needs to and is going to happen. Like it or not.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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