ONCE CONSIDERED AMONG THE MOST DANGEROUS neighborhoods
in all of Canada, the Regent Park neighborhood of Toronto stands today as
a beacon for communities anywhere looking to rebuild. More than a decade
into the proposed 15- to 20-year revitalization plan that has tackled the neighborhood block by block, the streets have not only emerged cleaner, safer, and
more attractive, but crowded with neighbors from all corners of the world—
a confluence of global citizens who are participating in the future of this
mixed-income, multiuse community. It is a rebirth, perhaps most evident in
the spaces the community shares.
The plan to rebuild and revitalize Regent Park was initiated by the city of
Toronto, along with other government and community groups. Design professionals have been instrumental in ensuring its positive future, as well. It is a case
where design has had the privilege of playing a leading role in the betterment of
an entire community and the historic narrative of how one neighborhood has
been transformed from violent to vibrant.
This May, the North American design community will come together to
learn from Regent Park’s example and conceive design solutions for strong, sustainable, diverse communities at Impact Summit 2017 hosted by the American
Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Interior Designers of Canada (IDC). I M
1. Window walls and a red cedar ceiling bring
nature indoors at the Regent Park Aquatic Centre.
2. Community garden plots enhance one of
the landscaped rooftops at Regent Park.