Toronto preserves neighborhood heritage while tearing it down for revitalization

As buildings disappear in Toronto Community Housing’s decades-long revitalization plan, the housing agency has been tasked with commemorating the neighbourhood’s heritage.

The result is Regent Park Stories, a project telling the story of the place through the memories of its people.

Regent Park has a very strong community identity. That’s something that endures even when the buildings are no longer there or have evolved,” said Tatum Taylor, a heritage planner with ERA Architects. Known for work on some of the city’s most notable heritage projects, including the Distillery District and Maple Leaf Gardens, the firm is consulting on TCH’s project.

Not every memory of the area is pleasant, but Taylor said the project is committed to an “inclusive and honest” portrayal that includes the “full spectrum” of stories. “There have been some negative experiences in the neighbourhood’s past, and that is a part of the history, and it’s part of what makes this community strong and resilient.

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