Regent Park Is Not A Ghetto

I don’t know if we’ll ever truly rid the stigma of “Regent Park,” but honestly, when you consider how close this is to the downtown core, how far your dollar goes, and how nice some of these condos are, it’s really hard to cast the whole area aside if you’re an active buyer.

Seeing is believing, as I said in the following video.

And if you’ve only heard about the revitalization of Regent Park, and haven’t actually seen the new condos in the area, then take two minutes to watch this crudely-shot, shaky video I took last night while moving east along Dundas Street…

Let’s try a pricing exercise.

How much for the following:

1-Bed, 1-Bath
600 Sqft
Parking & Locker
Upgraded Finishes
Low Maintenance Fees

How much, folks?

In the downtown core, on average?

Around $400,000?

Maybe more, in King West.  And in the St. Lawrence Market area right now, which is really hot, this would cost more than $400,000 as well.

In Regent Park, in a 4-year-old building, you can get this for $315,000.

That’s crazy value!

But, yes, you have to tell people you live “….in Regent Park.”

Will that stigma ever go away?

In Monday’s blog video, we talked about the idea of owning a house backing onto the train tracks, and how much more you would pay to be on the other side of the street, or, how this might represent an opportunity to get into a house in this red-hot market.

Well, the same argument can be made for Regent Park condos.

Every buyer in Toronto feels the squeeze of rapidly-increasing prices, and you have to look for value, or opportunity, where and when you can.

If you haven’t actually walked or driven along Dundas Street east, hopefully this video showed you something new today.

Oh – and the area south of Dundas I was pointing out at the end of the video, well this is called the “Regent Park Athletic Grounds” which is 2.8 acres and highlighted by a massive soccer field funded by MLSE and sponsored by TFC.

How cool is that?


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  1. Sick thugz says:

    Regent park has always been a bad place. Poor people live here. It has been a slum for 75 years. Now. They are mixing new slums with modern day upper class folk. Muggings are bound to start. Robberies and break ins. Home invasions. Remember. The news will never show much what goes on here now. Not when the city is trying to sell thousands of condos. Lock your purses to ur wrists.

  2. Euphoria says:

    I just got back from San Francisco. While the housing is Uber rich and it is a world renowned city. Let me tell you, wow, there are some sketch people from homeless folks to mentally disabled to aggressive drug dealers. And they hang out all day and all night. The new regent park (or Toronto ghetto) is nothing in comparison. One Cole still has some of the sketchness because it is the outer layer of regent park. The inside of regent park is very quite and safe. I find the low income housing are usually families which cause no harm to anyone. Granted the overall downtown East is still more sketch than West or central. But it is far safer than any Major US city and is on its way to transform itself. The whole Jarvis, Dundas area will be condonized in a few years. River is already up with condos. Eventually the Moss Park and George St will be isolated and overall downtown East will catch up. There is no land left, private developers have no choice but to revitalize downtown East.

  3. Nicole says:

    I have a friend who purchased exactly the type of condo that David describes about a year and a half ago at 1 Cole St. for $307,000. Great layout, wonderful amenities: very modern, well equipped gym, fantastic two floor common area, HUGE balcony, right on the streetcar line, updated finishes.
    However, whenever I am visiting, as soon as I step foot outside the condo building, I am instantly reminded that this is still a not so great area of the city. I cannot shake that feeling, but maybe, like others have said, ten years from now this feeling won’t be prevalent any longer.

  4. AndrewB says:

    The old projects buildings along River are being completely torn down with brand new buildings going up. Give it a decade and it’ll probably lose a lot of its stigma. IMO, from working in the community as a nurse, living east of Parliament is better than living more towards Sherbourne, from what I experienced visiting clients in the community.

  5. Free Country says:

    At risk of offering only anecdotal evidence, Regent Park still has more than it’s share of serious, violent crime. If you have statistics to refute this impression, please enlighten me. A few weeks ago there was the man shot at Queen and Parliament, there was a similar episode last year, and serious, violent crime in the apartment building around Oak St and River St on a regular basis.

    1. condodweller says:

      I used to rent in a similar part of the city when I was a student with drug dealers on the street and the occasional shootings yet I never felt I was in any danger as I believed, perhaps incorrectly, that the violence was pretty targeted within the bad elements. I believed if I did not get involved in crime, it wouldn’t involve me. It was a perfectly safe neighbourhood during the day, and even during the night. I used to work the night shift and would regularly go home during the night and even then I didn’t feel any danger. There is a difference between a targeted violent crime a couple of times a year vs. guaranteed muggings and killings if you walked into the wrong neighbourhood such as in some US cities. Even in NYC most of the killings seem to be execution style head shots between criminals. Toronto is a very safe city.

  6. Donny says:

    During the day its great.

  7. Cool Koshur says:

    Regents Park has cabbage town at stone’s throw at its north end which is very expensive area. This whole regent park neighborhood varies from good to bad every block. There is still lot of social housing out there and crime rate is pretty high. If you walk around you will find many weirdo in this neighborhood.

    It is definitely not the slum anymore. It may be good fit for singles or families without children

    1. Sanj says:

      >If you walk around you will find many weirdo in this neighborhood.

      It’s Toronto, the same could be said of ANY neighbourhood. In Harbord Village, Spadina and Harbord is a wonderfully nice area, a little bit closer to Bathurst and Harbord it feels more sketchy. Lansdowne has an impressive revamp done, much more comfortable and family friendly being so close to the Junction, but there are still areas I wouldn’t want to cut through after dark. Even Jane and Finch is nicer now, and Mount Dennis – which used to be as bad as Jane/Weston and Lawrence/Weston.

      I think the real problem with the stigma is that a lot of people view low income and violence/crime being hand in hand, so the “lower income” areas are going to be obviously riddled with drug addicts, the homeless, and gun crime. 🙁

  8. m says:

    Yikes, David. I’m a fan, but that looks like some pretty distracted driving you were doing there: filming and narrating while driving. Next time, please bring a friend to hold the camera!

    1. @ m

      I have a tripod attached to the dash – two hands on the wheel, trust me, I’m aware of how crazy the Toronto roads are!

  9. Darcy W says:

    I agree, ‘ghetto’ would be overly harsh. But it’s still certainly a bit run down.
    I recently looked at units in this area, and I can say, the value was much better than further west.
    Alas, I needed to be a bit closer to the core. However, there are plenty of gems in this neighborhood: 90 Sumach st, or the Brewery Lofts, is a great loft building which recently had 2 massive (i.e > 1400 sqft) units for sale.