Regent Park: The Final Phase!


7 minute read

April 27, 2022

Why so quiet?

Seriously, only a sprinkle of comments on Monday’s blog post? 🙂

I received a couple of emails from readers who both said, “Early candidate for ‘post of the year,'” and while I think it’s very early to start thinking about December, I would certainly agree that “blind bidding” as a topic will make at least one year-end appearance.

The news cycle in real estate is an interesting one.  Some topics linger like a stale listing and others disappear faster than that agent who asked about potential bully offers but whom you never heard from again…

Then again, some real estate news only makes headlines when it’s in the second or third iteration of the original story.

Case in point: who among you knew that Daniels Corporation, who built every existing condo in Regent Park, had lost out on its bid to construct both Phase Four and Phase Five?

Few of you, I’m sure.

Then again, many of you don’t care.  Not every reader here on TRB lives and breathes real estate.

I dedicated a whole Pick5 video to Regent Park a few weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of emails I received from viewers, residents, or just real estate aficionados.

Here’s one such email from a regular reader:

So I checked out your video on Regent Park. Good stuff, liked all the history bits too. RP has come a long way in the last few years. Or last few months even. Here’s my story:

I have two studios built by Daniels. One is in RP, the other is at 15 Lower Jarvis by Sugar Beach (it’s the old site of Guvernment night club, which is why I had to buy one there LOL). 

Anyway, they are both the same size, layout, etc. Tiny as shit at ~350 sq ft. The Lower Jarvis one is not only the better location (even though the surrounding area has tons of construction) but has all Miele appliances too and bigger PH units at like 2000+ sq ft. Clearly the more prestigious building. Anyway, I just refinanced both of these properties, here were the appraisals done about a week ago. Remember, these are the basically the same unit as Daniel’s doesn’t deviate much from tower to tower:

Lower Jarvis $530K
Regent Park $538K

This puts both in the $1500 PSF range, and RP coming out on top! At first I was like WTF?! But then I crossed referenced with some recent comps and well, yeah we are at parity (see attached)!

My reader went on to explain that Tridel had won the bid to build Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the “Regent Park Revitalization Project” as follows:

They outbid Daniel’s and offered to give back even more to the community (ie. more parks, services, community centres/amenities, etc). The city in return has given Tridel a bit more density.  Daniels will complete the last building of phase 3 (corner of Parliament and Gerrard) but once Tridel starts though, $1600+ PSF for pre con in RP? I think so!

For those that don’t know the history, perhaps a brief refresher…

Regent Park was Canada’s first public housing project, first approved in 1947, and with the first residents moving into the complex in 1949.

The “revitalization” of Regent Park was approved by Toronto City Council in 2003.

Demolition of Regent Park began in February of 2006.

Phase 1 was completed by Daniels Corp in 2009 and included:

1 Cole Street (2009)
25 Cole Street (2009)

Phase 2 was completed by Daniels Corp in 2018 and included:

225 Sackville Street (2012)
260 Sackville Street (2012)
55 Regent Park Boulevard (2014)
170 Sumach Street (2017)
200 Sackville Street (2017)

Phase 3 is set to be completed next year and thus far has included:

20 Tubman Avenue (2019)
34 Tubman Avenue (2020)
225 Sumach Street (2020)

Buildings currently under construction:

35 Tubman Avenue
25 Nicholas Avenue
550 Parliament Street

But what about Phase 4 and Phase 5?  Well, this was put out to tender in 2019.

The decision was made in December of 2020 to award the contract not to Daniels Corp, but rather Tridel.

Exactly why Tridel was chosen over Daniels is likely up for debate.  My client above opined that Tridel was willing to “give back” a little bit more in return for density.

According to the official website for the project,

Tridel was selected as the successful developer with a plan that provides outstanding value for the physical and social transformation of Regent Park. Tridel’s commitment includes a social and economic development program valued at $26.8 million that will benefit the tenants and residents of Regent Park. The program will be shaped by regular, frequent, and direct input from the community on their priorities.

Now, remember, this was back in 2020.

As I said at the onset, sometimes old news is new news to those who haven’t heard it.  So the story in today’s blog could simply be that Tridel is picking up where Daniels left off.

However, last week, Tridel and TCHC submitted a rezoning request to increase the density of Phase 4 and Phase 5, which I found exceptionally interesting, given all the talk here on TRB about density, not to mention, the intersection of public and private interests, notably affordable housing being built along-side condominiums.

Here’s one take from the CBC:

“We Need To Get It Right’ Application For Final Phases Of Regent Park Revitalization Filed With City”
CBC News
April 15, 2022

It’s a great read, but if you want something with less “fluff” and more to the point, there’s a great article from

“Tridel, TCHC Apply For 1,000 More Homes At Regent Park”
Real Estate News Exchange
April 25, 2022

Tridel Builders Inc. and Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) have submitted a rezoning request to increase the density of the final two phases of the Regent Park redevelopment to allow for about 1,000 more housing units, additional public facilities and open spaces.

Tridel is the builder for Phases 4 and 5 of the Regent Park project after Daniels Corporation constructed the first three phases of the two-decade long revitalization of the neighbourhood. The lands are bordered by Gerrard Street and Oak Street to the north and south, River Street and Dreamers Way to the east and west.

The original concept for all five phases was to construct 2,083 rent-geared-to-income units to replace existing housing at the property, plus 399 new affordable rental units and 5,500 new market condominium units at Regent Park. Much of that housing and a wide range of amenities including a community and aquatics centre, retail and commercial space, parks and other facilities are already in place.

If the rezoning is approved, Regent Park will feature an additional 500 affordable rental units as well as another 500 market housing units.

“The 2014 plan included a mix of low-rise and townhome units, mid-rise up to seven or eight storeys, and only three tower sites, the tallest being 25 storeys. That netted out to being about 2,000 units and of those 2,000 units, 564 would be TCHC,” said Peter Zimmerman, the TCHC’s senior director, development, in an interview with RENX.

To accommodate the additional density, there will be more mid- and high-rise buildings, and a plan for townhomes has been dropped. Reasons for excluding townhomes include the provision of additional open space, and because such housing is no longer financially viable on prime downtown development lots.

“We will now build a slightly larger number of rent-geared-to-income units, 633 which is what we need to hit that magic number (2,083) . . . and achieve some new affordable rental, the 500 new affordable rentals,” Zimmerman said.

“They are differently configured so there’s no longer three tower sites, there are five I believe in the plan. What had previously been the tallest building, at 25 storeys, this proposal has the tallest building at 38. More towers, taller towers and no longer doing any townhouses, it is all mid-rise and high-rise construction.”

This would mean a total of about 9,000 housing units in Regent Park, rather than about 8,000 from the original plans.

The partners say approval of the rezoning will increase the supply of badly needed housing in Toronto and allow for additional amenities to support Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods.

The submission includes provision for a new Toronto Public Library branch, almost 48,000 square feet of additional commercial and retail space and over 37,900 square feet of community and cultural space.

“Tridel is excited to be a strategic partner for such an important initiative. We are thrilled to be working closely with both Toronto Community Housing and the City of Toronto to support the need to build housing throughout the city,” Tridel CEO Dino Carmel said in a release about the application.

“The Regent Park revitalization of Phases 4 and 5 is a long-term partnership focused on providing innovative, actionable solutions to affordable housing.”

First of all, the “partnership” between Toronto Community Housing and Tridel has to give you goosebumps, right?  The public sector and the private sector working together in harmony, all for the greater good?

But seriously, doesn’t this “trade” make sense?

Who really cares if a building in Regent Park is 38-storeys instead of 25-storeys?  Does it matter?

And five towers versus three towers?

Doesn’t this make sense if it’s being traded for a new public library and 37,900 square feet of community and cultural space?

Of the 1,000 additional units being asked for, 500 are market housing units and 500 are affordable rental units.

This seems like a huge win for the affordable housing proponents, does it not?

I have no doubt that this “request” will be approved with a rubber stamp.  Why wouldn’t it, after all?

But it’s almost discouraging in a way to consider that a plan dating back to 2014 was going to put into place in 2022, considering how quickly things in our city change.

The Provincial government’s announcement back in March to allow for more density, less red tape, and faster approvals for new construction was a game-changer, or at least it had the potential to be.

But then consider the conversation we had back in March when I wrote, “Just How Dense Should Our Densification Be?”

In that post, I referenced Amendment 405 to the Official Plan of the City of Toronto, in which it was made clear that the city is in favour of a massive increase in densification in Midtown Toronto, partially as a result of the Crosstown LRT.

This was a step in the right direction for proponents of densification but it’s been met with massive opposition from NIMBY’s, of course.

Drive through North Leaside right now and check out the lawn signs, wow!  Those aren’t signs for landscaping, painting, and basement waterproofing…

Midtown, Leaside, and the idea of densification near public transit is a topic for another day, but whether or not that’s something on which consensus can be reached, I think think that the rezoning application submitted for Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the Regent Park project is something to be celebrated.

Perhaps I’m just a cynic or maybe I’m always expecting the worst.  For somebody who himself is often rigid and inflexible, I see those same qualities displayed by City Council, city planners, and other stakeholders and decision-makers who can affect change in our housing market.

I’ll stop short of congratulating Tridel for “giving back to the community,” since they only agreed to do give in order to win the contract for Phase 4 and Phase 5, but it looks like Tridel wins big here as does the City of Toronto.

Simply put, there will never be another revitalization project in the city of Toronto, or likely the whole of Canada, as big as the demolition of 2,000 some-odd housing units in Regent Park to be replaced by 9,000 new ones – a combination of affordable housing and market condominiums.  So for those of us that remember when the first shovel went in the ground in 2006, or when we stepped into the first condominium building in 2009, it will be very, very interesting to see how this project finishes up in a few years.

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. Daniel

    at 8:21 am

    It no longer makes economic sense to build townhouses. Not when you can build into the sky and better utilize that land and the air above it. I think we’ve seen the very last of townhouse units in new construction in the downtown core.

    1. Libertarian

      at 12:55 pm

      I think we’ve seen the very last of townhouse units in the downtown core at a minimum, and likely, through most of central Toronto, and soon, all of Toronto proper.

      That’s why I think people will continue to complain about now being able to afford a “house” in Toronto. People want a detached, with front and back yard, driveway, etc. in Toronto proper. But the only people who can afford that going forward are the rich.

  2. Keith

    at 10:51 am

    If every development had 30% non market housing, Toronto would become one of the most liveable cities in the world. Shelter is a core need, and shelter geared to income frees up household cash flow to spend in the local economy, enhancing employment and the tax base. Affordable housing is one of the best social programs out there, allowing people to live close to work, promoting diversity and strengthening community and the economy for the many.

    1. Bal

      at 11:03 am

      Sorry i didn’t understand much ….is it good or bad ? my brother bought Condo ( Wyatt building ) last year…for some reason i don’t like the area ….but condo itself not bad ….i like Spadina and fort york area… interested to know how it will impact the resale value of his Condo

    2. Julia

      at 2:40 pm

      Love this idea – i get to live in the same great place but don’t need to work as hard as I do to do so? Sign me up….

      1. Mxyzptlk

        at 9:59 am

        Are you intimating that all lower-income people don’t work hard?

    3. Bill

      at 5:25 pm

      One thing we all found out living in little bird house is not fine or great. Hopefully they will be build bigger units 650 to 800 sq ft. Units to rent.
      I hate living in bird or storage units and calling them homes.

  3. cyber

    at 11:20 pm

    Missed opportunity with Lawrence Heights revitalization, also TCHC owned – 2x the acreage of Regent Park, but with 1/3 fewer units post-revitalization… and right by the subway, Yorkdale Mall, etc.

  4. Sirgruper

    at 6:40 pm


    You need a Pick 5 needs comment section – Indian motorcycle (Westinghouse) and three trombones obviously.

Pick5 is a weekly series comparing and analyzing five residential properties based on price, style, location, and neighbourhood.

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