Artwork near 150 Queens Wharf

City Building and Cultural VitalityEnsuring the best use of the City's real estate assets

Identifying opportunities to address program needs while creating a range of city-building benefits designed to improve the quality of life for Torontonians is one of our priorities as an agency.

City building is a broad concept that includes a variety of outcomes such as developing affordable and social housing, enabling complete communities, driving net zero climate and energy goals, activating public spaces, supplying modernized and accessible facilities for City services, supporting cultural diversity, and fostering a vibrant economy through economic growth, job creation and attracting new investments to the City.

 Each of these outcomes creates new possibilities in neighbourhoods and has the potential to improve the quality of life for local residents. The following projects aim to enhance not only the fabric of the local community, but the cultural vitality of the city. 

Parkdale Hub

Located at the intersection of Queen Street West and Cowan Avenue, Parkdale Hub is a transformational city-building initiative that will deliver wide-ranging cultural, social and economic benefits to the Parkdale community including:

·       The revitalization and expansion of the Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre;

·       The revitalization and expansion of the Parkdale Library Branch;

·       The creation of new affordable rental housing;

·       The creation of new inclusive and accessible community space; and

·       Significant enhancements to the public realm in the heart of the Parkdale neighbourhood.

People walking outside of the Parkdale Hub

260 Adelaide St. West and 229 Richmond St. West

The redevelopment of 260 Adelaide St. West, combined with the strategic acquisition of 229 Richmond St. West, will create numerous city-building opportunities, including 30 per cent affordable housing, the construction of a new fire station, an EMS post, 10,000 square feet of community space, along with securing the largest new City park in the downtown core in decades.

Rendering of the new 260 Adelaide development

Tamil Community Centre

Working with a steering committee including representatives of the Tamil community, CreateTO identified a suitable location in northeast Scarborough for the development of a new not-for-profit community facility on the City-owned property at 311 Staines Road and led all aspects of this project including the lease negotiation.

The community centre will be an opportunity to celebrate Tamil culture and language and an opportunity to learn about Tamil people’s history in Sri Lanka and their migration and refuge to Canada. The facility will also serve as a true community hub, incorporating spaces and services to help address the current and growing needs of the diverse Canadian Tamil community, as well as Black, Indigenous and other equity-seeking groups in the area.

311 Staines Road rendering of a new community centre

Etobicoke Civic Centre

New civic and community infrastructure, including a recreation centre, library, childcare facility and public square are among the benefits that will be delivered through the establishment of this new civic centre, which will provide much needed services and act as a catalyst for the revitalization of Etobicoke City Centre.

Westwood Theatre Lands

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

CreateTO, on behalf of TO Live, launched an international design competition in the fall of 2022 to reimagine the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, a landmark performing arts theatre in the heart of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood. The reimagining of the STLC is an opportunity to create a unique cultural hub that combines themes of culture and community with technology, accessibility and sustainability.

 In March 2023, a design team led by Hariri Pontarini Architects was selected as the winning design team. Their design, called Transparence, features a high-performance transparent façade that will wrap the existing structure. It also incorporates several Indigenous design elements, including the exterior which was inspired by the role of Wampum belts in storytelling, artistry and craft and the inclusion of a circular ceremonial fire at Front and Scott streets.

Rendering of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
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