Urban Strategies worked with the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department and Scott Torrance Landscape Architects to complete the Lawrence-Allen Public Realm Master Plan. The Public Realm Master Plan builds on many years of ongoing planning and community engagement which have resulted in Toronto Community Housing’s Revitalization Plan for Lawrence-Heights, and the City of Toronto’s current land use and planning directions for the entirety of Lawrence-Allen.
Lawrence-Allen consists of a several varied communities (including Lawrence-Heights), major retail centres, and a number of parks and open spaces. Today the public spaces – parks, streets, infrastructure, civic buildings and public buildings – are often under programmed, lacking in connectivity, or can feel unsafe in certain areas. Additionally, Lawrence-Allen is bisected by the Allen Expressway, which has historically limited connectivity between neighbourhoods in the district. The Master Plan provides direction in particular for the public spaces in this community which aims to address some of the challenges of the area. The Master Plan provides critical guidance on how investment, renewal and programming in existing and planned public spaces can occur. In doing so, it articulates a way forward for creating a cohesive and compelling public realm network for the communities of Lawrence-Allen.