Since 2010, Urban Strategies has been providing master planning and development approvals support to Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to advance the master planned redevelopment of Allenbury Gardens. The Allenbury Gardens community is located in north Toronto and has been a part of TCHC’s social housing portfolio since 1965. Like much of the City’s older social housing stock, Allenbury Gardens had aged poorly and was in need of revitalization.
Recognizing this need, TCHC and FRAM Building Group formed a partnership to revitalize the Allenbury Gardens community and replace all 127 social housing units, intensify the site, and create a mixed-income and mixed-tenure community. The revitalization of Allenbury Gardens will also create a transit-supportive community, as it is within a 10 minute walk of the Don Mills subway and regional bus station.
A major component of the revitalization process was clear and open engagement with the tenants of Allenbury Gardens. Several key consultations throughout the planning and development process helped to inform the final site plan, including the locations for the taller building elements and the publicly accessible open spaces. Several tenants were also hired as Community Animators, to help develop tenant awareness and support for the revitalization.
In support of the application for an Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment, Urban Strategies prepared a Planning Rationale report, a Housing Issues report and a Community Services and Facilities study, while also working with other members of the consultant team to create a site plan that responded appropriately to the varying land uses surrounding the site, and a new and improved public pedestrian realm. The Zoning By-law Amendment for the site was approved in early 2013.
In late 2016, Urban Strategies was retained to lead the Site Plan Approvals process for Phase 2.1 of the project. This phase includes the construction of 28 rental townhouse units, a 75-unit rental apartment building, a 207-unit market condominium building, 8 market townhouse units, and construction of a public park. Urban Strategies has been working collaboratively with TCHC, FRAM Building Group, municipal staff and the broader consultant team to advance the approvals process, which includes assisting with ongoing issues resolution, processing a Minor Variance application, and providing strategic advice throughout the approvals process.
Most recently, Urban Strategies was retained to support the development team with an Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning application for Building E, the final phase of the Allenbury Gardens revitalization. As part of this assignment, Urban Strategies assisted in the creation of a compelling development concept for the site, and also prepared a Planning Rationale Report and Community Services and Facilities Study in support of the development application.