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October 11, 2011
City of Toronto to receive prestigious award for Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute is recognizing Toronto's Lawrence Allen Revitalization Plan with an Excellence in Planning Award in the Municipal Statutory Planning Studies, Reports and Documents category.

This award recognizes excellence in all aspects of the planning profession and the high calibre of work done by professional planners in communities across Ontario. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Ottawa on October 13.

"I am very proud of our professional planning staff for once again being recognized for their exceptional achievements," said Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Chair of Toronto's Planning and Growth Management Committee. "The plan for the revitalization of Lawrence Heights has successfully navigated a difficult set of planning challenges. Our staff developed an intelligent plan to guide the future revitalization of this 1950s-era inner suburban neighbourhood."

"The Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan shows how Toronto can harness future growth to revitalize a neighbourhood," said Gary Wright, Toronto's Chief Planner. "This forward-thinking plan is grounded in reinvestment, livability, a strong sense of place and a balanced transportation system. It's an exciting opportunity to lay the groundwork for healthy and prosperous neighbourhoods and a high quality of life."

Located near Lawrence Avenue West and the Allen Expressway, the Lawrence-Allen area is home to 17,000 diverse residents of different cultural backgrounds, religions and ages. The revitalization plan provides a comprehensive planning framework that will guide and manage growth and change in this area over the coming 20 years.

At the centre of the Lawrence-Allen area is the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood - a social housing community of 1,208 rent-geared-to-income social housing units owned by Toronto Community Housing, developed in the 1950s and today in need of revitalization.

The plan is largely parks-focused, relying on a network of parks and open spaces to establish focal points and public spaces for community life. "The Commons" at the physical centre of the plan features a large community park, a new community centre, the existing community health centre, new schools and street-related retail uses. Residential areas surround the Commons, each surrounding a local park or a schoolyard.

The neighbourhood also includes a new network of public streets designed for pedestrians, cyclists, surface transit and automobiles. This system will provide community members with a range of transportation choices and capitalize on the area's two subway stations.

The revitalization plan sets the stage for the evolution of a diverse and mixed community where the existing social housing will be replaced over time with new social housing. The plan also provides for development of market housing, including private townhouses and condominium apartments. In this way, intensification will lead to a mix of housing that serves a diversity of incomes, ages, populations, and household sizes. Retail, employment, community services, and schools will be located alongside new housing, all within a mix of building types and scales.

Principles of transit-supportive development heavily influence the plan and the large majority of new residential units are a short walking distance to the area's subway stations.

The Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan is the basis for a draft Secondary Plan, expected to be considered by Toronto City Council this fall. The Secondary Plan is the first step to implement the Revitalization Plan.

The plan is available at

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute has also recognized the City of Toronto's Avenues & Mid-Rise Buildings Study with a 2011 Excellence in Planning award in the Community Planning and Development Studies/Reports category.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Bruce Hawkins
Senior Communications Coordinator



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