Media Releases

U of T and local residents develop unique plan for historic downtown neighbourhood

September 11, 2014

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and the res­i­dents of the Huron Sus­sex com­mu­ni­ty have devel­oped a unique plan that could see sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive changes to the his­toric down­town neigh­bour­hood. The plan is the prod­uct of over five years of coop­er­a­tive work among the Huron Sus­sex Res­i­dents Orga­ni­za­tion (HSRO), the Uni­ver­si­ty and, most recent­ly, a pro­fes­sion­al plan­ning firm.

The plan is designed to meet com­mu­ni­ty res­i­den­tial needs and the needs of the Uni­ver­si­ty. It pro­pos­es attrac­tive, mid-rise inten­si­fi­ca­tion along Spad­i­na Avenue and Har­bord Street and low-rise infill hous­ing with­in the neigh­bour­hood fronting onto active laneways. Final­ly, the plan pro­pos­es a pedes­tri­an-ori­ent­ed lane that would pro­vide a north-south ‘green-spine’ through the neigh­bour­hood.

“This exer­cise demon­strates the ben­e­fits of neigh­bours and insti­tu­tions like the U of T work­ing close­ly togeth­er to achieve com­mon goals,” said Scott Mabury, the University’s Vice-Pres­i­dent of Oper­a­tions.

“HSRO and the uni­ver­si­ty have worked togeth­er to cre­ate a plan which has the poten­tial to ensure the long-term sur­vival of a vibrant, down­town res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood in a way that’s good for neigh­bours, the uni­ver­si­ty and the city,” said Julie Math­ien a Huron Sus­sex res­i­dent who was active­ly involved in the devel­op­ment of the plan.

Ron Kent­ner, anoth­er res­i­dent who played a lead­ing role in the devel­op­ment of the plan thanked his neigh­bours for their involve­ment. “Dozens of neigh­bours attend­ed plan­ning ses­sions, gave direc­tion and com­ment­ed on drafts over the last year to devel­op this long-term plan which could become a mod­el for oth­er parts of the city to fol­low.”

Both the Uni­ver­si­ty and HSRO point­ed out that, while the plan has been com­plet­ed, the process is still in its ini­tial stages of devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion. It is not fixed or final but pro­vides a valu­able frame­work for future rede­vel­op­ment.

The Huron Sus­sex neigh­bour­hood, whose roots extend back to the 19th cen­tu­ry, is locat­ed just west of the Robarts library on the U of T’s down­town St. George cam­pus. Most of the homes in the neigh­bour­hood are owned by the Uni­ver­si­ty. Res­i­dents of the neigh­bour­hood include a mix of long-time res­i­dents –both ten­ants in U of T‑owned hous­ing and home­own­ers – as well as short­er-term res­i­dents, includ­ing stu­dents and mem­bers of the fac­ul­ty.

The Huron Sus­sex Neigh­bour­hood Plan­ning Study was com­plet­ed ear­li­er this year by the Toron­to plan­ning firm Brook McIl­roy. A full ver­sion of the plan is avail­able on the web­site of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

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For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

U of T Media Rela­tions
Tel: 416–978-0100

Julie Math­ien, Huron Sus­sex Res­i­dents’ Orga­ni­za­tion
Tel: 416–979-2393 Cell: 416–949-9086