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