Demolition of Regent Park buildings ‘brings a lot of memories back,’ residents say
Published Friday, March 1, 2019 7:29PM EST
Former and current tenants of two community housing buildings in the city’s Regent Park neighobourhood said goodbye to their homes, as the buildings were demolished on Friday.
The buildings, formerly located at 295 Gerard Street East and 365 Parliament Street, were demolished as part of the third phase of Toronto’s Regent Park revitalization. The goal of the revitalization is to transform aging housing infrastructure into mixed-income and mixed-use neighbourhoods.
Elsa Keklu remembers visiting her sister’s apartment in the area 25 years ago and said that her son and daughter used to play there as young kids.
“The place is nice. Before, not now. Before it was a very nice place,” she said.
Those who lived in the buildings more recently said they were in disrepair.
“I moved in with my family and as soon as I walked in, the bathroom fell down. Everything was leaking, breaking, shower wasn’t working,” said Dyago.
At the same time, Dyago said that he is a sad to see the building torn down.
“This is my home. When I see it go down, getting teared apart, it hurts a bit,” he said.
New market rentals will go up on the property once the demolition is complete, but the city said that all of the Toronto Community Housing units are being replaced elsewhere. A highrise at 110 River Street has opened up with 181 rental replacement units.
Tenants have been moving in over the last couple of weeks and said they are pleased with the accommodations.
“Everything is good,” Ann Ta said.
At the same time, many residents are still reminiscing over the demolition of two Regent Park buildings that became their home.
“When you see it going down you don’t know what to say. You wan't to cry because, you know what, it brings a lot of memories back,” said former tenant Joseph Ayott.
The revitalization is scheduled to be complete by 2021.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Natalie Johnson