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Developer and builder named for 20-year Lawrence Heights overhaul

One of the most significant development projects in the city was announced on Monday when it was revealed that developer Context and builder Metropia will be working with Toronto Community Housing to overhaul Lawrence Heights.

The 100-acre neighbourhood, completed in 1962, is a suburban version of Regent Park tucked just south of Yorkdale Mall, and all three partners have expressed the intention of making the revitalization at least as successful as the much-lauded downtown Regent Park project.

"At this point in my career, it’s very important to do something that has social significance," says 30-year veteran and Metropia president Howard Sokolowski.

The entire project is expected to take 20 years, encompassing more than 1,000 low-cost units and more than 4,000 market-price units. Context and Metropia have been given the contract for the first phase, 25 acres on which they will build 225 rental homes and 950 condos and townhouses. Construction will begin next spring.

Sokolowski emphasizes the importance of community consultation as the project moves forward, sensitive perhaps to the initial opposition from residents.

"We’re not about to do anything until people know exactly what’s happening and have input into acceptable architecture, acceptable street furniture," he says. "That’s number one."

The plan has been a long time coming. It was first announced in 2007 by then city councilor Howard Moscoe.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Howard Sokolowski

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to [email protected].

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