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Regent Park residents declare pride in their 'hood in the face of criticism from the Sun

When columnists talk smack about Regent Park, they should be prepared to be smacked back.

After a series of columns by Sue Ann Levy appeared in the Toronto Sun last week, questioning the propriety of the revitalization of this originally ill-conceived low-rent neighbourhood, residents organized a press conference.

Mistress of ceremonies Debra Dineen, executive director of the Toronto Christian Resource Centre and a subsidized resident of the neighbourhood since 1989, introduced a string of speakers, including longtime residents and a new buyer of a market-priced condo, to speak on behalf of the neighbourhood and its current direction. (The physical aspects of the revitalization are being handled by Daniels Corporation.)

Dineen calls Levy's columns a "smear campaign" and an attempt to destroy the "good work" being done in Regent Park.

The event drew about 140 people to the as-yet-unlandscaped grounds in front of the Resource Centre at 40 Oak Street.

"Regent Park has gotten richer," Dineen told the crowd. "And we're worth it."

Kate Sellar, a young mother who recently bought a market-priced condo, spoke of the community feeling she's gotten since moving in.

"We all shop for bargains at Freshco," she said from the podium. "We all get our coffee from Tim Hortons," adding that "all the kids are going to swim in the new pool, all the kids will go to school together."

Writer: Bert Archer
Sources: Debra Dineen, Kate Sellar

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 bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

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