"We are thrilled about this announcement," said
Minister Skinner. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to redesign the
neighbourhood for today�s urban environment, bring it new life and
vitality and celebrate this community�s spirit. The redevelopment
plans will be phased in over six years. This is a vibrant
neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and their input has
provided us with a wealth of information and ideas to help revitalize
the area. Housing has listened to what they�ve said and used their
input as the basis for the final redevelopment plans."
Since the project first began, consultation with
tenants has been paramount. Housing has held several community
meetings, and the consultants also met with residents individually to
ensure their needs and interests were heard. One of the more
significant community meetings was held last summer. At that time,
tenants spent an entire day with Housing staff, and the consultants,
reviewing potential plans, discussing design possibilities and
expressing their thoughts about what they did or did not want for their
In the end, four main concepts emerged which tenants
felt the final redevelopment plans should address. They were:
safety, privacy, outdoor space and a sense of community. Tenants
expressed the need to feel safe in their neighbourhood and talked about
wanting to open up the space, making everything more visible. This
would also make the neighbourhood more attractive and more accessible
for emergency vehicles. They expressed the need for private space
outside their homes, and as with all neighbourhoods, outdoor space and
green space for all ages was viewed as essential. Tenants feel
that a positive sense of community already exists, and wanted to ensure
the new plans would enhance that feeling.
"The changes this revitalization can bring about goes
way beyond the physical facelift," says Bob Dawson, Executive Director,
Froude Avenue Community Centre. "Many of these residents have
lived here for more than 40 years, and they have an extraordinarily high
level of involvement with their community centre, which has contributed
enormously to the quality of life in the neighbourhood. This
transformation will serve to strengthen that sense of pride and respect
for their community."
The new plans will entail complete interior and
exterior modernization to all the homes in the neighbourhood, new
construction, as well as landscaping. The interior changes include
the installation of new laundry facilities, complete interior painting,
refinished floors, completely refurbished kitchens (new cabinets,
countertops, sinks, new flooring) and bathrooms (new tubs, showers,
sinks and toilets), new ventilation systems and heating systems
upgrades. Exterior upgrades include complete replacement of
windows, doors, siding, and roofs. Landscaping will include
additional private parking where practical, backyard fencing or
balconies for privacy space, sodding and a community garden.
The Cashin-Froude neighourhood consists of 136 homes
covering four streets which include, Cashin, Froude, Vicker and Vimy
Avenues. The buildings were built over 50 years ago, and are among
the first public housing properties developed in Canada. These
residences were constructed to house the larger families of the time and
consist of large three- and four-bedroom properties. The
redevelopment plans will more adequately address today�s demographics
characterized by smaller families and an increased aging population.
Tenants will benefit from homes more conducive to their family makeup,
and the improved designs will also make these homes more appropriate for
tenants with mobility concerns.
"I�m excited -- the whole neighbourhood is excited,"
said Theresa Dunn, President, Neighbourhood Enhancement Association.
"The community is literally abuzz with talk about all the upgrades and
changes. We�re particularly pleased that the community was given
the opportunity to be part of the planning process right from the
beginning. Housing really did listen to so many of our ideas, like
moving the laundry rooms up out of the basement and putting them in the
main house, and giving everyone their own privacy areas. These may
seem like little things to some, yet it can make such a positive
difference to everyday living."
Design work is being initiated and construction is
anticipated to start in the summer of 2008.