While most of Regent Park is social housing owned by Toronto Community Housing and is undergoing a 15-year-long redevelopment scheme, that same redevelopment has transformed parts of the neighbourhood into a chic, modern and very expensive community of townhouses with big windows just to the south of insanely trendy Cabbagetown. Rather than being a neighbourhood of social housing, Regent Park is, for many Torontonians, being recognized as a pretty desirable place to live. The plan is to turn the neighbourhood into more of a mixed-use one, to repair the former lack of retail and services in the area up until this point. The face of the neighbourhood is changing from once being exclusively new immigrants with very low incomes, to an urban downtown community. That said, there will still be about 2,500 units at subsidized rates through TCH when the project is complete. There are a ton of kids in the neighbourhood (about 41% are under 18) and three junior public schools close by, but no high schools within walking distance.
A shifting demographic. For years, the population of Regent Park was younger new immigrants from a huge diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, most of whom had very low incomes and lived in the subsidized housing here. Now, a large portion of the neighbourhood is urban professionals, young couples without kids, and some with kids as well. These are the people snapping up the brand-new construction in Regent Park, which is going for very high monthly rates.
Urban couples who work downtown, as well as older couples whose kids have left the house. The neighbourhood still has its new car smell, so to speak, and has parks and some new businesses moving in. Plus, it's close to Cabbagetown's trendy commercial areas and green spaces with walking and cycling trails.
Incredibly, the budget-conscious renter – that is, of course, unless you're applying for low-income or RGI units in Regent Park. The new builds here are pricier than nearby Corktown and even the Garden District. Students will want to steer clear as well.
With the redevelopment of Regent Park still in pretty early stages, it's hard to say what time will bring in terms of lifestyle for residents. New businesses will move in and rents in the new townhouses will likely drop. But there's a certain status that goes along with living in the "new" Regent Park. All that aside, there are a couple of parks right within the community's borders and Riverside Park is just to the northeast. Commuting from Regent Park is simple, with the streetcar that runs along Dundas, and the neighbourhood is just a few blocks to the Don Valley Parkway for getting out of town for the weekend.
Rents in the new condos and townhouses of Regent Park are very expensive. The redevelopment of the neighbourhood has made it way more desirable for urbanites wanting to live close enough to the Financial District, or wherever their workplace is. Most market rent units are one- or two-bedroom places with big windows on the western edge of the neighbourhood.
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods*
Regent Park is 10% higher than TO average
* numbers provided apply only to units available at market prices and do not factor in subsidized or RGI (Rent-Geared-to-Income) units in Regent Park
Brand-spankin'-new townhouses and condos
Regent Park has two outdoor skating rinks, plus a community centre that offers a gym and outdoor swimming pool. There's also a new aquatic centre on Dundas that's awesome for kids. There are a couple of restaurants along Dundas, and an art gallery there, plus a couple more shops, cafes and eateries on Gerrard, River and Parliament.