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Centre for Urban and
Community Studies
University of Toronto
455 Spadina Ave.
Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 2G8

(416) 978-2072
(416) 978-7162

On the afternoon of Day 2 of the conference, Friday June 25, delegates had the opportunity to pick from a list of workshops held 'on location' -- in offices or community meeting rooms with Toronto area housing officials, senior civil servants, community-based agencies, and local NGOs.

These workshops cover a broad range of topics relating to housing policy, management, redevelopment of public housing estates, homelessness, gentrification of an older immigrant area, the challenges of housing newly arrived immigrants and refugees, and options for low-cost homeownership.

Field Workshop Options

1. Neighbourhood Gentrification
2. Tenant Engagement Processes
3. Public Housing Redevelopment
4. Tenant Management
5. NGO advocacy on Homelessness
6. Youth Transitional Housing & Employment
7. Transitional Shelters in Toronto
8. Housing Immigrants and Refugees
9. Human Rights & Tenant Housing
10. Municipal Affordable Housing Initiatives
11. How Research Can Support Change
12. St. Lawrence Neighbourhood
13. Homelessness & City of Toronto Services
14.Co-operative Housing in Canada

Field Workshop #1
Neighbourhood Gentrification
The Kensington Market neighbourhood: An Immigrant Reception Area under Threat? Or…Experiencing Overdue Renewal?
Carlos Teixeira
The Kensington Market area is Toronto’s first immigrant reception area. Beginning in the early 1900s it was the core of Toronto’s Jewish community and housed a thriving market. As the years past the area was settled by newly arrived Italian immigrants followed after World War Two by Portuguese and most recently Chinese. Because the area is close to the downtown core it is also under threat from the forces of gentrification. Given the area’s historical significance proposals are being developed to preserve the area as a historical district. This walking tour, with geography professor Carlos Teixeira as the guide, will focus on the development of Kensington as a symbolically important area in Toronto’s urban fabric and ongoing efforts to preserve the eclectic nature of the neighbourhood.
Location: Meet at Metro Hall and walk to Spadina and Dundas or take the Spadina streetcar north from King to Dundas
The effort to save Kensington, click here

list of workshops

Field Workshop #2
Tenant Engagement Processes
Engaging Tenants at Canada's Largest Social Housing Landlord: Recent Experience and Current Initiatives in tenant involvement at the Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Toronto Community Housing Corporation Staff
Toronto Community Housing is one of the largest social housing providers in North America and home to about 164,000 tenants in communities across Toronto. TCHC works with tenants, the community and other stakeholders to create cohesive and healthy neighbourhoods. This workshop will focus on recent experience in engaging and involving tenants in local decision making including the tenant representative system, local decision-making on capital expenditures, community revitalization and the selection of tenants recommended to the City of Toronto for the Board of TCHC.
Location: Beverley Manor (168 John Street), Assemble first in Room 309 at Metro Hall.

list of workshops

Field Workshop #3
Public Housing Redevelopment
The Regent Park Revitalization Initiative of the
City of Toronto

Derek Ballantyne, CEO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Regent Park is Canada’s first and one of the largest public housing developments in Canada. It was built shortly after World War II as a self-contained neighbourhood with no through streets and limited retail and institutional uses. It was an urban renewal initiative intended to replace the perceived slum conditions of the day. The Toronto Community Housing Corporation has developed plans to redevelop the area by reintroducing the original street network and developing a mixed-use neighbourhood. Discussion will focus on the history of Regent Park, the community engagement process that was used to develop the plan, the physical plan, community development issues, and strategies for relocating tenants during the construction stage.
Location: meet at Metro Hall and proceed to Regent Park
Regent Park to be Reinvented, click here
Tearing Up Regent Park: The Debate, click here

list of workshops

Field Workshop #4
Tenant Management
The Atkinson Housing Co-operative: A New Model of Social Housing? A New form of Housing Tenure?
Jorge Sousa, Hugh Lawson
The Atkinson Housing Co-operative is a new form of tenant management in Toronto. The community was developed in the late 1960s as Alexandra Park, a public housing development west of the city's downtown core. In the early 1990s tenants began to explore new forms of tenant management. Discussions extended for more than a decade but by 2003 negotiations were finalised with the government. Discussion will focus on the history of Alexandra Park, reasons for the prolonged negotiations and the nature of the agreement that was worked out between tenants and the government.
Location: Meet at Metro Hall and walk to Dundas and Spadina or take the Spadina streetcar north from King to Dundas

list of workshops

Field Workshop #5
NGO Advocacy on Homelessness
Declaring Canada’s Homeless Crisis a National Disaster:
The Grassroots Campaigns of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee

Members of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
A small number of citizens drafted a declaration in summer of 1998 that many municipal councils and other organizations, agencies and individuals throughout the country endorsed, declaring homelessness to be a national disaster and calling for an immediate end. The campaign to end homelessness is called the “1% Solution.” The nature of homelessness in Toronto and the struggle to end it will be focus of this workshop with members of the steering committee of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee.
Location: Trinity Square; a meeting room near the TDRC office at Trinity Church, next to City Hall (Meet at Metro Hall and walk to Trinity Square)
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee

list of workshops

Field Workshop #6
Youth Transitional Housing & Employment
Eva’s Phoenix transitional shelter and employment training facility for homeless youth
Jennifer Morris and Clovis Grant
Eva’s Phoenix is an award-winning transitional shelter and employment training facility for homeless youth who are working towards self-sufficiency. Fifty youth live in shared townhouse-style units within a renovated warehouse for up to one year and engage in hands-on life skills training, while being trained in a career of their choice by one of the program’s partner employers. Youth are supported by a team of staff and mentors who work with them to help them learn how to live and work independently, with the goal of leaving the shelter system for good. Participants will be given a tour of the facility, including an on-site social enterprise, the Phoenix Print Shop, where youth are trained in design, print production, and the key elements of running a small business. Eva’s Initiatives has recently embarked on a National Initiative Program to assist groups across Canada who are working on developing similar integrated service delivery models to address youth homelessness and unemployment.
Location: Eva’s Phoenix
Eva’s Initiatives

list of workshops

Field Workshop #7
Transitional Shelters in Toronto
Bellwoods House and Birchmount Residence
Anabella Wainberg, Stefanie Krasij, Jermet Levene, Dan Anstett, Maurice Richman, Mike Selznick
Bellwoods House and Birchmount Residence are the two facilities operated by Shelter, Housing and Support Division, Hostel Services that specifically serve chronically homeless senior women and men respectively. They are satellite programs of Women’s Residence and Seaton House, two of Canada’s largest shelters for single homeless people. In Bellwoods House and Birchmount Residence, the opportunity arose to explore different ways of assisting older adults that have been long term users of the hostel system to overcome the barriers, personal and systemic, to obtain permanent and appropriate housing. The successes are evident in the client’s improved wellbeing, their willingness to accept supports in dealing with their health, mental health and other issues, in winning the acceptance of the community at large and in being touted as models for service delivery to the chronically homeless older adult population.

The workshop will include brief histories of both programs, program descriptions and current challenges, information on other Women’s Residence and Seaton House programs, and a tour of Bellwoods House.
Location: Bellwoods House

Bellwooods House

list of workshops

Field Workshop #8
Housing Immigrants and Refugees
Home Away from Home: Refugee Housing Services
in Toronto

Carolina Gajardo and Francisco Rico
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America. In the Toronto region 100,000 thousand new people settle annually. Some 30,000 homeless individuals pass through the City emergency shelter system every year and a large percentage of those homeless are newcomers to Canada.

Why is it important to find a home away from home? Refugees, displaced people, migrants and many other million people across the globe struggle to redefine their sense through a painful journey away from home. Governments’, the NGO’s, service providers in general, faith groups and grass root organizations had a rich history in Canada and in Toronto of providing support and services to those resettling in Canada.

Two major service providers, COSTI Immigrant Services and FCJ Hamilton House take a close look into the experience of refugees in Toronto searching for home away from home, what services are available and how people survive the experience and re-build their lives in a new home.
Location: Metro Hall & field trip
FCJ Hamilton House

list of workshops

Field Workshop #9
Human Rights & Tenant Housing
Planning Policies and Practices to Human Rights
John Gladki, Phillip Dufresne, Peggy Birnberg, Brigitte Witkowski, Kathy Laird
The presentation will take the form of a panel discussion, with 4 panellists all of whom are participating in a innovative collaboration, under the name HomeComing, which is working to address discriminatory barriers to meeting the housing needs of disadvantaged persons.

  • A Consumer of Supportive Housing will describe his experience of supportive housing and the kind of supportive environment that has enabled him to live independently in the community.
  • A Developer of Supportive Housing will describe the process that she and other developers faced in their efforts to develop supportive housing for people living with mental illness.
  • A Lawyer Specializing in Human Rights Law will discuss the pros and cons of using litigation to combat discriminatory ratepayer opposition and restrictive zoning.
  • A Planner Experienced with the Municipal Role and Community Consultation will discuss the principles and policy underlying the community consultation process and respond to the potential for the community process to be used to exclude “different” people from neighbourhoods.

Location: Metro Hall

list of workshops

Field Workshop #10
Municipal Initiatives for Building Affordable Housing: Challenges & Victories
“Let’s Build” – or least let’s try: The City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Program
Mark Guslits, Peter Zimmerman, City of Toronto, Let’s Build
This workshop examines the role which Municipalities can play in the generation of new affordable housing which can be used as a catalyst for enhanced community and neighbourhood development. The evolution of the City's Let's Build affordable housing program will be discussed and examples of success to date shown and examined.

Location: Metro Hall and field trip
What is “Let's Build”
The First Four City-owned Sites

list of workshops

Field Workshop #11
How Research Can
Support Change

The Case of Homelessness: The Toronto Mayor’s Homelessness Action Task Force, the City’s Report Cards on Homelessness, and other Municipal Research Initiatives
Susan Shepherd & Karen Mann
This workshop will explore the relationship between research, policy and social change. The discussion will include Toronto-based examples such as the Mayor's Homelessness Action Task Force and the Toronto Report Card on Housing & Homelessness. How policy and program influence research will also be discussed via the City of Toronto's federal government funded (SCPI) research agenda.
Location: Metro Hall

Housing and Homelessness Report Card, 2003

list of workshops

Field Workshop #12
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood
The Planning and Development of a New Neighbourhood: 25 years later
In the early 1970’s the City of Toronto decided to form a housing company and build social housing under a federal government program. In addition to scattered sites around the city, an underused tract of land adjacent to downtown was redeveloped as a new neighbourhood. Most conventional design approaches were ignored in favour of a 19th century streetscape – rowhouses and buildings on sidewalks. About half the housing is subsidized. This workshop will tour the neighbourhood and discuss the social planning and physical design decisions and what their impacts have been. In the 1970’s Frank Lewinberg was one of the City of Toronto’s chief planners of the neighbourhood.
Frank Lewinberg, Partner
Urban Strategies
Location: Meet at metro Hall and take King streetcar east.

Planning Lessons from St. Lawrence, J.D. Hulchanski, 1990
A Lesson for the Future, F. Lweinberg, 2000

list of workshops

Field Workshop #13
Homelessness and City of Toronto Services
The City of Toronto’s Homelessness Interdepartmental Team (Works and Emergency Services; Parks & Recreation; Shelter, Housing & Support; Toronto Public Library)
Barrie Chavel, Lucy Stern, Troy Ford, Anne Longair, Sheryl Pollock,
Pat Bull

Participants from several City of Toronto departments meet on a regular basis to discuss and develop protocols for dealing with issues relating to homelessness. This workshop will outline how various departments work together and the strategies that have been formulated to assist people, who are homeless, beginning with an overview of its activities. The Works and Emergency Services Department will discuss strategies for enforcing City By-Laws regarding garbage and blocking rights-of-way. The Parks and Recreation Division will discuss their Homeless Policy, Profile and Strategy, outlining their initiatives and the challenges they face. The Shelter, Housing and Support Division will discuss the links between the various City Divisions and other programs and services such as Street Outreach. The Toronto Public Library will talk about the changes in their operations that complement the City’s overall approach to reducing homelessness.
Location: Metro Hall

list of workshops

Field Workshop #14
Co-operative Housing in Canada
Self-managed Social Housing: Canada's Co-operative Housing Sector
Nicholas Gazzard, Harvey Cooper, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada; and Tom Clement, Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto
About one percent of Canadian households live in non-equity self-managed housing co-operatives. These have been developed under social housing programs and are part of the social housing sector. This new tenure form represents a blend of owning and renting. The nature of this tenure and recent policy trends will be discussed. Challenges faced by this model of resident controlled housing communities will also be examined. The co-operative housing sector in Canada is well organized and has local, provincial and national level organizations.
Location: TBA: Older Women's Network (OWN) Housing Co-op, Meeting Room, 115 The Esplanade, St. Lawrence Neighbourhood (Southeast corner of The Esplanade and Market St., 1 block west of Jarvis St).

Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto

list of workshops

Conference Theme
Auspices: ISA RC43
Organizing Committee
Conference Program & Schedule
Delegates, Abstracts, Papers
Housing Practice
Field Workshops

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About Toronto
Housing Information Gateway
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Conference July 2004

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