First we started off at the Daniel Centre of Learning. Kerry spoke about the Daniel Center of Learning and what she was learning. Then we went to the Aquatic Centre, followed by Phase 2 construction sites where they were building.
We helped guide the group around Regent Park, talking about seeing the progress between the new and old buildings. Justin spoke about the 40 oak building and the difference between the present one and the old one.
We liked looking at the model of Regent Park in the Presentation Center. It showed where new buildings were going and how the plan had developed. We also liked the key mural in the Daniel Spectrum Centre. This model represented the people of Regent Park moving into different phases.
Despite the rain, we enjoyed the walk just the same.
Kerry & Justin
I was very fortunate to join the Jane’s walk last week in Regent Park and got the knowledge history of Old Regent Park and New Regent Park, from the residents.
I spoke about my experience during the last year at Daniel’s Centre of Learning. I was new in Toronto and my journey started at the Centre. I became very interested in any workshops that were going on in the community. I attended so many workshops in Daniel’s Spectrum and at other organizations. It helped me to become a member in the Centre for Social and Innovation.
The Regent Park residents are nice and have been very friendly to me.I spend most of my time in Centre for Community Learning & Development. I appreciate that the staff give me the chance to be myself. They have helped me with my academic upgrading as well as allowed me to participate in a few outside programs.
While I was in Jain’s Walks I learned information about different buildings. It is amazing how the government planned to build new building in this community.
On the Jane’s Walk we went around Regent Park and talked about the changes in this neighborhood. We went into the Regent Park Aquatic Center, saw people swimming, and they told us about programs that are available. They have free swimming, lane swimming and three different types of pools. They have curtains that can close to stop people from being able to see inside from outside and that everyone can use it. People in the new buildings have the option to purchase or rent there condos and they all look the same so you won’t be able to tell from the ones that are purchased from the ones that are rented. We also saw the new park that’s being built as well as a new community center. We went to the Presentation Centre to see the plan that they have made for the Regent Park revitalisation. They had a very nice and accurate model of the new Regent Park. The new Regent Park has a lot of roads going through for cars access. The Regent Park also now has a basketball court and a soccer field. We also went to the Arts and Cultural Center where we saw a piece of art made from keys to the old houses in this neighborhood.
I think the new Regent Park looks great with all the new buildings, streets and open spaces. I also like how you can’t tell which the apartments and town homes are leased and which are purchased.
The Jane’s Walk and Regent Park
Learning about the Regent Park Housing Community’s history and its demographics (the housing revitalization etc.), especially during the Jane’s Walk and Talk, really brought the term “takers” into perspective. I am almost convinced the people in the community are not the takers.
Amazingly, in the spirit of giving back, many people who grew up here while pursuing their education including university are now working/volunteering for the community and they still live here. I actually heard how people are working hard, in so many creative ways to better their lives and that of the community, so not to be dependent on social programs only.
The stereotype and the criminal culture long associated with this community have been over exaggerated. Different branches of governments are listening. This is evident from the community’s active involvement in the decisions impacting their neighbourhood. I got first-hand glimpse at the behind-the-scenes, in-depth planning of the new housing revitalization program from a TCH development (Urban Planner) manager that works together with community representatives.
There are people with genuine health, social, education, age and financial (immigrants included) challenges. And unlike some political ideologists who view every person benefiting from such programs as “takers” and want to end the programs as we know them, I believe that there should be a social (programs) safety net for these groups of people.
Previous Jane’s Walks in Regent Park
My experience with the Jane’s Walk was very interesting. The first one I ever did and was in May 2012 when 40 Oaks open there doors for the first time. I spoke about my own experiences in Regent Park and how much it has changed since I lived here. For example, the building I live now used to be Regent Park United Church where my aunt got married. It was a drop in center where the unfeatured where able to go eat and play pool and get out of the cold. And now it is a residential building with different organizations like Toronto Community Housing.
And then last year I did the Jane’s walk with the Denials Presentation Centre and I really enjoyed it when I did the walk I was a leader with another person. What has changed since I lived here from the age 12 to now is the community for example it is a mixture of the low income housing and condominiums. I love the new Regent Park.