Regent Park stands as Canada's first extensive experiment in slum-clearance and urban re-development. On January 1, 1947, those eligible to cast a ballot on money by-laws voted to have the City of Toronto and undertake a low-rental housing project. Within 42.5 acres, comprising six blocks bounded by Parliament, Gerrard, River, and Dundas Streets, new houses and apartments were to be erected and leased at rents relative to the incomes of the tenant families. The written record of this experience is given here for the first time.
How a concerned group of citizens banded together to press the city council into action; how the entire project was financed, and then administered; who had resided in the slum, and who were rehoused; what happened to the health, family welfare, social relationships, recreation, and education of the inhabitants of the new Regent Park, are all described in clear, simple prose, free of jargon.
More than ten years of study of the problem of slum clearance in Toronto, plus participation in the planning and execution of the Regent Park project, provided the author with an exceptional opportunity to know thoroughly the materials of his study. What he learned and recorded from his experience is essentially what everyone in North America who is concerned with the social and governmental aspects of public housing wants to learn. The history, the development, and managerial experience of the project are thoroughly examined. The human aspects of this pioneering endeavour are drawn from both the social matrix of Toronto out of which the project originated, and the society within the project itself. The book is a record of social and administrative significance that will be widely studied as a case history of public housing on the North American continent.