We all have places in Toronto we like to show off to guests from out of town. In the summer, I take my visiting friends to Kensington Market or the Brick Works. If they have young kids, I take them to Centre Island. When it’s cold or rainy, I take them to the AGO. Now there’s a new destination on my list: Regent Park. The $1-billion transformation won’t be complete until 2019 (or thereabouts), but big swaths are already built. It’s not just a fascinating and unique experiment in mixed-use housing, it’s also a surprisingly fun place to hang out.
This year, in our fifth annual Reasons to Love Toronto package, we feature two buildings in the new Regent Park development—the ultra-modern, light-filled public pool (page 58) and the Daniels Spectrum cultural complex (page 72), which has, astonishingly, 10 performance spaces. The fact that the Regent Park revamp appears twice on our list is fitting: no municipal project quite as ambitious has happened in Toronto in my lifetime, and this is the year it has started to bloom.