Boundaries, Narrative Frames, and the Politics of Place in Public Housing Redevelopment: Exploring Toronto's Don Mount Court/Rivertowne
Mair, David Graeme
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Toronto’s Rivertowne (formerly Don Mount Court) is Canada’s first fully completed experiment with redeveloping post-war public housing developments into newly built mixed-income neighbourhoods (a combination of public housing and private condominiums). Originally built at the end of Toronto’s urban renewal era, Don Mount Court consisted of 232 public housing units until the City’s public housing authority decided to tear the buildings down in 2003. Five years later, former residents, along with newcomers, moved into rows of townhouses under its new name, Rivertowne. Proponents of this project believed this would transform an isolated, stigmatized environment into a thriving and integrated community. This thesis explores redevelopment as a mechanism that has profound and intricate impacts on space, place-identity and social dynamics between residents. Drawing on interviews with residents, I argue that the way proponents envision redevelopment is overly idealistic and overshadows a number of problems produced by the project.