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Regent Park

Regent Park is a neighbourhood located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is bounded by Gerrard Street to the north, River Street to the east, Shuter Street to the south, and Parliament Street to the west. It is an extremely culturally diverse neighbourhood, with more than half of its population being immigrants. It is home to approximately 12,000 people. Over 50% of the population living in Regent Park is children 18 years and younger (compared to a Toronto-wide average of 30%).

The average income for Regent Park residents is approximately half the average for other Torontonians. A majority of families in Regent Park are classified as low-income, with 68% of the population living below the LICO (Canada's Low-Income Cut-Off Rate) in one of its census tracts and 76% in the other (compared to a Toronto-wide average of just over 20%). In other words, poverty is a reality for seven in ten Regent Park families.

Regent Park's residential dwellings are entirely social housing, which covers the entire 69 acres which comprise the community. Indeed, Regent Park is Canada's oldest social housing project, having been built in the late 1940s. However, the projects are aging and are in need of costly repairs. The city government has developed a plan to demolish and rebuild Regent Park over the next ten years, with the number of units on the site doubling (and most being offered at market rents). Former street patterns will be restored and housing will be designed to reflect that of adjacent neighbourhoods, in order to end Regent Park's physical isolation from the rest of the city.

As one of Toronto's poorest neighbourhoods, Regent Park has been stigmatized as a bastion of immeasurable poverty and despair. However, evidence has proven the contrary; there is a strong sense of community that pervades Regent Park and its diversity is reflected in the city's diversity. Certainly, the revitalization process will modernize Regent Park, however it remains to be seen whether or not it will effectively reduce the neighbourhood's poverty and stigma.

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