Jane Exbury Towers, Toronto, Courtesy of the archives of Uno Prii
Canada has a remarkable legacy of postwar tower housing that defines many of our urban centres. There are nearly 2,000 postwar apartment towers located throughout Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe Region alone, representing nearly half of the region’s affordable rental stock. Supported by government policy and incentives, hundreds of thousands of units of apartment block housing were built in the postwar years throughout the country. This housing was mostly privately developed, intended to house the middle- and working-class populations. Today, this housing accounts for the majority of purpose-built rental housing, and urgently needs strategies for rehabilitation and renewal.
With thousands of apartment towers across the country, the opportunity is national in scale.
Rehabilitate our aging rental housing supply to meet modern standards of comfort, health and energy performance – while maintaining affordability
Expand opportunities for community-led economic diversification, social infrastructure and cultural production to enable post-war tower neighbourhoods to become more healthy and complete communities
Leverage the legacy of postwar tower urbanism toward regional growth, sustainability and transit connectivity, building more resilient and thriving urban regions