Tower Renewal Blog

UPDATE: Tower Renewal Action Forum

The Tower Renewal Action Forum took place on October 5, 2017 at the Evergreen Brick Works. The event assembled international experts and local city-builders to explore innovative strategies for transitioning aging tower neighbourhoods to meet the demands of our 21st century cities. With over 150 stakeholders in attendance, there was representation from government, nonprofit, private, public and community associations.

Workshops and panel discussions showcased best practices at home and abroad, to focus on housing resilience and rehabilitation, neighbourhood transformation, and the maintenance of affordability in our apartment tower neighbourhoods.


Based on stakeholder input during the Forum, Five Priority Actions were established:

  1. ESTABLISH A BEST-IN-CLASS DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM to define local technical standards; accelerate industry innovation; and measure, document and disseminate outcomes as case studies.

2. Create NIMBLE AND STACKABLE FINANCING TOOLS to deliver patient capital, allowing owners across all sectors to rehabilitate their aging buildings, while linking rehabilitation projects to performance standards, affordability and community benefits.

3. Standardize expectations around safe, healthy, resilient housing through BUILDING CODE AMENDMENTS, requiring retrofit projects to meet the performance requirements of today’s codes, while expanding existing regulation around condensation, ventilation, and thermal comfort.

4. Begin NEIGHBOURHOOD PRE-PLANNING FOR RIGHT-SIZED INFILL DEVELOPMENT to create pathways for investment in new housing options, jobs, and amenities for tower neighbourhoods, while linking underserved communities to vital infrastructure investments like rapid transit and community hubs.

5. ENGAGE COMMUNITIES IN TOWER RENEWAL PROJECTS early and often, building meaningful engagement into project budgets and schedules.


Later in the evening, Doug Saunders, author and journalist, gave a public lecture on the critical role of complete communities in tower neighbourhoods.


For more information on the Forum, including a list of attendees, click here.