Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Study


City of Toronto

2008 to 2009


The Lawrence-Allen neighbourhood is located in Toronto’s “Inner Suburbs” and is facing significant intensification pressures. SvN was commissioned by the City of Toronto to develop a comprehensive planning framework for the community to address these pressures head-on and serve as the background study for a Secondary Plan.

The resulting plan identifies how and where intensification should occur and should not occur, and explores ways of urbanizing the Allen Expressway, which bisects the site. As part of our work, SvN led an extensive stakeholder engagement program, which included intense negotiations with a number of landowners and would-be developers, including Toronto Community Housing Corporation, a public housing provider seeking to redevelop 1200 units of social housing with a dense, mixed-use neighbourhood.

In addition, the plan undertakes a critical analysis of local transportation options and suggests improvements accordingly. The Recommended Plan improves the function of the street network and its ability to support a balanced transportation system by providing legible and direct routes. It prioritizes walking, cycling, and transit in order to provide community members with transportation choices. The Recommended Plan builds upon the existing subway infrastructure in the Study Area and lays the foundation for service by surface transit. In addition to locating development in close proximity to the existing subway stations, the Recommended Plan establishes convenient routes for community members to walk and cycle to and from the subway and provides good potential routes for surface transit.

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We undertake site analysis studies, from site scale up to secondary plan scales.  We work with developers and public agencies such as Build Toronto and Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation to complete due diligence and Highest and Best Use Studies for their lands. 
We develop community sustainability plans, environmental management plans and climate change adaptation plans for public, private and non-profit sectors.We have focused extensively on the displacement and resettlement of communities affected by natural disasters, wars, conflicts and poverty.
We have a long history of planning and designing the public realm of cities, including streets, building facades, public places, the space between buildings and open spaces. Our team has pioneered significant aspects of the “complete streets” concept, demonstrated through landmark projects like the St. George Street Revitalization, the Bloor Street Transformation and the Six Point Interchange Reconstruction.
We plan and design multi-modal transit hubs and corridors including station area plans, LRT corridors, transit stations and border crossings. We take a systems approach to the planning and design of infrastructure, integrating multiple development priorities while preserving and enhancing the quality of the overall landscape. Key projects include the Fort Erie Gateway Master Plan and the Allen District Urban Guidelines & District Plan.
We engage stakeholders in every planning process we lead. In complex cases, we facilitate a round-table dialogue process with key stakeholders to create a common understanding of issues, concerns and opportunities. We apply our technical expertise and to these consensus-based decision-making processes, identifying clear and actionable planning priorities. This innovative approach has been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners, which awarded our work in Thompson, Manitoba with the Award for Planning Excellence, in 2014.