WHO WE ARE
About CRC

The CRC is an innovative, impactful, collaborative, mid-sized, multiservice agency that proudly serves Regent Park, currently in the midst of a 20-year revitalization, and the surrounding neighbourhood also known as the downtown east. For over 50 years, we have worked with low-income community members to help them build capacity to change situations and conditions for the better, both in their own lives and in the wider community.

In 2012, the CRC opened a beautiful new building and a new chapter in its history. Our building at 40 Oak Street has a 5,000 square foot community hub of program space where we offer free delicious and nutritious Community Meals four days a week, Housing Supports, Drop-in programs and Cultural Celebrations, available free-of-charge to anyone who walks through our doors.

Above the community hub, CRC hosts the only not-for-profit social housing in Regent Park, 40 Oaks, which provides 100 tenants with supported affordable housing and access to wrap-around services.

We are home to the Regent Park Community Food Centre and its suite of high-impact programs that include Food Skills, Gardening, Culinary Skills Training, Peer Advocacy, Regent Park Social Development, and our weekly summer food festival Taste of Regent Park. Some 64% of people who use our services tell us they routinely do not have enough money for food after paying rent and bills each month. CRC is anti-oppressive and inclusive to all.

Mission

The CRC provides innovative solutions which help residents of Regent Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods enrich community well-being, improve economic conditions, realize their potential and direct their lives. We prioritize our efforts toward individuals and families facing barriers (e.g., caused by poverty, inequity, discrimination).

Vision

Regent Park and its surrounding neighbourhood is a flourishing community where individuals and families live lives of dignity, good health, and well-being.

Regent Park Revitalization:

Regent Park is Canada’s largest and oldest social housing community. Built in 1949 it was home to 2083 households, with more than 8300 residents. 90 different languages are spoken; 73% of the adult residents are underemployed; 12% are university educated in Canada and more than 63% have university educations from outside of Canada. 100% however, live in poverty, including more than 5000 youth and children.

The residents of Regent Park have been advocating for change since the mid 1990’s.

They recognized that the design and layout of the community could be improved with the introduction of through streets and commercial enterprises. CRC worked with the community, becoming a catalyst, to advocate for these needed changes.

In 2000, with the formation of the Toronto Community Housing, the City made an audacious plan to redevelop and revitalize Regent Park over the next 15 years. All 2083 housing units would be demolished, streets would be opened, and businesses would have retail space in the area. City Council also made a commitment that all 2083 units of Rent Geared to Income housing would be replaced, mostly within the footprint of Regent Park, but acknowledged that some may be replaced in bordering communities, and that all residents would have the right to return. They also decided that the new Regent Park would be an intentionally mixed income community, with a blend of affordable housing and market priced housing.

CRC has been at the forefront of these developments, an epicentre in this exciting revitalization.

Rendering of Phase I of the Regent Park revitalization

Our Roots Are Deep:

CRC began operating in 1964 and was incorporated in 1965.

At a newly renovated Rosedale United Church a group had been meeting for more than a year to discuss what their church could contribute to social justice. They looked at models in the US and Canada and decided that their focus would be ecumenical and urban.

They invited Rev. John Metson from Alberta to be the founding director of their proposed “Inner City Christian Mission” in Regent Park. Metson accepted the invitation but suggested a new name that reflected a ministry in which people would be offered resources to create change for themselves, thus the name, the Toronto Christian Resource Centre, also known as the CRC.