Transcript: The Stories Behind Revitalization | Feb 21, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and lilac tie.

A caption on screen reads "The stories behind revitalization. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WITH CONDO TOWERS
GOING UP AND BUILDINGS COMING
DOWN, TORONTO IS A CITY OF
CHANGING SKYLINES.
WHAT IS SOMETIMES LOST IN THE
SHUFFLE IS HOW PROJECTS TO
REVITALIZE HOUSING -
PARTICULARLY PUBLIC HOUSING -
AFFECT THE PEOPLE DISPLACED IN
THE PROCESS.
THAT IS WHERE FILMMAKER CHARLES
OFFICER'S MOST RECENT
DOCUMENTARY LIVES.
IT'S CALLED "UNARMED VERSES,"
AND IT WAS THE 2017 WINNER OF
THE BEST CANADIAN FEATURE
DOCUMENTARY AT HOT DOCS.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Next on TVO: Unarmed Verses."

The slate features a picture of a preteen girl standing inside a small house and waving through a window as she smiles.

A caption below reads "Also streaming at tvo.org/documentaries."

Steve continues IT AIRS TONIGHT ON TVO AND IS
STREAMING ON TVO.org, OUR
WEBSITE, AND WE THOUGHT IT A
FINE OCCASION TO DIG A LITTLE
DEEPER INTO THIS DISLOCATION.
SO JOINING US TO DO THAT:
SHELLEY CARROLL, TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR...

Shelley is in her mid-forties, with short blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray blazer and a white shirt.

Steve continues WILLIAM MENDES, DIRECTOR OF
PROGRAM DELIVERY AT TORONTO
COMMUNITY HOUSING...

William is in his early forties, bald, with a boxed beard. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and red plaid tie.

Steve continues LAVANE KELLY, THAT'S HIM ON THE
LEFT, HE'S A VILLAWAYS RESIDENT...

Lavane is in his early twenties, with black air in short braids and a sparse beard. He's wearing a khaki shirt.

Steve continues AND, FILMMAKER CHARLES OFFICER, THAT'S HIM ON THE RIGHT.

Charles is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with curly black hair in an updo. He's wearing a gray sweater.

Steve continues AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
ALL OF YOU To TVO tonight to
help us dig deeper into this
story.
Let's just... Sheldon, do you
want to bring this graphic up so
we can give background to live
outside the Big Smoke, as we
call it.
Villaways is what we're talking
about tonight.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "About the Villaways community."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
It was a community located in
the north part of Toronto.
The neighbourhood is Leslie
Nymark, it was developed in the
1960s.
IT WAS HOME TO 121 SOCIAL
HOUSING UNITS OWNED BY TORONTO
COMMUNITY HOUSING.
AND UNDER A REVITALIZATION
PROJECT, THOSE UNITS ARE BEING
REPLACED AND NEARLY 500 MARKET
CONDOMINIUM SUITES ARE BEING
ADDED TO THE MIX.
CHARLES, I WANT TO GET YOU UP
HERE FIRST.
YOUR FILM REALLY DIVES DEEP INTO
THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
AT THE CENTRE OF THIS DRAMA AND
I WANT TO KNOW OFF THE TOP WHAT
WAS IT ABOUT THEIR STORIES THAT
YOU FOUND SO COMPELLING THAT YOU
NEEDED TO TELL IT IN THIS DOCUMENTARY?

The caption changes to "Charles Officer. Director, 'Unarmed Verses.'"
Then, it changes again to "Razing a community."

Charles says I THINK,
YOU KNOW, THE INITIAL MOVEMENT
TO TELL A STORY WAS TO EXPLORE
WHAT WAS BREAKING THE YOUNG
BLACK HEARTS OF YOUTH IN THIS
COMMUNITY.
WHERE I GREW UP, WE OFTEN IN
CANADA LOOK AT THESE STORIES IN
THE UNITED STATES AND WHAT'S
HAPPENING THERE AND WE'RE NOT
PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO OUR
ISSUES RIGHT HERE IN OUR
COUNTRY, IN OUR OWN BACK YARD.
AND SO WITH THAT INITIAL SORT OF
MOVEMENT, I ENDED UP FINDING,
YOU KNOW, VILLAWAYS COMMUNITY
THAT I THOUGHT I KNEW OF ALL THE
TORONTO COMMUNITY HOUSING UNITS
IN THIS CITY.
I GREW UP VERY CLOSE TO ONE
MYSELF.
IT WAS VERY, VERY... YOU KNOW
CERTAIN ONES, BUT THIS ONE WAS
JUST QUITE SO HIDDEN AND IT'S
FUNNY GROWING UP PLAYING HOCKEY
IN THE CITY, DRIVING UP ALONG
LESLIE AND PAST SHEPPARD, I
MISSED THIS COMMUNITY.

Steve says HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Unarmed Verses, next on TVO. Also streaming on TVO.org/documentaries."

Charles says IT'S REALLY OFF BY THIS
RAVINE AND YOU'VE GOT TO TURN
OFF TO GET INTO IT AND IT GOES
INTO SORT OF... IT'S SET BACK,
YOU KNOW?
IT'S NOT LIKE, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE
DRIVING BY AND YOU'RE LOOKING
FOR THIS.
SO, YOU KNOW, FINDING THE
COMMUNITY, I REALLY FOUND VERY
EARLY THAT THEY WERE ENGAGING
YOUNG YOUTH THERE.

Steve says TELL US ABOUT YOUR
CHIEF PROTAGONIST IN THIS FILM.

Charles says IT WAS VERY EARLY ON IN ONE
OF THESE SORT OF, WHAT THEY CALL
A REC. CENTRE, BUT IT'S ACTUALLY
JUST ONE OF THESE UNITS THAT WE
SEE HERE IN THE BACKGROUND, IT'S
REPURPOSED FOR YOUTH TO ACTUALLY
GO AND PROGRAMS, ARTS SETUP
WHICH IS A GREAT ARTS MOVEMENT
AND PROGRAM THAT WE'RE INSPIRING
YOUTH TO LOOK AT ART AS OTHER
WAYS OF EXPRESSION.
THEY EARLY ON I NOTICED THIS
YOUNG GIRL WHO WAS ABOUT 11
YEARS OLD WHEN I FIRST WALKED IN
THERE AND SHE WALKED IN HOLDING
A 6-YEAR-OLD GIRL.

Steve says SHE'S 11 GOING ON 25.

Charles says YES.
FRANCINE VALENTINE.
AND SHE WAS QUIET AND SHE WOULD
NOT SPEAK.
BUT WHEN SHE DID SPEAK, YOU HAD
TO LEAN IN AND YOU HAD TO LISTEN
BECAUSE SHE HAS AN OLD SOUL AND
VERY QUICKLY I FELT ENGAGED WITH
HER BECAUSE OFTEN IN OUR CINEMA,
IN OUR STORIES, ESPECIALLY IN
THIS COUNTRY AS WELL, WE DON'T
SEE STORIES TOLD FROM THE
PERSPECTIVE OF A YOUNG BLACK
GIRL.
TO ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND AND FEEL
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO ACTUALLY GROW
INTO TEENAGERHOOD AND WHAT KIND
OF ISSUES THEY ARE FACING.
SO I WAS VERY ATTRACTED TO THIS
YOUNG GIRL, AND THROUGH THAT, WE
ENGAGED WITH A FEW OTHER YOUTH.

Steve says ONE OF WHICH IS HERE TODAY.

Charles says SITTING RIGHT BESIDE ME.

Steve says LET ME GO TO THE
CITY COUNCILLOR FIRST.
HOW DID YOU FIRST COME INTO
CONTACT WITH THE REVITALIZATION
PROJECT CHRONICLED IN THE FILM?

The caption changes to "Shelley Carroll. Toronto City Councillor."

Shelley says OUT OF A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF GUILT BECAUSE
I ASKED FOR IT EARLY ON.
WHEN I GOT ELECTED, REGENT PARK
WAS JUST BEING REVITALIZED AND
DOWNTOWN.
I THOUGHT, I HAVE A
FALLING-APART SOCIAL HOUSING
COMPLEX.
THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THIS
COMPLEX WASN'T BUILT PROPERLY IN
THE FIRST PLACE AND WAS FALLING
APART.
BUT I JUST THOUGHT, THIS IS ALL
GOOD NEWS.
ALL GOOD.
I WILL DO THIS.
I WILL GET THIS REBUILT FOR
THEM.
I WILL ADVOCATE FOR THIS.
AND WHAT CHARLES' FILM TAUGHT ME
IS IT'S EASY TO THINK OF
SOMETHING AS GOOD NEWS WHEN
YOU'RE SITTING IN YOUR COUNCIL
CHAIR DOWN AT CITY HALL, BUT IN
FACT REAL LIVES WERE RADICALLY
CHANGED BY IT.

Steve says JUST TAKE A STEP
BACK FOR A SECOND.
AGAIN, PEOPLE LIVING OUTSIDE
TORONTO MAY NOT KNOW THE REGENT
PARK TEMPLATE.
THIS CITY HAS TRIED FOR, I MEAN,
GOING ON A DECADE NOW, TO DO
WHAT IN REGENT PARK?

Shelley says WELL, WE HAVEN'T GOT THE
FUNDS TO TOTALLY REBUILD
EVERYTHING...

Steve says BUT WHAT'S THE IDEA.

Shelley says EXACTLY WHERE IT IS.
WHAT WE DO INSTEAD IS PARTNER
WITH PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPERS
AND SAY WE'RE A GROWING CITY, SO
IF WE INTENSIFY THIS SITE AND
ALLOW YOU TO PUT SOME MARKET
VALUE UNITS HERE, WILL YOU ALSO
AT YOUR COST REBUILD ALL OF THE
HOMES FOR OUR SOCIAL HOUSING
TENANTS?
AND WE'RE DOING THAT IN NINE
DIFFERENT PLACES, I THINK MORE
ARE SLATED EVEN NOW.
BUT IT IS A HUGE ASSIGNMENT THAT
YOU PLACE ON THE PLATE OF A
FAMILY IN EVERY SINGLE UNIT, AND
WE'VE ALREADY DONE THOUSANDS OF
UNITS.
THIS WAS SORT OF A REALITY
CHECK: HERE'S WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
TO THESE FAMILIES IN THE PROCESS
OF BUILDING LOVELY NEW HOMES,
YOU'VE UPROOTED THEM.
THEY HAVE TO LEAVE FOR TWO OR
THREE YEARS WHILE YOU REBUILD,
AND THEN ARE EXPECTED TO COME
BACK AND JUST APPLAUD THEIR NEW HOME.

Steve says BUT THE IDEA IS
SHORT-TERM PAIN FOR LONG-TERM
GAIN, RIGHT?

Shelley says YEAH.

Steve says AND...

Shelley says WELL, FOR SOME, THERE'S SOME
PAIN THAT BECOMES INDELIBLE.
FIRST OF ALL, THERE'S THE LONG WAIT.
WHAT YOU LEARN IN IN "UNARMED
VERSES" THROUGH FRANCINE IS A
VERY SMALL GIRL GROWS UP JUST
WAITING FOR THE UNCERTAINTY TO
BECOME A CERTAINTY, BECAUSE THEY
SIT THERE KNOWING THEIR LIVES
ARE GOING TO CHANGE WHILE, DOWN
AT CITY HALL, WE ARGUE ABOUT THE
FINER POINTS OF PLANNING FOR
FOUR TO FIVE YEARS.
SHE IS ALMOST A GROWN WOMAN BY
THE TIME WE APPROVE IT.
AND THAT WAS A REAL STRUGGLE,
JUST TO LIVE WITH THAT HANGING
OVER THEIR HEADS.
AND AS MUCH AS WE TRIED TO
INJECT ARTS PROGRAMS AND REC.
PROGRAMS TO GIVE PEOPLE A WAY TO
EXPRESS THAT, IT'S STILL
HAPPENING TO THEIR FAMILIES, YEAH.

Steve says WE SHOULD REMIND
EVERYBODY THAT THE DOCUMENTARY
IN QUESTION, "UNARMED VERSES,"
IS GOING TO APPEAR ON TVO
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS PROGRAM
AND IT'S ON OUR WEBSITE,
tvo.org, ANY TIME YOU WANT TO
CATCH IT.
WILLIAM, YOU'VE SEEN IT?

William says I HAVE.

Steve says HOW WELL DOES IT
CAPTURE THE STORY THAT'S BEEN
PART OF THEIR LIVES IN THIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD AND YOUR LIFE
PROFESSIONALLY FOR THE LAST
LITTLE WHILE?

The caption changes to "William Mendes. Toronto Community Housing."

William says STEVE, THE DOCUMENTARY, IN MY
OPINION, IT JUST CAPTURES THE
VIEWPOINT OF SOME OF THE PEOPLE
THAT YOU MIGHT NOT SEE AT THE
FOREFRONT OF COMMUNITY MEETINGS,
THEY MIGHT NOT BE AS VOCAL.
AND CAPTURING THE VOICES OF
YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS IS
VERY IMPORTANT.
AND THIS REALLY SHOWS US THE
IMPACT IT HAS ON SOMEONE GROWING
UP IN SOCIAL HOUSING AND BEING
FACED WITH THE REALITY THAT
THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THEIR COMMUNITY.
AND IT SHOWS THE GROWTH IN HER
VOICE, BEING HEARD BY OTHERS,
AND I'M GLAD THAT IT WAS
PROFILED BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY
MEANINGFUL AND IT'S A LEARNING
OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL OF US TO
REALLY TAKE A LOOK AT OUR
PROCESS AND HOW WE PLAN OUT OR
ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES, HOW WE
INVOLVE PEOPLE, AND WE WANT TO
IMPROVE THAT PROCESS MOVING
FORWARD.
SO AS WE HAVE MORE
REVITALIZATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT
PEOPLE MOVING, WE WANT TO ENSURE
THAT PEOPLE ARE SUPPORTED
THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS.

The caption changes to "Watch us on Facebook Live: Weekdays at 8 PM."

Steve says SORRY, SHELLEY, GO AHEAD.

The caption changes to "Shelley Carroll, @shelleycarroll."

Shelley says REVOLUTION
I THINK FOR BOTH TCHC AND
POLITICIANS COMES ABOUT MIDWAY
THROUGH THE FILM.
THERE'S A COMMUNITY MEETING
WHERE THEY'RE BEING TOLD ABOUT
RELOCATION ONCE AND FOR ALL, AND
REAL EFFORT WAS MADE.
I WAS AT THAT MEETING.
I WATCHED HOW IT UNFOLDED.
I WENT FROM TABLE TO TABLE WHILE
THEY WERE DOING IT.
AND WE REALLY THOUGHT WE HAD
NAILED IT.
WE THOUGHT, OKAY, EVERYBODY
KNOWS WHAT'S HAPPENING NEXT.
WHAT WE SEE AFTERWARDS IS WHAT
FRANCINE THEN HAS TO EXPLAIN
ABOUT THE MEETING TO HER FAMILY
AND REALIZE WE HAVEN'T NAILED IT
AT ALL.
ALL WE'VE DONE IS OVERWHELMED
PEOPLE WITH A BUNCH OF
INFORMATION.
WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY WE DO
THIS.
WE MUST.
IT'S A LEARNING TOOL FOR ANY
POLITICIAN OR ANY CORPORATION
THAT'S TRYING TO DO ANYTHING
LIKE THIS.

Steve says LET'S TALK TO ONE OF
THE GUYS WHO ACTUALLY WAS AT THE
CENTRE OF ALL THIS.
LAVANE, YOU READY TO GO HERE?
LET'S FIGURE OUT A LITTLE BIT
MORE ABOUT HOW THIS WORKED FOR
YOU.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING AT
VILLAWAYS?

Lavane says I HAD BEEN LIVING IN
VILLAWAYS FOR ABOUT 11 YEARS.

Steve says AND THEN YOU MOVED OUT?

Lavane says I MOVED OUT WITH THE
REVITALIZATION.
SO WE WERE RELOCATED TO
FLEMINGTON PARK.

Steve says WHICH IS HOW FAR AWAY?

The caption changes to "La-Vane Kelly. Villaways Resident."

Lavane says THAT'S FROM VILLAWAYS, MAYBE
AN HOUR.
ABOUT AN HOUR.

Steve says AN HOUR AWAY?

Lavane says YEAH.

Steve says IF THE TRAFFIC'S
REALLY HORRENDOUS.
NOT THAT FAR, RIGHT?
A FEW BLOCKS.

Shelley says AN HOUR BY
TRANSIT FOR MOST OF THE MEMBERS
OF THE FAMILY AND A WORLD AWAY
GIVEN THAT IT'S JUST PLAIN NOT
YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD AND VILLAWAYS
WAS A NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Steve says HOW WAS IT TRYING TO
MAKE THE ADJUSTMENT TO A
DIFFERENT PLACE WHILE YOU WAITED
FOR YOUR ORIGINAL PLACE TO BE REBUILT?

Lavane says IT WAS DIFFICULT BECAUSE THE WHOLE
PROCESS OF GETTING A PLACE,
RIGHT, IT WAS A RAFFLE.
PEOPLE GOT CHOICES ON WHERE THEY
WERE GOING TO LIVE BASED ON
NUMBERS THAT THEY PICKED OUT,
ALMOST LIKE THEY WERE PICKING
OUT NUMBERS FROM A HAT.

Steve says RIGHT.

Lavane says SO IF YOU GOT A ONE OR IF YOU
GOT A 72, WHICHEVER WAS THE
LOWER NUMBER WAS THE PERSON WHO
WOULD GET THEIR PICK OF WHATEVER
LOT ON A LIST THAT YOU GOT TO
CHOOSE FROM.

Steve says WHAT NUMBER DID YOU GET?

Lavane says I'M NOT AWARE OF THAT.
THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT MY
MOTHER WAS DEALING WITH.

Steve says OKAY.
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH WHERE YOU
ENDED UP?

Lavane says NOT AT ALL 'CAUSE I ENDED UP
IN A VERY UNSAFE PLACE, AS MANY
OTHER PEOPLE DID.
THERE'S IMMEDIATELY MOVING TO
WHERE I MOVED TO, THERE WAS A
LOT OF GUN VIOLENCE THAT WAS
GOING ON.
THERE WAS AN ASSAULT THAT
HAPPENED.
THIS WAS ALL IN A VERY SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME FROM WHEN I MOVED
AND THIS IS NOT LIKE AN ISSUE
THAT WE HAD TO DEAL WITH AS A
COMMUNITY IN VILLAWAYS.
THIS IS LIKE... THIS IS A STORY
THAT'S MIRRORED IN A LOT OF THE
PEOPLE WHO DID LEAVE.
IT'S NOT JUST ME AND IT'S NOT
JUST MY FRIEND.
IT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE HAD THIS
EXPERIENCE BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT
BEING MOVED TO THE AREA, THE
SAFETY OF THE AREA, THE PRIORITY
OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
DISABILITIES AND NEED CERTAIN
SORT OF ACCESSIBILITIES.
THOSE THINGS ARE NOT BEING PUT
INTO... THEY'RE NOT BEING
ACCOUNTED FOR.

Steve says SO THE TRANSITION
WAS DIFFICULT.

Lavane says IT WAS DIFFICULT.
IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT.

Steve says WILLIAM, CAN I ASK
YOU, JUST OFF THE TOP, WHAT WAS
IT ABOUT VILLAWAYS THAT YOU
THINK NEEDED REDEVELOPING OR
REVITALIZING IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The caption changes to "William Mendes, @TOHousing."
Then, it changes again to "Redevelopment."

William says VILLAWAYS
IS A COMMUNITY THAT'S BEEN...
IT'S ABOUT 50 YEARS OLD.
AND THE INFRASTRUCTURE WAS NOT
IN THE GREATEST SHAPE, STARTING
JUST FROM THE FACT THAT PEOPLE'S
HOMES WERE FLOODING.
THE WATER... THEIR UNITS, THEIR
HOMES WERE BELOW THE WATER
TABLE, AND THE INFRASTRUCTURE
BELOW THE ACTUAL HOMES WAS
CRUMBLING.
INSIDE THE HOMES, THE UNITS
NEEDED A LOT OF REPAIR, AND I
WON'T GET INTO THE DETAILS OF
IT, BUT WHEN I FIRST CAME INTO
VILLAWAYS TO TALK ABOUT A
POTENTIAL CAPITAL INVESTMENT OR
REBUILDING OF HOMES, TENANTS
ADVOCATED FOR CHANGE OVER THERE.
THEY WANTED THE INVESTMENT FROM
THE CITY, FROM TORONTO COMMUNITY
HOUSING, TO WORK WITH THEM TO
REBUILD THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD
BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT THEIR
HOMES WERE, YOU KNOW, NOT IN THE
GREATEST SHAPE, AND IN SOME
CASES, THERE WASN'T A WAY TO
JUST, YOU KNOW, DO SOME
PATCHWORK REPAIR.
IT WAS MUCH DEEPER AND
GREATER...

Steve says MORE PROFOUND THAN THAT.
WHAT WAS THE BUDGET ON THE WHOLE PROJECT?

Charles says I WANTED TO INTERJECT.
TORONTO COMMUNITY HOUSING AND
LOW INCOME NEIGHBOURHOODS ACROSS
THE CITY HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED,
YOU KNOW, OVER TIME.
SO WITHOUT THE UPKEEP, WITHOUT
THE SORT OF ATTENTION TO THE
DETAILS, BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT
OF TENANTS THAT DO REACH OUT FOR
HELP AND ASK FOR PAINTING AND
LET PEOPLE KNOW AND I KNOW
THERE'S, YOU KNOW, ALL DUE
RESPECT, IT'S A LOT OF
MANAGEMENT INVOLVED.
BUT I CAN WALK INTO X NUMBER OF
BUILDINGS AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
ON THE FLOOR IN THOSE BUILDINGS,
THE MANAGER, THE SUPERVISORS,
THE RELATIONSHIPS HAD TO BE
SOLID BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO DEAL
WITH THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND.
AND IT TRICKLES ALL THE WAY UP
TO THE INFORMATION... TO SOMEONE
IN AN OFFICE.
BUT THE REACTION TIME FOR THE
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DESPERATELY
IN NEED, SPECIFICALLY ABOUT
VILLAWAYS BECAUSE IT WAS SO
CLOSE TO THIS RAVINE AND THEY
HAD SPECIFIC ISSUES WITH WATER
AND FLOODING BECAUSE OF WHERE IT
WAS LOCATED.
BUT IT'S LIKE, YOU KNOW, THERE
WERE ISSUES THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT
HAVE BEEN GOING ON IN THESE
BUILDINGS FOR YEARS.
SO THE IDEA OF ACTUALLY HAVING
TO REALLY BURN SOMETHING TO THE
GROUND MEANS THAT IT'S
NON-REPAIRABLE.

Steve says WHAT'S THE BACKLOG NOW?
IS IT A BILLION DOLLARS...
ALMOST 2 BILLION?

Shelley says WE PUT IN
A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT THIS YEAR
BUT IT'S BEEN GROWING BY LEAPS
AND BOUNDS EVERY YEAR?

Steve says WHAT'S THE BUDGET ON
THIS PROJECT?

Shelley says THAT'S IN THE HANDS OF THE
PRIVATE DEVELOPER.
I COULDN'T PUT AN EXACT PRICE
TAG ON IT.
WE SET SPECIFICATIONS, NUMBERS
OF UNITS, AND THEY AGREE THEY
WILL BUILD THEM, USING THE SAME
BUILDING MATERIALS THEY'RE USING
ON THEIR OWN DEVELOPMENT.

Steve says AND GIVEN THAT THIS
IS IN YOUR CONSTITUENCY, I
GATHER YOU'VE BEEN KEEPING A
CLOSE EYE ON IT.
HOW'S IT GOING?

Shelley says THEY ACTUALLY, IN FACT, HAVE
NOT STARTED DIGGING, AND IT'S
BEEN PAINFUL TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE CITY UNDERSTANDS, LIKE IT OR
NOT, YOU HAVE TO PRIORITIZE
THESE.
THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN YOUR
AVERAGE CONDO DEVELOPER, BECAUSE
PEOPLE'S LIVES ARE HANGING IN
THE BALANCE WAITING TO COME
BACK.
SO WE RAN INTO A SNAG DEALING
WITH SOMETHING WITHIN THE
EVALUATION OF THE FOUNDATION AND
THEY HAD TO MOVE HEAVEN AND
EARTH TO PHONE PLANNING EVERY
DAY AND SAYING THIS CAN'T WAIT,
THIS CAN'T WAIT.
WHATEVER MOTION YOU NEED TO MOVE
IT, I WILL MOVE IT THIS MONTH.
WE HAVE TO GET THIS THING GOING.
ACTUALLY THE FROST IS LIFTING
TODAY.
WE ARE ACTUALLY READY TO DIG A
FOUNDATION.
BUT THAT HAS SET BACK WHAT'S
ALREADY BEEN ESTIMATED AS THE
TIME YOU'LL BE AWAY FROM THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD, THAT'S ADDED
ANOTHER SIX MONTHS.

Steve says WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT NOW.

Shelley says THAT'S SOMETHING LAVANE CAN'T
WAIT FOR.
ALL TOLD FROM THE DATE THEY
MOVED OUT, REALISTICALLY, THEY
MAY NOT ALL BE BACK FOR A FULL
FOUR YEARS.
SO SOME YOUTH ARE GROWING UP AND
OUT FROM THEIR FAMILY WAITING
FOR THIS TO HAPPEN AND ALWAYS
HAVING IT HANGING OVER THEIR
HEADS.
WE DO HAVE TO GET IT BETTER.
I DO HAVE IN MY OLD WARD A
COMPLEX THAT WENT DIFFERENTLY,
WENT QUITE QUICKLY, PEOPLE WERE
BACK IN TWO YEARS.
BUT WE HAVE TO GET TO THE POINT
WHERE WE'RE CHOOSING THE RIGHT
SITES TO USE THIS TEMPLATE AND
THAT IT IS A PRIORITY AND IT
DOES JUMP THE QUEUE IN TERMS OF
CITY PLANNING.

Steve says LAVANE, YOU'VE MOVED
OUT TO A DIFFERENT PLACE AS YOU
WAIT FOR YOUR ORIGINAL HOME TO
BE REVITALIZED.

Lavane says YEAH.

Steve says DO YOU PLAN TO STAY
IN THE HOME THAT YOU'RE IN RIGHT NOW?

Lavane says NO, I DON'T PLAN TO STAY WITH
MY FAMILY.

Steve says IT'S NOT A GREAT
PLACE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW; IS THAT
RIGHT?

Lavane says YEAH.

Steve says SO WHAT ARE YOU
GOING TO DO?

Lavane says I'M GOING TO FIND MY OWN
PLACE, SO I WON'T BE COMING BACK
TO THE NEW VILLAWAYS WHEN IT IS REBUILT.

Steve says THAT'S INTERESTING.
THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO A LOT
OF PEOPLE, PRESUMABLY, CHARLES,
RIGHT?
THEY'LL HAVE MOVED OUT.
BUT FOUR YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, BY
THE TIME IT'S READY FOR THEM TO
MOVE BACK IN, SOME PEOPLE AREN'T
GOING TO MOVE BACK IN.

Charles says A LOT OF
PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO BE MOVED
BACK IN.
I WANT TO POSE ANOTHER THOUGHT
HERE.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TORONTO
COMMUNITY HOUSING AND LOW INCOME
NEIGHBOURHOODS WHERE THE
OBJECTIVE SHOULD BE TO GET
PEOPLE OUT OF THESE SORT OF
SITUATIONS.
NOT WELCOMING THEM, HEY, COME
BACK AND LIVE HERE.
BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A
NEW INFLUX OF IMMIGRANTS COMING
IN OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, FIVE
YEARS, TEN YEARS, 40 YEARS.
BY THE TIME THIS PROPERTY... OUR
POPULATION IS GOING TO INCREASE
AS WELL WITH NEW IMMIGRANTS
LOOKING FOR PLACES TO LIVE WHERE
THEY SHOULD POSSIBLY HAVE THAT
OPPORTUNITY.
SO MY BIG QUESTIONS TOWARDS TCHC
AND SORT OF OUR PROGRAMMING AND
THESE IDEAS THAT WE HAVE WITH
THESE COMMUNITIES IS, HOW ARE WE
HELPING THEM GET OUT?
WE ALREADY KNOW THAT TORONTO IS
HARD TO FIND HOUSING FOR PEOPLE
WHO ARE MAKING 100,000 dollars A YEAR
TO LIVE IN THE CITY.
SO THEN HOW IS THIS GOING TO BE
FOR A YOUNG... INSPIRING FOR A
YOUNG PERSON WHO IS TRYING TO
FIND THEIR WAY, TRYING TO FIND
THEIR EDUCATION, THEY'VE NOW
BEEN RELOCATED TO UNSAFE
NEIGHBOURHOODS IN THE CITY,
WHICH IS A BACKLOG OF ISSUES,
WHY THESE NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE IN
THESE SORT OF STATES ALREADY,
AND HOW ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO
PROSPER?
HOW ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO
PROGRESS AND HAVE THE SAME
OPPORTUNITIES THAT KIDS IN
ROSEDALE HAVE.

The caption changes to "Relocation."

Steve says LET ME PUT SOME OF
THOSE QUESTIONS TO WILLIAM.
OBVIOUSLY 100 percent OF THE PEOPLE ARE
MOVING OUT.
WHAT PERCENTAGE DO YOU EXPECT TO
MOVE BACK IN ONCE THE
DEVELOPMENT IS COMPLETED.

William says THAT'S TOUGH TO TELL.
IT DEPENDS ON THEIR CHOICE.
EVERYONE HAS A LEGAL RIGHT TO
RETURN TO THEIR COMMUNITY IF
THEY'VE HAD TO RELOCATE
OFF-SITE.
I REALLY WANT TO DRAW SOME
ATTENTION TO THE OPPORTUNITIES
THAT REVITALIZATION UNLOCKS, AND
AT TORONTO COMMUNITY HOUSING,
WE'RE NOT JUST ENGAGED IN THE
PHYSICAL REDEVELOPMENT.
WE START WITH THE COMMUNITY AND
INVOLVE THEM IN THE PROCESS, BUT
WE'RE REALLY MORE THAN JUST
PHYSICAL REDEVELOPMENT.
WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF
REBUILDING AND BUILDING A SENSE
OF COMMUNITY, AND IN THAT IS A
LOT OF FOCUS ON ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT.
WE SELECT OUR PRIVATE DEVELOPER
PARTNERS VERY CAREFULLY AND WE
WANT PRIVATE DEVELOPER PARTNERS
THAT ARE WILLING TO ENGAGE IN
THAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY-BUILDING
AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR
TENANTS.
SO WE'VE HAD EMPLOYMENT AND
TRAINING PROGRAMS BEING PUT IN
PLACE FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN
SOCIAL HOUSING, SPECIFICALLY
THOSE LIVING IN A REVITALIZATION
SITE, WHICH REALLY ENABLES THEM
TO GET ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES
THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE FACED
BARRIERS TO, WHETHER IT BE IN
THE TRADES OR LOCAL RETAIL OR
OTHER LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says LET ME MAKE THE
COMPARISON TO REGENT PARK, IF I CAN?
BECAUSE WHEN... IN THE TIME
DURING WHICH REGENT PARK HAS
BEEN UNDER DEVELOPMENT, THERE
HAVE BEEN MORE JOBS MOVE INTO
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, THERE'S A...
THERE'S BEEN SOME PHENOMENAL
REDEVELOPMENT GOING ON IN REGENT
PARK.
ARE WE GOING TO SEE THE LIKES OF
THAT FOR THIS AS WELL?

William says I CERTAINLY HOPE SO...

The caption changes to "Charles Officer, @canesugar."

Charles says WE'RE
TALKING DOWNTOWN TORONTO AS
OPPOSED TO, YOU KNOW, THE
NORTHEAST SIDE OF TORONTO WHERE
IT'S STILL OFF OF THIS RAVINE.
IT'S STILL A POCKET OF LAND
THAT'S NOT THE SAME SCALE AS...
I MEAN, REGENT PARK IS OVER A
FIVE-PHASE REVITALIZATION.
THIS IS DOING IT IN, WELL, SET
TO DO IT IN KIND OF ONE SHOT.
SO THERE'S A SCALE DIFFERENCE.
SO IT'S HARD TO COMPARE THE TWO,
I BELIEVE, AND I FEEL LIKE THIS
IS THE THING, IT'S LIKE WITH
THESE POCKETS OF THESE SMALLER
COMMUNITIES THAT ARE AROUND, YOU
KNOW, THEY'RE LESS VISIBLE.
SO I THINK WE HAVE TO PAY
ATTENTION MORE TO HOW THESE
FOLKS ARE BEING MOVED AND
REPOSITIONED.

Steve says THE REGENT PARK
THING, THE RAPTORS PUT IN FREE
BASKETBALL COURTS AND THE LEAFS
PUT IN...

Charles says THE
FACILITIES ARE MAGNIFICENT.

Steve says IS THAT HAPPENING
HERE TOO?

Charles says IT CAN'T HAPPEN.

Steve says IT CAN'T.

Charles says THESE
THINGS ALREADY HAPPENED.
THERE'S NOTHING THAT'S GOING TO
STOP IT.
THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION.
SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW
SO WE ARE ACTUALLY CONSIDERING
THE NEXT COMMUNITY AHEAD OF
TIME?
HOW ARE WE USING THIS AS A MODEL
TO REALLY LOOK AT THE PROCESS OF
HOW WE'VE MOVED HUMAN BEINGS
OUT?
DO WE LOOK AT A LOTTERY SYSTEM?
I THINK A LOT OF US HERE, IF WE
WERE PUT IN THAT POSITION, WE
WOULD BE PROTESTING OUR HEADS
OFF.
BUT BECAUSE THIS COMMUNITY
ALREADY FEELS VOICELESS, THEY
DON'T HAVE A CERTAIN SAY... YES,
THERE ARE PROGRAMS INVITED OR IN
PLACE TO ENGAGE.
BUT HERE IS AN INDIVIDUAL
SITTING HERE, CAN YOU ASK HIM
ABOUT THIS PROGRAM THAT HAS BEEN
SET UP.
HAS IT REACHED HIM?
HAS IT INTERESTED HIM?
HOW CAN IT BE IMPROVED SO IT CAN
REACH INDIVIDUALS SITTING RIGHT
HERE?
BECAUSE SOME OF THESE PROGRAMS
THAT ARE BEING SET IN PLACE ARE
NOT BEING ACCESSED.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THAT, CHARLES.
A FEW MINUTES LEFT HERE.
SHELLEY, WHAT DID YOU LEARN,
WHAT DID THE CITY LEARN ABOUT
THE WAY IT DID THIS THAT IT CAN
APPLY TO FUTURE REDEVELOPMENTS?

The caption changes to "Coming home."

Shelley says THIS IS
NOT THE SAME AS REGENT PARK.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE ALL THE
BUSINESSES OPENING UP ON SITE.
WHAT CAN YOU DO INSTEAD?
WE STARTED OFF ASKING
DEVELOPERS, WE HAVE TO PROVIDE
BURSARIES, WE HAVE TO GIVE KIDS
A REASON TO CONTINUE GOING TO
SCHOOL DESPITE ALL THE
UNCERTAINTY IN THEIR LIVES.
YOU COUPLE THAT WITH FREE
TUITION.
WHAT'S MISSING?
ACTUALLY GOING TO THE SCHOOLS
AND SAYING, HERE'S WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.
DON'T LET THESE KIDS FALL
THROUGH THE CRACK.
KEEP AN EYE.
THESE ARE KIDS GOING THROUGH
SOMETHING RIGHT NOW.
BUT WE ARE GIVING THEM THE TOOLS
TO CONTINUE ON THEIR CAREERS.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE TRACKING
THEM AND THEY'RE ABLE TO...
BECAUSE ALONG WITH ALL OF THOSE
FINANCIAL SUPPORTS, THERE'S GOT
TO BE MARKS.
AND SO WE WANT TO KNOW.
THERE ARE SUPPORTS BACK AT TCHC.
WE WANT TO KNOW IF SOMEONE IS
SUDDENLY CIRCLING THE DRAIN AT
SCHOOL.
THERE NEEDS TO BE FAR MORE
CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN EVERY
COMPONENT OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.
WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS
HAPPENING WITHIN THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
LOTS OF AGENCIES SUPPORT MY
WARD, BUT ONE OF THE UNIQUE
NATURE OF THE VILLAWAYS IS
TEETERING ON A CLIFF HEADING
INTO A RAVINE, THOSE KIDS AREN'T
REALLY ACCESSING THAT.
WE HAD A MEETING IN THE PARKWAY
COMMUNITY CENTRE BECAUSE I
WANTED THEM TO SEE THIS
WONDERFUL THING.
IT MIGHT AS WELL BE A WORLD AWAY
FROM THEM BECAUSE IT'S, YOU
KNOW, 5 dollars WORTH OF TRANSIT FARES
AWAY AND BACK AGAIN.
YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO GO.

Steve says IN OUR LAST MINUTE
HERE, WHAT DID TCHC LEARN ABOUT
THIS THAT IT CAN APPLY TO FUTURE PROJECTS?

William says WHAT WE DID
ON VILLAWAYS, IS WE HAVE A YOUTH
AMBASSADOR PROGRAM WHERE WE
INVITE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO
BE LEADERS IN THEIR COMMUNITY OR
ASPIRE TO DO GREAT THINGS OR
WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO BE PART OF
THAT PROGRAM WHERE WE DO SOME
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, BUT MORE
IMPORTANTLY, WE ASK THAT THEY
ACT AS AMBASSADORS FOR THEIR
COMMUNITY AND CONNECT WITH OTHER
YOUNG PEOPLE.
THAT IS ONE OF THE WAYS, OTHER
THAN GOING OUT DOOR TO DOOR AND
VISITING FAMILIES IN THEIR
HOMES, THAT WE TRY TO REALLY
ENGAGE ALL POCKETS OF THE
COMMUNITY, AND WE REALIZE THAT,
YOU KNOW, THERE'S NEVER ENOUGH
ENGAGEMENT.
WE CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER, AND
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'VE
LEARNED A LOT THROUGH THE
DOCUMENTARY AND THROUGH FEEDBACK
FROM TENANTS, FROM PARENTS, FROM
YOUNG PEOPLE, FROM PEOPLE
OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY AS TO
HOW WE CAN HUMANIZE THE PROCESS
AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Steve says GOTCHA.

William says AND ENSURE THAT PEOPLE'S
NEEDS AND VALUES ARE RESPECTED
THROUGHOUT.

Steve says CHARLES, LAST WORD TO YOU.

Charles says I THINK
THAT THE ONE THING WE HAVEN'T
REALLY TOUCHED ON IS, I
RECEIVED... READ A LITTLE NOTE
FROM LEO DEL ZOTTO FROM TRIDEL.
AND ALL DUE RESPECT TO YOU FOR
WATCHING THE FILM AND I'M
GRATEFUL FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO
THAT, THAT THERE IS, YOU KNOW,
DEVELOPERS, YOU KNOW, THAT ARE
ALSO INVOLVED, AND WE HAVEN'T
SPOKEN ABOUT, THAT THIS IS ONE
POCKET OF LAND WHERE THERE
STANDS TO BE X AMOUNT OF DOLLARS
MADE PER UNIT.
WE UNDERSTAND IN THE CITY THAT
AN AVERAGE CONDOMINIUM IS
POSSIBLY STARTING AT 350 GRAND.
IF YOU MULTIPLY THAT BY 529
UNITS, THAT STANDS TO BE A
SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF MONEY.
THERE'S A SECTION WHERE THERE'S
GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF
MONEY THAT WAS GOING TO BE PUT
BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY BY TCHC,
UPWARDS OF 1.1 MILLION dollars THAT WAS
IN THE PROPOSAL... I FORESAW
THAT IT'S GOING TO GO TOWARDS
DEVELOPING THINGS AROUND THE
RAVINE AND THE AREA.
WHAT MY BIG QUESTION IS HERE, AS
ALL THESE FUNDS AND MONIES ARE
BEING BROUGHT IN AND PROFITS ARE
BEING MADE AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN
MOVED OFF OF LAND AND WE'VE
WATCHED THINGS GET NEGLECTED
OVER NUMEROUS YEARS AND PROBLEMS
HAPPEN, THESE IDEAS OF BURSARIES
AND EDUCATION AND TAKING BACK
SOME OF THESE FUNDS IS VERY,
VERY CRITICAL TO YOUNG PEOPLE
LIKE LAVANE, TO YOUNG PEOPLE
LIKE FRANCINE, WHO DON'T NEED A
LOT.
500 dollars CAN GO A LONG WAY IN
COMMUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS SUCH
AS THIS.
WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT MILLIONS
OF DOLLARS.
AND JUST IN OUR IDEAS OF
CREATING PROGRAMS, ART SOURCE IS
IN THERE DOING THINGS.
BUT IT'S VERY TRICKY WHEN KIDS
ARE HUNGRY AND THEY HAVE NO FOOD
TO EAT, BUT THE GOVERNMENT...
AND WE ARE SUPPORTING PROGRAMS,
NON-PROFIT PROGRAMS TO GO IN
THERE AND HELP INSPIRE YOUTH.
THEY NEED BASIC THINGS.
THEY NEED TO BE SAFE.
THEY NEED FOOD.
THEY NEED ACCESS TO FOOD.
THEY NEED EDUCATION.
THEY NEED AN OPPORTUNITY TO
PROSPER.
THESE ARE VERY BASIC THINGS.
SO IN OUR IDEAS, BECAUSE I LOVE
THE IDEA OF PROGRESSION, I LOVE
THE IDEA OF PEOPLE LIVING IN
BEAUTIFUL PLACES AND HOMES, BUT
THAT'S JUST AN IDEAL IDEAL.
IT'S A UTOPIA THAT I DON'T KNOW
IF WE'RE REALLY GOING TO GRASP.
BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS,
WHILE WE'RE HERE TOGETHER, IT'S
VERY CRITICAL FOR US TO HAVE
THIS SORT OF DIALOGUE SO THAT
COUNCILLORS, PEOPLE WHO ARE
REPRESENTATIVES FROM
ORGANIZATIONS CAN ACTUALLY SEE
THE HUMAN BEING AND UNDERSTAND
THAT THEY, IF THEY WERE IN THOSE
POSITIONS, HOW WOULD THEY BE
REACTING?
HOW WOULD THEY LIKE TO BE MOVED?
HOW WOULD THEY LIKE TO BE
PRESENTED THESE OPTIONS?
IT'S A BIG ISSUE, STEVE.
IT'S A BIG THING.
AND I KNOW PEOPLE ARE WORKING
HARD TO TRY TO MAKE IT BETTER,
BUT IF WE'RE NOT LISTENING AND
TAKING THE TIME TO ACTUALLY
ENTER THE HOMES OF INDIVIDUALS
WHO ARE BEING AFFECTED, THEN OUR
PROGRESS IS ONLY GOING TO GO SO FAR.

The caption changes to "Producer: Katie O'Connor, @KA_OConnor."

Steve says WE REMIND EVERYBODY
THE DOCUMENTARY WILL AIR ON TVO
ON TELEVISION IMMEDIATELY AFTER
THIS BROADCAST IS OVER.
WE THANK SHELLEY CARROLL, THE
TORONTO COUNCILLOR.
AND WILLIAM MENDES, THE DIRECTOR
OF PROGRAM DELIVERY FOR TORONTO
COMMUNITY HOUSING CORPORATION ON
THAT SIDE OF THE TABLE.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE,
THE FILMMAKER HIMSELF, CHARLES
OFFICER, DIRECTOR OF "UNARMED
VERSES," AND LAVANE KELLY.
THANKS, EVERYBODY, VERY MUCH.

Watch: The Stories Behind Revitalization