Browne, C. & Zapparoli, J. (2019). Farewell Regent. Toronto, ON: Syncopated Productions.
"FAREWELL REGENT is a 90-minute documentary that captures the Regent Park community of downtown Toronto (the place where social housing began in Canada) in the midst of the largest housing redevelopment project in North America. With this transition it will go from a site of 100% social housing to a mixed income community where condos units will outnumber the social housing units 4 to 1.
The documentary profiles past and current tenants, city officials, developers and housing advocates to get an inside view of the complex issues, emotions and drama that are involved in such a massive redevelopment."
Farewell Regent can be viewed here by registering for a free Kanopy account (you must have a Toronto Public Library Card to register).
My Piece of the City
Mossanen, M. & Ho, T. M. (2018). My Piece of the City. Toronto, ON: 100 Dragons Media.
"My Piece of the City tells the story of a group of young artists in Toronto’s inner-city community of Regent Park as their community undergoes one of the most dramatic urban revitalizations in North America. The young artists come together to perform THE JOURNEY, a musical that helps them explore various challenges during this crucial period of their lives (Ontario)."
My Piece of the City can be streamed on CBC Gem, free of charge.
Gibson, H. & Midnight Lamp Films. (2017). The Stairs. Toronto, ON: Midnight Lamp Films.
"Shot over five years, Hugh Gibson's profoundly affecting and compassionate documentary examines the lives of habitual drug users in Toronto's Regent Park. Named Best Canadian Film of 2016 by the Toronto Film Critics Association, the documentary takes us inside a community health centre whose staff of social workers includes both former and current drug users. These workers understand all too well what their clients are going through."
The Stairs can be streamed on TVO, free of charge.
Return to Regent Park
Weyman, B., Allder, M., Close Up Film Productions., National Film Board of Canada., & CBC Newsworld. (2010). Return to Regent Park. Toronto, ON: Close Up Films.
"Ten thousand people live in Toronto’s Regent Park, Canada’s first large-scale public housing project. Built in a spirit of post-WWII optimism that social problems could be corrected through urban renewal, Regent Park replaced a working-class neighbourhood with a modern, park-like community of apartment buildings.
But, forty years later, it had become a paradigm of city planning failure. The physical isolation of Regent Park from the surrounding community had created a unique ghetto-like environment. Within its confines, many residents felt as if they are under siege by an army of outsiders who were using the park as a haven for drugs, prostitution and violent crime.
Frustrated by the apparent “benign neglect” of the Metro Housing Authority, groups of Regent Park residents banded together into committees organized by residents-turned-social-activists. They became persuasive advocates of the concept that Regent park required radical physical redevelopment in order to be successfully reintegrated within the larger social community.
Bay Weyman let the people of Regent Park tell their own story of desperation and hope. Featuring interviews with residents, activists, community organizers, local politicians, academic planners, and the police, the film compresses three stories into one: the failure of traditional urban renewal schemes, the impact of drugs and crime on an enclosed environment, and the positive effects of social redevelopment in which people are empowered with a newborn self-respect, changing the way they think about themselves and their community."
No version of the film or trailer has been found on the web. A copy of the film can be found via Toronto Public Library at the Parliament Street Branch or the Reference Library (located at Yonge St. & Bloor St.). More information can be found here.
Davis, H., Lentin, M., Kelly, S., TVOntario., Industry Pictures., Shine Films., & National Film Board of Canada. (2010). Invisible city. Toronto, ON: National Film Board of Canada/Office national du film du Canada.
"Invisible City is a moving story of two boys from Regent Park crossing into adulthood – their mothers and mentors rooting for them to succeed; their environment and social pressures tempting them to make poor choices. Turning his camera on the often ignored inner city, Academy-award nominated director Hubert Davis sensitively depicts the disconnection of urban poverty and race from the mainstream."
Invisble City can be streamed on Vimeo, free of charge.
Farewell Oak Street
Burwash, G. & McLean, G. (1953). Farewell Oak Street. Canada: National Film Board of Canada.
"This documentary presents a before-and-after picture of people in a large-scale public housing project in Toronto. Due to a housing shortage, they were forced to live in squalid, dingy flats and ramshackle dwellings on a crowded street in Regent Park North; now they have access to new, modern housing developments designed to offer them privacy, light and space."
Farewell Oak Street can be streamed on the NFB website, free of charge.