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Harry Jerome Neighbourhood Lands

After more than 50 years of service, the Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre is getting the upgrade it needs to serve the City’s growing and changing population! For more information concerning the new community and recreation facility, please see Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. In order to fund the new facility, City Council have approved a rezoning and lease of the existing Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. The Harry Jerome Neighbourhood Lands will provide an important new community node at the northern portion of Lonsdale Avenue.

Project Description

The Harry Jerome Neighbourhood Lands have been designed to be a complete community, providing a range of housing and tenure types, complementary uses, and community services, as well as significant public space including an enhanced public park along Lonsdale Avenue. The project includes two towers, one 30 storeys tall and the other 26, as well as four mid-rise buildings that will be either five or six storeys tall.

The project is introducing approximately 800 new residential units. The units will be provided in a mix of tenure types catering to a range of individual and family needs; stratified condominium units, market rental units, affordable rental units, and subsidized housing are spread throughout the site. Neighbourhood focused commercial, including a grocery store and restaurant are included in the mix of uses, as well as a commercial office building providing space for offices and health services.

Community amenities are a central feature of the new node. The City will be taking possession of 50,000 square feet of subsidized housing, or approximately 80 units. Additionally, the City will ensure that ten percent of rental units will be kept at affordable rates, 10% below average rents as determined by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A new daycare will provide more than twenty spaces for the neighbourhood children. An important feature for the whole city will be the revitalization and expansion of Crickmay and Rodger Burnes parks along Lonsdale Avenue and the creation of new plazas – adjacent to amenities and commercial areas – in which urban life can unfold. Of course, the neighbourhood’s most important amenity is the community and recreation centre that will be built across the street.

Process Description

Serious discussions concerning the replacement of the Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre have been ongoing for the better part of a decade, but the latest iteration began in earnest in the summer of 2017 as Council directed staff to explore the design and construction of a new community and recreation centre funded through the lease of the existing rec centre’s site. After a competitive request for proposal process, Darwin Properties emerged as the City’s development partner for the proposed development. In July of 2018 Council gave final approval for the rezoning of the Harry Jerome Neighbourhood Lands as well as direction to proceed with schematic design of the new community and recreation centre.

The development of the Harry Jerome Neighbourhood Lands will occur in three phases, as the site is made available. Although the phasing will increase the length of time the area will be under construction, it has been designed to avoid any lapse in service as the new recreation centre is built across the street. The first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2019 and encompasses the southern portion adjacent to East 21st Street and Eastern Avenue. The second phase is set to begin in 2021 and will address the area next to East 23rd Street and St. Georges Avenue. The final stage of development is not expected to occur until 2023 when the new Harry Jerome Community and Recreation Centre is open and the previous facility can be demolished.

An important part of the rezoning was the implementation of Development Permit Area guidelines that control development of the entire site. The Development Permit Area guidelines complement the City’s zoning bylaws and sets requirements concerning sustainability, landscape, and urban design. Darwin Properties is required to prepare an application for each phase which will be reviewed by staff as well as the community. The first application is expected in the fall of 2018.

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