Inside Toronto’s rental homes designed to build community

Inside Toronto’s rental homes designed to build community

How social programming and innovative property designs are turning rental buildings into vibrant community hubs

Only 21 per cent of Torontonians expressed a strong sense of belonging to their local community, according to the latest Toronto Social Capital Study, a report that explores the well-being of the city’s residents. Even more telling is the limited connection we share with our neighbours. The same study found that nearly one in 10 Toronto residents don’t know anybody living around them.

This deficit of connection within our urban centres can have consequences, negatively impacting physical and mental health, civic engagement and overall community resilience.   

But in response, a new trend in Toronto’s rental buildings is emerging, with a focus on building places that encourage connecting and foster a sense of community.

Building for communities

City builders such as Tricon Residential are now placing an emphasis on community from the very start, incorporating design elements that give residents a chance to come together and connect.

One of those design elements is the addition of shared spaces, such as communal lookout view lounges, libraries, game rooms, co-working rooms, group fitness areas, children’s playrooms and other welcoming gathering places. These shared spaces create natural opportunities for interaction and encourage residents to socialize and meet their neighbours.

However, it goes beyond providing gathering spaces. City builders are now focused on resident programming around themes of wellness, food, art and music.

Programming for stronger connections

Want to really encourage social connection? Give residents a reason to gather. 

Now, city builders are increasingly recognizing the importance of programming to help foster community. New rental buildings are offering more than the seasonal celebrations and social mixers of the past: think fitness classes, workshops, game nights and even guest speakers. 

Beyond Tricon’s signature amenities—including The Cove, a pool and lounge area; the Club Apex fitness centre; and The Node, a co-working space—Maple House, for example, also features a dedicated community garden with about a dozen garden beds. There, Evergreen Brick Works hosts monthly gardening and ecology classes where residents learn about native plant species and how to grow their own vegetables. 

This programming provides opportunities for residents to come together, spend time outdoors and work on collective tasks that benefit their community. 

Vibrant rental living

With convenient downtown locations, close to transit, restaurants and public parks, Tricon Residential brings together residents through lifestyle programming and unique experiences centred on the themes of wellness, culture, music, art and dining, in order to foster interconnectivity and build community.  

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