Community Design – Image courtesy of Expect Theatre / Spark Productions
The East Scarborough Storefront is a community agency offering multiple services in a tower neighbourhood in East Scarborough. Containing a community kitchen and garden, market, resource centre and access point to over 50 different agencies such as job search support and literacy service, the East Scarbourough Storefront is a significant asset to Toronto. To expand its reach, the Storefront is currently undergoing a long term community lead expansion and revitalization strategy.
Over the past several years, ERA Architects has been aiding the Storefront in this process, in collaboration with Sustainable.TO, ArchiTEXT, LoCALe, the Tower Renewal Office at the City of Toronto, and a group of vibrant and active community youth.
Scarborough Storefront Visualization – Image courtesy Sustainable.TO
The Storefront itself is undergoing a renovation and expansion, designed by Sustainable.TO. To complement this, ERA is working with local residents to explore the potential of integrating the Storefront with its neighbours and the community at large through a new vision for its surrounding environment and landscape. Situated in the centre of a Tower Neighbourhood, the revitalization of the Storefront is an example of Tower Renewal in action.
The ongoing design process is one that is based on collaboration, idea sharing, and collective participation. Multiple (and ongoing) workshops have been held to gain an understanding of the community’s key aspirations, as well as to actively engage local youth in the design process.
Based on these workshops and the information that they have generated, ERA Architects has begun to work towards a simple and low-cost yet high-impact landscape plan that responds to the community’s needs as well as the new building renovation designed by Sustainable.TO.
Scarborough Storefront Community Workshop Diagrams
The diagrams shown here are preliminary site analysis and schematic plan drawings that begin to illustrate the concept that small, simple changes can have a big impact on the way these residents experience the Storefront that is at the core of their community.
Stay tuned for more information about this ongoing project.
Josh Thorpe is Communication Manager at ERA Architects.