The initial organizers of Alexandra Park Co-operative were the Citizens’ Housing Committee of Metropolitan Toronto. This was a group of individuals who in the fall of 1968 approached the City of Toronto about acquiring some of the land in Alexandra Park.
Alexandra Park was an urban renewal project which included the development of a large public housing project, improvement of lanes and other services, and the acquisition of certain properties which were to be redeveloped by the private market. The Citizens’ Housing Committee approached the City of Toronto about two of these parcels for the development for non-profit housing. In the summer of 1970, the City passed a resolution stating that some of the land should be leased to a project such as the one proposed by the Citizens’ Housing Committee.
It was not until the spring of 1971 that the decision was finally reached to accept the proposal of the Citizens’ Housing Committee. At that point, all efforts were turned to CMHC to finalize the mortgage commitment. For the next several months there was considerable negotiation as to what should be the organizational framework of the co-operative.
The CHC was incorporated under the name The Society for the Study of Urban Shelters and it was their intention to own the project initially and then transfer it to an organization to be called the Alexandra Park Co-operative. CMHC indicated that they wanted to make their loan commitment directly to the Alexandra Park Co-operative. This issue was resolved by the fall of 1971 with a mortgage commitment in place.
Up until this time, no funds had been advanced to the co-operative and many people had done a great deal of work at their own risk. The architects, Tampold Wells, for example, had gone forward with full working drawings, which was both costly and time consuming.
At this point the Committee called for tenders for the project. Three bids were submitted and they were all significantly above the budget. For six months the CHC negotiated with several builders to work on various modifications and applied to CMHC for an Increase in the mortgage amount so that by July 1972 construction could start.
In the fall of 1973, Alexandra Park Co-operative was near completion. October 1973 saw the members move into Carr Court and Ryerson Avenue, as these were the first units completed. Shortly after, when Eden place was completed, members began to move in. The Alexandra Park Co-operative became a reality.