Our Mission

The Healthy by Design, Active Apartment Neighbourhoods project, seeks to improve the built environment for those living in apartment towers to better support social interaction, physical activity, and to provide options for healthy eating. Project demonstration sites were selected at two of Toronto's older, high rise rental apartment towers, which are primarily located in less walkable neighbourhoods where environmental factors are barriers to healthy living.

Overall Goals:

  • to improve the built environment of apartment tower clusters to better support physical activity, healthy eating and stronger community cohesion, and
  • advance the adoption of health-focussed active living design practices among private sector investors and professionals involved in building and retrofitting residential towers.

Specific Objectives:

  • improve use of active design principles among the development partners and stakeholders of this project;
  • improve the open space (public realm) and indoor common space at two demonstration sites to facilitate physical activity;
  • provide a supportive environment for access to affordable, healthy food;
  • strengthen collaborative working relationships among local agencies, apartment tower owners and residents to support and sustain the changes made at the demonstration sites; and
  • create a sense of place among residents in the apartment tower neighbourhoods

The project aims to improve opportunities for residents in designated “tower” apartments at two sites (Weston & Scarborough) where potential changes to the space may include:

 Interior space: kitchen and indoor fitness equipment
 Outdoor recreation space
 Community garden
 Landscaping
 Seating
 Artwork
 Signage

East Scarborough
 Driveway realignment
 Park redistribution
 Pedestrian paths
 Increased access to school and park
 Playground
 Landscaping
 Seating

Toronto Public Health is responsible for overall coordination and accountability for the project with key partners including Sustainable.TO, City of Toronto: Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization, University of Toronto, Progress Place and East Scarborough Storefront.
Healthy by Design is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), CAPREIT and Weston Properties and is closely linked to activities associated with the City of Toronto Tower Renewal work. As such, activities will be designed to meet PHAC deliverables and be strengthened by collaborations fostered through City Tower Renewal work focusing on sustainable, social, economic, and environmental improvements to tower communities.

The 5-year project is currently underway and will be completed by March 2022, having worked through various iterative stages including:
 Engagement;
 Design / Construction;
 Programming; and,
 Evaluation.