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ERA Architects


The Tower Renewal Project

The Tower Renewal Project

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Tower Renewal is a strategy for the revitalization of Canada’s aging postwar apartment neighbourhoods as part of achieving sustainable, equitable, and prosperous cities and regions. Supported by government policy and incentives, hundreds of thousands of units of apartment block housing were built in the postwar years throughout the country. Today, this housing accounts for the majority of purpose built rental housing, and urgently needs strategies for rehabilitation and renewal. (Read more about Tower Renewal here: Posted with permission of the publisher of NRU Publishing Inc. Original article first appeared in Novae Res Urbis – Toronto, Vol. 25, No. 29, Friday, July 23, 2021)

Since 2007, ERA has been the lead initiator of Tower Renewal. In 2009, ERA formed the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal with planningAlliance, as a vehicle for further research and policy development for Tower Renewal. Through research, advocacy, and policy development, the initiative grew into a major policy initiative of the City of Toronto, working with partners including Toronto Public Health, United Way Toronto, CMHC, and the University of Toronto.

CUG+R now leads the Tower Renewal Partnership (TRP), a multisectoral collaboration including Maytree, Evergreen, United Way Toronto & York Region and DKGI. TRP works to establish a framework through which Tower Renewal can be scaled across Canada, by supporting public and private stakeholder itineraries, conducting applied research, convening core stakeholders, and implementing demonstration projects. TRP also brings together best practices in energy retrofit, planning policy, green financing, and social entrepreneurship through its international research program.

Visit the Tower Renewal website to learn more.

Graeme Stewart


  • Canadian Institute of Planners: Planning Excellence Merit Award for New and Emerging Initiatives, 2013
  • Jane Jacobs Prize: Presented by Spacing Magazine and Avana Capital to Graeme Stewart, 2014
  • Canada National Urban Design Awards: Special Jury Award: Sustainable Development, 2010
  • Urban Design Awards: Award of Excellence in the Vision and Masterplan Category, 2009
  • Ontario Heritage Trust: Lieutenant Governor's Award, 2022

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