Albert Crosland Communal Space

Making Support Services Joyful + Engaging


“I’m actually an introvert, and I used to be very shy about walking into a group. There was so many other ways to communicate. And when you got an objective that’s a hands-on objective, whether it’s gardening or crafts, it builds a trust, it builds an openness.”
Helen Melboune

“I was scared, cause I wasn’t used to being around people. I’m not a group person, but ever since I came to Project Read, I got to be a group person and thought, okay I’ll try it out and see. [...] But now it’s different, I feel like I can be in a group, and not feel, you know, like I don’t belong.”

When I came to Parkdale, I did not have any friends or relatives, and I had to figure out everything by myself. It took me more than 10 years to realize that those services exist because I did not know such a service back home.”

  1. New-comers/immigrants like Ko, who are not part of the major ethnic groups feel disconnected with the community due to the lack of visibility for many of the physical resources like drop-in services.

  2. There is a need for new ways to engage with the community through formal and informal support spaces. Many residents are unaware of the services available to them. How can we reach a broader community? Plus, support spaces need to be accessible to all throughout the day.

  3. Through different community activities and spaces (eg: community garden) people gain a new sense of belonging and purpose.


Create spaces that emphasize community sharing, well-being, individual engagement and participation.

Amplify services that are provided to be more accessible and acknowledged to individuals who are unaware or reluctant to join
Increase the visibility of community resources to those who are not part of a large social group/organization.

Promote community trust and security while having informal transformative spaces for unique temporary services and activities.

Age: 30
Occupation: Housewife
Family: Lives with her husband,
Leo and son, Mateo
Goals: Gain new hobbies

“I would like to be friends with others in the community, help them, and feel more at home. I spend a lot of time alone as a housewife, I would like to have hobbies and activities to do with my son and husband. Having a place that is easy to meet new people, bring my son, and learn new things would be nice. As a new resident, I am not aware of places like these”

Isabel is a new resident to the neighbourhood, she is a dedicated mother to six-year-old Mateo and wife of Leo.
She found out about the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre through her son as it is beside his school, after seeing a poster for their upcoming recreation schedule and classes. She was interested as she wants to meet people from her community and help others. Now Isabel has become friends with neighbour Kevin and feels part of the community, she has found a new purpose through culinary and dancing classes.
Age: 53
Occupation:Employee at a small gift shop
Family: Lives with her small dog
Goals: Saving to open her own flower shop

“Owning my own flower shop is a dream of mine, so joining the Albert Crosland Community Space gave me the opportunity to share my passion and meet new friends. Living alone can be difficult during the pandemic, but I am still able to safely interact with my community while doing fun activities.”

Misaki is always looking for ways to learn new skills and become fluent in English. She found out about ACCS through a Facebook ad and believed it would be a good opportunity to give back to her community while learning English. Now Misaki enjoys teaching others about floristry at the communal space operate a flower stand from the flowers her community grows.
Age: 26
Occupation: the owner and cook of a nearby family-owned Chinese restaurant
Family: Living with his parents in Parkdale since 2005
Goal: Running the family restaurant

“I started volunteering at PARC’s communal dinner because I love to meet new people there and see them enjoying the food that I cook. Sometimes I would teach a few guests my family traditional dish so they can make it at home.”

Kevin found out about the communal space from other volunteers at the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre who are interested in renting out the communal kitchen for their dinner drop-in program. After visiting the location, he discovered there is a local market every Sunday that sells fresh leafy vegetables that he could buy for his restaurant. Since then, he has found friends at the gardening club and joined the dance club on Thursday with Anna, who lives nearby.

Age: 6
Occupation: Student
Goals: Look at cool places in his neighbourhood, become an artist
Family: Lives with his parents, Isabel and Leo

“I only spent time with my friends at my school, Parkdale public school. After school, I spend time at home, with my mom and dad. I would like to go out more, look at cool places around home and learn about my neighbourhood”

Mateo is a new resident to the neighbourhood, he is a first grader at Parkdale Public School. After telling his mom about the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre posters at his school, he now spends more time with his friends after school playing at the adjacent playground. During summer break he enrols at the arts programs at the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre. Through this program, he has found a passion for the arts and has meet people from the neighbourhood. Now, he feels at home and safe in the community.




Potential threat of intrusion to land
  • Minimal alteration to trees; vegetation
  • Proposed as a temporary structure
  • A portion of land will be used for gardening

Accessibility and Inclusivity for all residents
  • Amplified visibility with colour and location off of Queen St.
  • Built and accessible for disabled, new families and all ages
  • Programs provided that focus on the gathering of the community
Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.