Laurie Payne has spearheaded a number of major development initiatives in both the public and private sectors. As vice president of development for Toronto-based Diamond Corp., she leads one of the city’s largest redevelopment projects. Wynford Green aims to transform a 60-acre (24 ha) industrial brownfield into a new live/work community with a direct connection to one of the major stations on Toronto’s new light-rail transit line, the Eglinton Crosstown. “The location and scale of the community we are building at Wynford Green make this site one of the biggest and best opportunities for transit-oriented development along the Crosstown line,” Payne says.
Payne also has been recognized for her commitment to good-quality, stable housing for all residents. Prior to joining Diamond Corp., Payne served as the development director for Toronto Community Housing, North America’s second-largest public housing provider. She was responsible for guiding a team of development professionals in the revitalization of outdated housing projects. This work will result in nearly 2,000 units of new and renovated low-income housing, 6,000 units of market-rate housing, and over one billion dollars in local economic activity.
“For six years, I had the privilege of working alongside community leaders from some of Toronto’s most vulnerable neighborhoods to enable social, economic, and physical change in poorly designed public housing complexes,” Payne says. “I was humbled and inspired by their perseverance and ingenuity in securing a better future for their kids and their community. These community leaders, and the experience, have fundamentally changed the way I think about real estate development, and the lasting impact that our choices have on people and communities.”