Regent Park

The Khawaja family live in a temporary home in Regent Park. They're supposed to move into the much-hyped newly designed neighbourhood this fall. They hope it happens before September so they can take the family trip they have planned to Bangladesh.

When I arrived they were hanging out in the backyard, enjoying the nice weather and seemed relaxed about my arrival. Normally families begin to primp and fuss when my camera comes out, asking how they should pose. Most seem disappointed when I tell them to relax and just pretend like I'm not there.

Not these guys, they were naturals. They just did their thing and pretty much ignored me. It was a nice.

I have to admit I had some preconceived ideas of what Regent Park was supposed to be like. Yes, I admit my bias, which I imagine is probably shared by a lot of people who have only driven past the area.

Surprisingly it felt a lot like the upper-middle-class suburban Ottawa neighbourhood I grew up in - kids running around shrieking, riding bikes, their moms yelling when it got dark for them to come home. I guess it was a little run down (but this is temporary housing) the families were all immigrants and the kids talked excitedly about cricket instead of hockey. Otherwise, this could have been a neighbourhood anywhere in Canada.