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  1. Middle-class communities disappearing Big increase in poor neighbourhoods in Toronto and more rich districts, according to U of T study February 08, 2009 Daniel Dale STAFF REPORTER "PRIMO PIZZA," the sign reads. "SINCE 1965." Like the store's walls, it is green and white and red, the colours of the Italian flag, and, on the left, there is a cartoonishly mustachioed man carrying a pepperoni pie above his head. This could be any Italian-owned pizza joint in the city. It was indeed Italian-owned until last year. Then a man named Rocky sold it to a man named Abdul. Abdul Malik, a 43-year-old Indian immigrant, kept its name and its oven and its sauce and its dough. He made just one addition to the top right corner of the sign, easy to miss if you're darting in from the cold, above the shop's phone number. "Halal 100%." "Some people, when they see the sign `halal,' they don't come," said Malik, who also drives a taxi. "We're losing some customers. But we're gaining other types of customers." The neighbourhood known to Statistics Canada as Census Tract 354 is changing. A community of 1950s red-brick bungalows, sturdy front-lawn maple trees and long, narrow driveways, it seems the very embodiment of white middle-class suburban Canadiana. But like the rest of Scarborough, it is decreasingly white. And by University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski's definition, it is no longer middle-class. Later this year, Hulchanski – associate director for research at the U of T's Cities Centre – and a team of researchers will release an update of their 2007 report The Three Cities within Toronto. Their new analysis of data from the 2006 census confirms a trend they found in the first study: the income gap between Toronto's rich areas and poor areas is growing, while its middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing. Hulchanski's findings, in aggregate, are dramatic. At the micro-level of this individual neighbourhood, however, the impact of relative economic decline is not unlike Malik's change to the pizza shop's sign. Significant, certainly, but subtle. Between 1995 and 2005, the 5,225-person census district, roughly bordered by Lawrence Ave. E. to the north, Knob Hill Park to the south, Brimley Rd. to the west and McCowan Park to the east, gained 1,020 members of visible minority groups. They now comprise more than 55 per cent of the population, up from about a third in the 1990s. Most of the newcomers came to Canada this decade or last from South Asian countries – predominantly India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Like recent immigrants of all types, many of them struggle to make an adequate living. The area's average individual income in 2006 – $29,929 – was 25 per cent lower than the average for Toronto census districts: $40,074. Hulchanski classifies areas 20 per cent or more below the city-wide average as low-income; according to him, this area has been low-income since at least 2000. Yet ask long-time white residents to classify their neighbourhood and they will inevitably call it middle-class. Ask them to describe recent demographic changes and they will think for a moment, then point down the street to a house an Indian family bought from a British couple, or around the corner to another now owned by Sri Lankans. "When we moved in almost 30 years ago – we moved in '79 – there were more Anglo-Saxon people," said Filomena Polidoro, 53. "Now there are more ethnic people. It's more mixed. And it's nice, still nice. We like it." The old-timers' shrugs about its low-income status reflect a key caveat to the discussion of the disappearance of the city's middle-class census tracts: to fall from "middle-income" to "low-income," in relative terms, a neighbourhood need not get significantly poorer. Since the city's high-income neighbourhoods are getting richer, a middle-class neighbourhood that maintains its income level will be relatively poorer. The influx of South Asians has not made this one destitute; it remains largely populated, said Polidoro, by people who work as teachers, nurses, and factory and construction workers, among other unpretentious jobs. But the new arrivals contributed to a decline of about $1,000 in the neighbourhood's inflation-adjusted average individual income between 2000 and 2005. Two local real estate agents said about 70 per cent of people now inquiring about houses in the neighbourhood are South Asian. Many recent buyers, said Coldwell Banker agent Raffi Boghossian, are large extended families who have pooled limited incomes, sometimes "not much more than minimum wage," to acquire property. Local businesses have adjusted accordingly. At Reliable Parts, an appliance parts shop beside Primo Pizza, employee Warren Lastewka has a polite "the price is the price" speech he delivers when cash-strapped customers reared in haggling-friendly countries ask for unadvertised discounts. The Paperback Exchange, a bookstore in the plaza since the 1970s, now stocks elementary educational books with titles like Basic Learning Skills and Parts of Speech near its sci-fi novels. "I'll get a family of Pakistanis in when the teacher says to them, `Your kid's not going to make it if they can't read English.' From now through to June, that's when they usually get the notice," said Joy Ritchie, 64, the mother of owner Troy Ritchie. "I keep those books on the wall there. And I do very good business on that from now to June." Low-income areas sometimes lack proximity to social services and other essential conveniences. This one is served by Scarborough General Hospital, a Royal Bank, a Shoppers Drug Mart, a library and a Price Chopper. "Everything is convenient for us in this area," said Kaushik Maisuria, 28, an India-born auto garage employee who lives with his two uncles and two young cousins. "We can get whatever we want." Including, increasingly, products and services targeted to them, like Malik's halal pizza or the plaza's JD's Market and Halal Meat, where large bags of basmati rice line the aisles and a butcher works out back. Once a Becker's Milk, the location was a standard convenience store until October, when Jaffer Derwish's Afghanistan-born family converted it into a small grocery. In a tough economy, business is slow, said Derwish, 23. So is demand for local real estate. "The market is sort of dead in the area," Boghossian said. Many prospective buyers, he said, "are people with income that is not certain." "Typical Scarborough," said Royal LePage Signature realtor Joan Manuel. "You're not getting multiple offers. And if you do, you're not getting them over (the listed price)." Those people still making offers, however, are drawn to the neighbourhood's increasing ability to meet distinct South Asian needs. About 800 metres from Brimley Rd. is the large new Jame Abu Bakr Siddique mosque, a gleaming white facility whose minarets loom over another halal pizzeria. Prospective buyers have cited the mosque as a key lure to the area, said Manuel. And other attractions abound. Down the street is the bustling Bombay Bazaar grocery store in a Lawrence Ave. plaza so busy people park their cars in the middle of the parking lot, preventing those lucky enough to find spots from backing out. Nearby are a Hindi video rental store-slash-hair salon and a fish market. It is, for some, a sight to behold. "Where there used to be an old mom-and-pop operation," said Joy Ritchie, a touch of wonderment in her voice, "now they're selling saris." http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/584203 Poor neighbourhoods growing across Toronto RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Newspapers in South Asian languages serve the city's many new immigrants. Toronto's middle class is disappearing. Since 2001, 15 of the city's middle-income neighbourhoods have vanished, according to a yet-to-be released University of Toronto report. The majority became low-income areas, where individual earnings are 20 to 40 per cent below the city average. Hardest hit are the suburbs. Declines in Scarborough and north Etobicoke have continued. Falling income is also affecting parts of Brampton, Mississauga and Durham. In 1970, 86 per cent of 905 neighbourhoods were middle class. In 2005, that number had tumbled to 61 per cent. From 2000 to 2005, the number of city neighbourhoods with very low earnings – more than 40 per cent below the Toronto-area average – grew by almost 50 per cent. Residents in these neighbourhoods live on welfare-level earnings, says U of T researcher David Hulchanski. The report, due out this year, is an update of the groundbreaking 2007 The Three Cities within Toronto report by Hulchanski and a team of university researchers. It analyzed and mapped Statistics Canada census data from 1971 to 2001, finding that not only were middle-class neighbourhoods disappearing, but Toronto was divided into three distinct geographic areas: City 1, which consistently gained income; City 2, which maintained its income but shrunk in size; and City 3, whose residents saw their earnings fall over the 30-year period. Hulchanski says municipal governments are not to blame. "The people of Toronto did not do this to themselves. This is a national trend. What we're showing on these maps is the way federal and provincial policies, as well as the economy, have played out in Toronto's neighbourhoods." He says policies such as universal health care and social assistance helped build the middle class. Cutbacks, including downloading of social services from the province to cities and a lack of affordable housing and job protection, are leading to its destruction. "You didn't talk about McJobs in the 1970s, or even part-time jobs without benefits. Whoever heard of a job that wasn't full-time without benefits?" he asks. "That would be shocking 25 years ago. Now it's normal." Hulchanski's updated study, with another five years of data from the 2006 census, confirms the decline of the middle class and the continued polarization of rich and poor neighbourhoods. From 2001 to 2006, individual incomes in wealthy areas grew 14 per cent, while residents of low-income neighbourhoods made only modest gains. During the 1970s, Toronto was a predominantly middle-class city, with 341 of its 520 census tracts – neighbourhood areas determined by Statistics Canada so that they have roughly 4,000 residents each – in the middle-income category. Poverty was contained in the city's urban core. Thirty years later, it's a city divided. Richer residents live along the Yonge St. corridor, close to services and transit. Individual incomes average almost $90,000 a year. The proliferating poorer communities are located in Toronto's pre-amalgamation suburbs, the middle-class bastion of the 1950s. In 2006 that area included 40 per cent of the city's census tracts. Sixty-one per cent are immigrants. There is little rapid transit and an average income of $26,900. Sandwiched between the two areas is a shrinking City 2, neighbourhoods with static income where the average income is about $35,700. Hulchanski began his research in 2005 with a $1 million grant (spread over five years) from the Social Science Humanities Research Council of Canada. He teamed with St. Christopher House, an omnibus social service agency in the city's west end, to examine how gentrification was changing the neighbourhood. The data was difficult to analyze. Within the 30-year period, census boundaries had changed and some of the information wasn't available electronically. A U of T data analyst took more than a year to get it into shape. By the time Hulchanski began his work, Toronto and the United Way had completed research showing the city's poverty was highest in 13 priority neighbourhoods. "The trend line was clearly there. Researchers saw it and the city's work with the United Way was going on," says Fiona Chapman, manager of social research and analysis for Toronto. "What David's work has done is absolutely confirmed the concerns. And I think why everybody doffs their cap to David is (that) he's been very good at helping the public understand these concerns." BY THE NUMBERS How the income decline affects the outer suburbs $40,074 Average 2005 individual income, all Toronto census districts 61 Percentage of population comprising immigrants in districts where incomes have declined more than 20 per cent since 1970 34 Percentage of population comprising whites in such districts 19 Number of subway stations within 300 metres of such districts, versus 40 for biggest-gaining districts 54 Percentage of 2005-07 homicides in such districts, versus 12 per cent for biggest-gaining districts Source: University of Toronto Cities Centre U of T analysis of census data shows middle class shrinking, especially in Scarborough, Etobicoke February 08, 2009 Patty Winsa STAFF REPORTER http://www.thestar.com/Article/584204 interactive map: http://www3.thestar.com/static/Flash/map_middleclass.html PDF:http://multimedia.thestar.com/acrobat/51/c7/2cc835a5403d8d76478fae97bba0.pdf
  2. Toronto's two solitudes: Poor city beside rich city Nov 20, 2008 04:30 AM Comments on this story (3) David Hulchanski "We heard as well about parents whose struggle to hold down two or three jobs leaves them with no time or energy to parent, of youth being humiliated by the obviousness of their poverty, of the impact of precarious and substandard housing on their ability to study and learn and engage with friends, and about the numerous other daily stresses of living on the margins of a prosperous society." – Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Vol. 1, p. 31. We learned last week that among the roots of youth violence is the lack of good jobs – jobs that support a family, jobs that support an average lifestyle, jobs that support good quality housing. Though we already knew this, as a society we need to stop moving in the opposite direction. It wasn't too long ago that our language did not include terms like "good jobs," "bad jobs" or "the working poor." How could you work and be poor? Many people today are working more than full-time and are poor. They have no choice but to live in the growing number of very poor neighbourhoods. Money buys choice. Many neighbourhoods are becoming poor in the sense that most of the residents are living in poverty, and poor in the sense that housing, public services and transit access are all inferior relative to the rest of the city. The growing polarization between rich and poor is happening in part because of the loss of average, middle-income jobs. There used to be far fewer concentrations of disadvantage in Toronto. In the early 1970s about two-thirds of the City of Toronto's neighbourhoods (66 per cent) were middle-income – within 20 per cent of the average individual in-come of the metropolitan area. By 2005, the middle income group of neighbourhoods had declined to less than one-third (29 per cent). The trend is the same in the communities around the city's boundaries – the 905 area. The number of middle-income neighbourhoods declined by 25 per cent, from 86 per cent to 61 per cent, during the same period. Now 20 per cent of the neighbourhoods in the 905 area have very low average individual incomes, compared to none in 1970. This income polarization – the decline of the middle group with growth in the two extreme poles – is not only a general trend among Toronto's population, but it also is the basis of where we live. The City of Toronto is now divided into increasingly distinct zones. One zone of tremendous wealth and prosperity, about 20 per cent of the city, is located mainly along the Yonge corridor and stretching east and west along Bloor and Danforth. Average household income was $170,000 in 2005, 82 per cent of the population is white, only 4 per cent are recent immigrants (arriving 2001 to 2006), and only 2 per cent are black. Some of these neighbourhoods are more white and had fewer foreign-born residents in 2005 than in 1995. In contrast, there is a huge zone of concentrated disadvantage. It is still located in part in the traditional inner-city neighbourhoods, but now is also in the inner suburbs, the car-oriented areas built during the 1960s and 1970s. This is 40 per cent of the city, about 1.1 million people. Close to one-third of residents live in poverty (are below the low-income cut-off measure used by the federal government). Only 34 per cent are white, 15 per cent are recent immigrants, and 12 per cent are black. Federal and provincial economic policies, while seemingly abstract and high-level, play themselves out on the ground in our neighbourhoods. Paying a growing segment of the population wages that do not support individuals, let along families, at a basic standard of living and a fundamental level of dignity is not sustainable. The now well-documented rise in income inequality, income polarization and ethnocultural and skin colour segregation are city-destroying trends. They are trends produced by commission and omission, by public and private sector decisions. We need to use our regulatory power for the common good to focus on improving the labour market through measures like a living wage and providing people with a voice in working conditions via a fairer path to unionization. One-sided policy-making is not only generating greater disadvantage, it is destroying the city as a great place to live and work. Nothing is trickling down. The city is increasingly segregating itself as the social distance between rich and poor increases. Immigrants are arriving in a very different economy than they did 30 and 40 years ago. A recent Statistics Canada study concludes, for example, "that the wage gap between newly hired employees and other employees has been widening over the past two decades," the "relative importance of temporary jobs has increased substantially among newly hired employees," and that compared with "the early 1980s, fewer male employees are now covered by a registered pension plan." In short, policies have allowed fewer jobs to pay a living wage with good benefits. This did not happen by accident. It is not only possible but essential that we have an economy with good jobs with at least a minimum living wage for all. We need public policies that support the goals of a just and inclusive society, and we have to ensure that the use of political power benefits the common good. These are key goals of the Good Jobs Coalition and form the agenda for Saturday's Good Jobs Summit. They are essential to reversing the city-destroying trends at work in Toronto today. David Hulchanski is a University of Toronto professor and author of the report The Three Cities within Toronto. This is one of a series of essays created for the Good Jobs Summit, which takes place Nov. 22 in Toronto.
  3. http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/exploremontreal/index.html montrealgazette.com series called Urban Villages, in which we look at Montreal's up-and-coming neighbourhoods.
  4. https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/fresh-middle-ground-alternatives-between-nimby-and-yimby FRESH MIDDLE-GROUND ALTERNATIVES BETWEEN NIMBYAND YIMBY by DAVID ROSOW and MICHAEL WARD MIMBY – Maybe In My Back Yard MINDY – Maybe In the Neighborhood Down Yonder [gestures that way] SIMBA – Suitable In My Back Alley TAFSA – Try A Few Streets Away POOFY – Possibly On Our Front Yard PONY – Perhaps Our Neighbor’s Yard IGOODFAB – I Guess On Our Deck For A Bit ARBYS – Around the Rogers’ Backyard Shed OBESITY – Ok, But Everything Stays Inside The Yard ACTUALLY – Also, Consider Trying to Use A Little Less Yard HAMILTON – How About a Mother-In-Law Type Option Nearby HANDMAIDS – How About Next Door, Maybe, Assuming I Don’t See MAMBO NUMBER FIVE – Maybe Analyze More Buildings Objectively, Nicely Undermining Many Baseless Excuses Reactionary Fighters Inevitably Voice Endlessly THANOS – There’s Half A Neighborhood Opening Shortly
  5. :eek: :eek: Montreal gets geotourism designation The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago Montreal can expect a substantial boost in tourism as a result of becoming the first city to be awarded a geotourism charter by the Washington-based National Geographic Society. On his first visit here, John Francis, National Geographic's vice-president for research, conservation and exploration, said it was not hard for the multi-media publisher to select Montreal from other unnamed applicants. "This metropolitan city has and natural assets that appeal to visitors," he said before a signing National Geographic's "geotourism charter" with Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and other officials today. Montreal, he said, can "stand as a guiding light for protecting cherished resources around the world." The city's "holistic approach to tourism" is a continuing process. Guatemala, Honduras, Norway, Rumania, Arizona, Rhode Island also have been singled by National Geographic out as global destinations. It recognizes the importance of urban centres to global tourism and rewards those who safeguard the "uniqueness of integrity" of special places. Special attention is given to architecture, cuisine, neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods, entertainment districts, green spaces, historical, cultural, and urban landscapes. After his first visit this morning, Francis said he could see Montreal is doing a good job of preserving its heritage and is "worthy of visiting." National Geographic, through its flagship magazine and other publications, TV channel, and other platforms, is said to reach some 300 million people each month. About 7.5 million visitors came to Montreal last year, pouring $2.5 billion into the economy
  6. Cleaned up? Not so much One-Quarter of Montrealers see problem behaviour in their neighbourhoods The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution. CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, The Gazette Published: 20 hours ago Montreal has been known as "sin city" for the better part of a century, ever since Americans started coming here to drink freely during the Prohibition era. A new survey suggests little has changed since. Researchers at Statistics Canada asked people living in big cities how often they witnessed incidences of social and physical incivility - that is, drunkenness, drug use, prostitution, vandalism, littering and the like. Montreal ranked second in almost every category. Twenty-four per cent of Mont-realers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent specifically mentioned drug use and five per cent mentioned prostitution. The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution.View Halifax and Vancouver were the only cities to report higher rates of social incivility, at 25 and 26 per cent respectively. They were also the only cities to report higher rates of drug use at 19 and 17 per cent respectively. As for prostitution, only Vancouver had a higher rate, with eight per cent of residents describing it as a problem. People in 12 cities participated in the survey, the results of which came as no surprise to people downtown yesterday. Guillaume Fontaine, 27, works at a club near the corner of Ste. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd. He said he sees drug users hanging around all the time. "Right in front of us across the street, in this area outside the doors there, they sit down and smoke their crack." It's a routine they seem to have been allowed to slip into. Fontaine said he sees drug users "on an everyday basis" ever since he took a job in the area two years ago. Others who work near the city's most notorious corner had similar complaints. "You can see the prostitutes and drug dealers working all the time, even early in the morning," said Hélène Dumont, 49. Montreal executive committee member Marcel Tremblay said police have behaviour like drug use, prostitution and vandalism under control and residents need not worry about the survey's results. Tremblay said Montreal's rates of drug use, public drunkenness, vandalism or prostitution may be high for Canada, but aren't through the roof by any means. "If you go all over North America, or all over the world, you'll have exactly the same thing." And Tremblay was quick to point out that Montreal does quite well in preventing violent crimes. "Have you seen the figures on security? We're (among the cities) with the least killings in Canada. We're able to go out 24 hours a day," he said. But implementing community policing initiatives is just a part of what needs to be done to keep pushers, pimps and vandals off the streets, said Irvin Waller, director of the University of Ottawa's Institute for the Prevention of Crime. "The solution ... is some combination of law enforcement and social services that tackle the roots of the problems," he said. "These social problems have been made a lot worse because of the large cutbacks in housing and mental hospitals in Canada in the 1990s. Montreal had a particularly bad time of that." Most people on the street yesterday agreed with Waller, saying Montreal needs better social outreach programs rather than more police officers. "It's obvious some of the people hanging around here are high, just look at them. But I think that's just the way it is in a big city," said Karima Lachal, 32, gesturing toward the UQÀM-Berri métro station. Just then, a short, thin man with greasy, matted hair and a few days' stubble staggered over to ask if she had any change. Lachal politely brushed him off. "There's a living example of what I'm talking about," she said. "Anyway, I think the police are doing their job, it's just that these people need more help on a social level." [email protected] © The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
  7. Via The Gazette Lachine Canal was once Canada’s industrial heartland BY PEGGY CURRAN THE GAZETTE MAY 16, 2014 As midnight approached on New Year’s Eve, mothers and fathers in St-Henri, Little Burgundy and Point-St-Charles opened their doors to let in the roar of neighbouring factories. At Redpath Sugar, Belding Corticelli, Stelco, Dominion Textile and Northern Electric, on passing CN trains and freight barges, horns honked and whistles blew to welcome another year in southwest Montreal. For St-Henri natives Suzanne Lefebvre and Thérèse Bourdeau-Dionne, the clarion call is one of those “mysterious and fascinating” memories that pull them back to childhood and the traditions of a time not so very long ago when the neighbourhoods bordering the Lachine Canal were Canada’s industrial heartland. Today, construction cranes dominate the landscape as long dormant factories are converted into luxury condominiums. The canal, upstaged in 1959 with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, has become a rambling waterfront park dotted with walkways and bike paths, a favourite of pleasure boaters and urban fishermen. Every year, more traces of the area’s working-class origins vanish. “This whole zone along the canal is an area of tremendous change,” says Steven High, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Oral History at Concordia University. “Of course, that brings controversy. For the working-class neighbourhoods of Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy and St-Henri, there are a lot of questions.” Two years ago, High and the team at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling began interviewing about 50 people who grew up, lived, or worked in the area — the first phase in a major project examining local history and the consequences of post-industrial transformation in the working-class neighbourhoods that flank the canal. The first phase of their research, prepared in conjunction with Parks Canada, features an audio walking tour that allows users to listen to some of those stories as they loop back and forth on a winding 2.5-kilometre trail between Atwater Market and the Saint Gabriel Locks. “The canal was the industrial heart of Canada,” High said during a recent tour. “When the factories started closing when they built the Seaway, this became redundant. So what do you do with this thing? It had a slow death from ’59 to about ’72. They finally closed it. They opened up all the gates and it became basically a big ditch that was a dumping ground for all the factories that were still here.” After debating several options — including a plan to fill in the canal and build another highway — Ottawa handed over control to Parks Canada, which reopened the canal for small vessels and built cycle paths, paving the way for gentrification. “We are looking at the loss of jobs and the old industrial story, but also the subsequent story of rebirth and change, and what that means to the neighbourhoods around the canal,” High said. “The population of the southwest was cut in half between 1960 and 1991. You see how dramatic the change was here and how quickly jobs were lost and factories were closed. It didn’t help that the government was demolishing neighbourhoods, whether it was Little Burgundy for public housing, or making way for the Bonaventure and Ville-Marie Expressways.” Speaking in their own words, some residents recall forbidden joys, such as a furtive swim in the canal or “tours de pont,” which involved jumping on the Charlevoix Bridge as it swung in half to make way for a passing boat. For others, memories are painful. One man who reflects on the racism experienced by black families in Little Burgundy unable to secure work at the factories in their backyard. Then there’s the chilling tale of the prolonged labour conflict at the Robin Hood Flour Mill in summer 1977, where eight unarmed strikers were shot. A man hired as a replacement worker during the eight-month dispute describes the daily journey into the plant by train. Security guards with the physique of wrestlers wore fingerless gloves packed with brass knuckles. “It was an important moment in Canadian labour history,” High said, standing beside the train tracks just beyond the fence surrounding the Robin Hood plant. “Out of that confrontation, we had the first law in North America against replacement workers — the so-called anti-scab law.” While the audio guide is available with narration in English or French, a decision was made to use the oral testimonials in both languages. “People speak in their own language. So when we walk into Little Burgundy, it is more English, in other parts it is more French.” Interview subjects include a broad cross-section of ages, backgrounds and perspectives. “One of the issues in these kind of tours is that there is often a focus on community — that community is good. But how do you get at these stories that maybe divide people, where you haven’t got consensus? “We tried as much as possible to be true to our interviews, in a sense that people were saying different things. One person would say: ‘I live in this condo and they are making a real contribution.’ Another would say: ‘Those condos have their back to the neighbourhood.’ You get to hear these different voices.” High said the structure of a walking tour adds another dimension. “When you are actually listening on site, you are hearing what was, you are seeing what is — and it ain’t the same thing. There is a friction there. It’s political.” This summer, the Concordia team will venture deeper into Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy, Griffintown and Goose Village, where they will walk around the neighbourhood with interview subjects. “It is another way to get people to remember. You can remember just by sitting down over a table, but sometimes that is more chronologically organized, more family-based memories. But if you are out in the neighbourhood, it brings out more community stories.” High expects those interviews to form the basis for a second audio tour. Meanwhile, Concordia drama and art history students will be working on companion projects for neighbourhood theatre and visual arts events. As an historian who also happens to live in the Point, High said he is interested in the way people have responded to the dramatic changes that continue to shape these post-industrial districts. “In Point-St-Charles, what we saw was a lot of community mobilization. It is very much associated with community health movements, social economy movements. So there was a lot of mobilization. Whereas in other neighbourhoods, you have community demobilization and fragmentation. I want to know why. Why is it like this here and like this there?” But High is also drawn to the simple, compelling truth of people telling their stories. “Ordinary people live extraordinary lives. We forget that.” To learn more about the canal project, or to download a copy of the audio guide and accompanying booklet, go to http://postindustrialmontreal.ca/audiowalks/canal [email protected] Twitter: peggylcurran © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  8. Torontonian chills out in chic Montreal Posted: August 20, 2009, 4:25 PM by Karen Hawthorne food, travel Slow down: Linger at sidewalk cafes, stroll the neighbourhoods and eat some cheese Karen Hawthorne, National Post Most days, I embrace the go-go mentality of Toronto, but every now and then I need a break. A getaway to Montreal, lingering at the sidewalk cafes, strolling the neighbourhoods and eating good cheese sounded like the perfect late-summer diversion. Montreal has a chic but easy-going attitude, so even A-types don't feel the pressure to see everything or get everywhere. (...) Read the article http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2009/08/20/torontonian-chills-out-in-chic-montreal.aspx