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  • Daniel Golden

Student Upset About Gentrification, Reason for Gentrification

Grab any wide-eyed urbanite off the street and ask them what the biggest problem facing this city is. Without a doubt, from each and everyone of them, you’ll get the same answer: gentrification. As property values skyrocket, businesses and residents in neighbourhood after neighbourhood are being forced to pack their bags and make room for yet another Starbucks.

“I just can’t stand it” squeals Jane Sauer, a third-year Urban Geography student from her converted textile factory loft. “It’s like nobody but me is really appreciating the dangers of this phenomenon. This city used to be a place where ordinary people could live. With the way things are now I bet most of them could just barely afford a three-bedroom condo. Oh the inhumanity!”

And Sauer isn’t the only person concerned about this uncontrollable urchin-inducing urban upset. Those looking for a cheap bite to eat are finding fewer and fewer places serving discount souvlaki at all hours of the night. Others, looking to take in the city’s cultural diversity, can hardly tell the difference between the boutique hairdressers of Chinatown, the Danforth, or Little Tibet. Worse yet, dozens of crusty old men have spent years wandering up and down Yonge looking in vain for a theatre which might satiate their X-rated delights.

“It’s like, we stopped the Spadina Expressway, but for what?” laments a Sonic Boom tote-bag wielding Sauer, “So that we could replace it with half a dozen bubble tea shops – no not you sir, yes just the small milk tea, thanks.”

Despite the extracurricular activism of champagne urban reformers like Sauer, gentrification moves along. And while they threaten to toss residents onto the streets, bankrupt local businesses, and destroy the city’s social fabric, perhaps there is a silver lining to each new condo that graces the skyline. After all, this correspondent’s landlord seems to think so, and when have landlords ever steered us wrong.



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