News   Jul 12, 2024
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Is gentrification really a good thing?

I don't have time to deal with the absurdity of much that you wrote, but just a quick question: should we cease with heritage preservation? I mean why should we be attached to an old building when a new one could be in its place, right?

No, we should not cease heritage preservation.
However, what is "heritage"? being 100 years old is not enough. A building needs to provide a higher value in order to be treated differently. If there are 50,000 100 old rundown houses in downtown, should we preserve all of them? I am not asking to demolish all Victorian houses to make place for Aura's. However, what I saw is many buildings with little value but outright ugly get "preserved". for what? Few people will be interested in looking at them.
 
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The problem with "poor people" is that, I am saying rationally, people poor families with a very low combined income are not supposed to raise a big family. I know many of you will be angry about my statement, but I don't care. If I make $20K a year in Toronto now, I will never choose to have any kids, simply because I can't afford it. Just like I can't affording buying a $400,000 house.

Let's be honest, children are a cost liability. You need to be financially well enough even to consider raising kids, not to mention more than one. When you make $30K a year and have 5 kids, how to raise them? Depending on completely unknown taxpayers? It is very irrresponsible behavior and chances are 4 of them end up being poor the their entire life.

Having kids is not about whether you want a big family, it is more about whether you can afford to have one. When you can't, don't.
 
I think there is a natural economic tendency for people to group together with other people in their own social strata. Left unchecked this leads to exclusive high-cost neighbourhoods and poor ghettos. If one assumes that neither of these are desirable the solution is to try to even things out, so that every neighbourhood has a broad mix of people from different social strata. That means bringing wealthier people into the poorer neighbourhoods and bringing poorer people into the wealthier neighbourhoods.

Gentrification is one way to bring wealthier people into the poorer neighbourhoods. The flip side it to bring affordable housing into wealthier neighbourhoods. If both of these things are done then a balance can be achieved.
 
Proportionality is also largely a product of your own paradigm. We are speaking about gentrification in Toronto terms. We believe that it is reasonable for someone who is middle-class to expect to consider housing themselves in a leafy downtown Toronto neighbourhood with a backyard and white picket fence. This is just an insane idea from an international perspective, and yet because it is insane from that perspective it does not mean that it is not reasonable here.

Nicely put. The uniqueness of Toronto, compared to other major cities, is the presence of 19th century neighbourhoods of detached and semi-detached houses so close to the core and the visual contrast between them and the towers. I'm delighted that we had gentrification when we did, rather than a continuation of the block-busting 1960s that created St. James Town and destroyed so much of that earlier housing stock.
 
No, we should not cease heritage preservation.
However, what is "heritage"? being 100 years old is not enough. A building needs to provide a higher value in order to be treated differently.

Care to enlighten us with what those "needs" are?
 
It's hard to conceive how it could be a bad thing for a neighbourhood to be gentrified if you are only thinking forward. But for a moment, think backwards. No one wants neighbourhoods to decline and become underused or under-served, but as a result of poor planning decisions, it happens. A lack of mobility, poor zoning plans or macro economic trends can cause it to happen. What compounds the failure is when the decrepit neighbourhood spontaneously and rapidly swings back to being trendy and in demand. The existing residents can't cope with the change, services are likely not in place for the new residents and expensive remedial action is required by the city to compensate for the unplanned change. This has been the experience in several parts of Toronto, and it's not been healthy for the city. Look at West Queen West or Liberty Village. In 1999 no one would suggest we would ever need a DRL. Yonge and Eligible is where the hip urban centre was and anything west of Spadina was a dilapidated residential dump for crackheads and whatever Italian and Portuguese families didn't relocate to Woodbridge. Redevelopment into higher densities and the creation of a leading cultural and entertainment mecca were on no one's radar. But it happened. And we had no capacity to adapt to it and serve it.

Stable neighbourhoods and consistent, even, and measured growth should be the goal. I don't think this is something easy to achieve, but we could be doing a lot better at it than we are.
 
Ah, that kkgg7. The wouldbe Tiger Mother of Urban Toronto...

If only we would learn how were supposed to think properly like him! Suburbanites shouldn't be allowed in the city. After all, they don't have the right papers, which means we're better than them. The person who says what we're supposed to think told me that's what I should think!

hukou.jpg
 
Poverty is usually mostly due to someone's own fault, not excluding some external factors. Canada's umployment rate is less than 8%, so stop exaggerating.

People are needed to staff these low level jobs, and they deserve to earn a decent living doing it and not live in poverty.They are just as capable of working hard at these jobs, and quite often have to work two jobs to get by. Conservatives like to push the whole work ethic/bootstraps line, but when a person is working hard and still living in poverty they couldn't care less. It must be nice to live such a comfortable insulated life where you can look down on the poors.

This shouldn't be a "fuck you, I got mine" society.
 
In 1999 no one would suggest we would ever need a DRL.
I would have. The neighbourhoods east and west of downtown were some of the densest parts of the city even then. The DRL almost happened back in the 80s and proposals for a Queen subway go back long before that.
 
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If only we would learn how were supposed to think properly like him! Suburbanites shouldn't be allowed in the city. After all, they don't have the right papers, which means we're better than them. The person who says what we're supposed to think told me that's what I should think!

hukou.jpg

don't you think your analogy is completely irrelevant here?
The Chinese household system is based on defining people as urban and agricultural. Only urban residents have the rights to live and work in the city, enjoy all the social welfare, while others are born without this privilege; while what we are discussing is how the suburbanites refuse to live in the city. It is totally different.

I don't think I am better than suburbanites. I just believe their choice of living far from the city is detrimental to the urban growth and adds a hell lot of issues such as road congestion, pollution, need for expensive transit etc. The selfish choice of suburbanites are the very source of he vast majority of the problems our city has today.

When I say suburban, I mean those who live north of Eglington to have bigger houses, not just north of Steeles Ave. Although I am not a fan of Vancouver, I like the fact that it is the only major North American city which doesn't have a highway leading to downtown. How great that is.
 
I don't think I am better than suburbanites. I just believe their choice of living far from the city is detrimental to the urban growth and adds a hell lot of issues such as road congestion, pollution, need for expensive transit etc. The selfish choice of suburbanites are the very source of he vast majority of the problems our city has today.

"True selfishness is not living as you want to live, it is requiring others to live as you want to live", Oscar Wilde.
 
"True selfishness is not living as you want to live, it is requiring others to live as you want to live", Oscar Wilde.

one purpose of public policy is to prevent people from making bad choices. We require others not to steal, to kill, to rape, or to defecate in public as well. Apparently you think that's not right and is an infringement on your freedom of lifestyle choice. When you live far and drive 30km to downtown every day for 40 years, you cause a problem to the city and other residents. It is not as you think, just a matter of how you want to live your life.
 
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"True selfishness is not living as you want to live, it is requiring others to live as you want to live", Oscar Wilde.

Everyone should have the choice to live where they like, but they have to pay for that choice. The way the system works right now a huge chunk of our tax dollars go to paying for the underpopulated suburban areas at the expense of the density populated urban centres. If you fix this problem you'll see just how quickly the suburbs empty out and the city centre grows.
 
Everyone should have the choice to live where they like, but they have to pay for that choice. The way the system works right now a huge chunk of our tax dollars go to paying for the underpopulated suburban areas at the expense of the density populated urban centres. If you fix this problem you'll see just how quickly the suburbs empty out and the city centre grows.

That's what government do...
They take from the haves, and put it to the have nots.
One can say a disproportionate amount of our tax dollars go to fund social programs that benefit a disproportionate smaller amount of people. But that's seen as an accepted social program, and funding travel from inexpensive suburbs to the much more expensive city should not be?
 
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