Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gentrification is an issue in Toronto, where about half of Bloor Street between St. George and Yonge will be remade in the coming years. This report points out an unfortunate result of gentrification and the devastating consequences it can have for yuppies. As for Toronto, with the replacement of many businesses along Bloor Street by high-end condominiums, those of us making less than $200,000 a year will have little reason to spend time in the middle of what I think is Toronto's greatest street.

From west to east, a new Varsity Stadium has been built and across the street, condominiums at One Bedford will replace that great pita place. Next to Varsity Stadium, a new building for the Royal Conservatory is being built, and across the street, the only three-storey McDonald's I have ever seen will be replaced by another high-end condominium. Well, that's not true. The McDonald's will have a place in the new building, but I expect that the Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants next door will be gone. Further down Bloor Street at Yonge, an 80-storey condominium will replace the eyesores masquerading as storefronts on the southeast corner, and it will also clean up a portion of Yonge Street.

This new development isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think it will make Toronto a little more boring. I admit that I have no better ideas of my own, but can we do nothing else but build high-rises in this city? More worrisome is that most of us will get priced out of that part of Bloor Street. No one will notice since we'll be replaced by the "socialites, curators and kings" of One Bedford. Still, I think that the restaurants and stores that made Bloor West interesting will be replaced by, well, nothing or something worse than nothing, such as a Rogers store.

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