Long ago, when neighbours fought any large development, I joined in the fray. When Doctors’ Hospital was proposed in the Kensington Market area of Toronto, I jumped on the bandwagon of fear and loathing, anticipating some horrible, overcrowded, crime-ridden scene, not to mention the loss of more ‘heritage’ architecture. Not. In. My. Back. Yard.
Now, as I see fine neighbours moving farther out because of the cost of living, I wonder what happens to my more recently evolved concerns about ‘inclusion’. And if the ‘fine’, economically middle-class and working-class people find themselves unable to remain here, what, pray tell, is happening to those less fortunate? What about the ‘chronically under-housed’, the people with mental health issues – the distressed?
Including and nourishing all our citizens has become more central to my values. What value shall we give to a cluster of gorgeous heritage buildings – if they are empty. Mausoleums. Monuments to wealth and history – more important than people.