Thursday, June 29, 2006

Regent Park is going.

Phase One of the "re-development" of Toronto's historic, first "Housing Project" Regent Park has started.
I knew that it was only a matter of time before Cabbagetown became trendy and affluent enough to outweigh the low income residents.

Regent Park takes up prime real estate in downtown Toronto.
Real Estate in an area that many middle income people cannot afford to live in.
Phase One tears down 418 units, on 6 streets. Toronto Community Housing is moving ahead to begin Phase I of the redevelopment. Revitalization of the 70-acre community will take place in six phases over 15 years.

Even though it's clear that the developers are jumping through hoops to re-locate residents, and making promises that the new development will be affordable housing...I have to wonder.

Regent Park has a long history of problems. Coined Toronto's first "slum", and just has a bad reputation in general that has been fought by residents for a long time. Phase One has started, but the reputation of Regent Park continues.

I honestly do wonder whether residents who have been relocated will return in 15 years...or whether the City will be allowed by then to make the units more lucrative.
Being the cynic that I am, when I read that the new units will be offered to the old tenants in 15 years, it brought a smirk to my lips.
How many of them will move back, do you think?

Either way, the demolition of Regent Park will most certainly raise the property value of the area pretty quickly. Once they've razed all the buildings, the dealers and gang members will relocate too. It was only a matter of Jamestown....

Photo from: Sean Purdy: "Ripped Off" by the system

On another topic...

Kevin Wallace, Producer of the theatre production of The Lord of The Rings has been whinging (that's the sensible British term for incessant whining) since yesterday about the closing of the 28 million dollar production in Toronto, saying that we (Torontonians) just did't "get it".
That the production has "a distinctively British sensibility that North American critics did not appreciate."
Firstly, if Torontonians are anything, they're pretentious about

#1: Their intelligence,
#2: Their ability to "get" things.

...and then Mayor David Miller agreed, saying the critics were simply "wrong in their assessment".
See what I mean?
As soon as a British Producer suggests that we're not intelligent enough to understand a British sensibility...the Mayor has a big conniption on the critics.

While we're is it with The Mayor and his opinion on everything?
Almost every stupid little thing has to have his stamp on it...why is he such a yenta, with his nose in everything?
Doesn't he have a job to do?

So, Mr. Wallace says that they're going to change the production for their opening in London.
That's not London, Ontario, folks....that's London, England.
So, what's wrong with having a "Britsh sensibility" in Britain?
I'm sure they'd "get it" there.

Besides, isn't the whole "Lord of the Rings" thing based on English mythology?
Wasn't that the whole lure of the Tolkien series?
How can it not have a British Sensibility?
How about this...
... perhaps the demographic that went to see the movie can't afford $160 a ticket?

How's that for sensibility?