From: An Anonymous Toronto Reader [Email him]
I just read Brenda Walker's article about the tensions between tech workers and Hispanics in San Francisco's Mission district.
While I don't think this will be surprising to you, there are similar tensions in Toronto. I live in the West End of the former pre-amalgamation City of Toronto. My area is changing. Portuguese workers are being replaced by more prosperous people who can afford the astronomical house prices (prices that have been jacked up because Toronto receives 100,000 immigrants a year while the provincial government has put in measures to control sprawl. More people + less land for development equals higher house prices).
Just south of my neighborhood is an area known as Brockton Village where the Portuguese are also being replaced. There are tensions. .
Someone posted a message recently on a community message board about a group of drunken Portuguese who went into a new hipster bar and beat up the bartender and waiter, claiming that this neighborhood "belonged to them" and they were "sick of all the hipsters trying to take over".
The police deny this, but the person who wrote the email claims police warned the bartender not to press charges because it would start a "feud." (Anarcho-tyranny?)
Our city councillor who is Portuguese is in the difficult position of trying to hold onto her Portuguese supporters, who are still an important constituency, while at the same time appealing to the new people moving in. Now I found this pretty disgusting, but the councillor has suggested one way to defuse the tensions between the Portuguese and the newcomers would be to put up a monument honoring the first Portuguese school teacher in Toronto.
James Fulford writes: The Portuguese Canadians who are objecting to their neighborhood being "taken over" by other Canadians are themselves fairly recent immigrants to Canada. Immigration from Portugal to Canada only became a big thing in the 1950s, so that before the Portuguese moved in, the houses were owned by people named McDonald or Johnson, some of whom may still be there.
You don't have to move out of an area when it goes Portuguese, and you don't have to move out an area when it goes all bohemian, either.
What annoys me is people like Spike Lee whining about whites moving back into Brooklyn after fleeing in terror during the '70s. You see, you do have to move out of a neighborhood when it goes black. See my post “White Flight” And Crime and Nicholas Stix's Funny Thing: Coming Or Going—Gentrifying Or Fleeing—It’s Always Whitey’s Fault!