Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Parts of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area already on their way to becoming "suburban slums".

Increasing density in urban centers is one remedy pro mass immigration advocates promote to deal with a rapidly growing population that is fueling urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and the general degradation of Canada's natural environment. So it is no surprise that the Toronto Star would advocate such an idea. Here is an article written by Toronto Star architecture critic Christopher Hume. In it he promotes increasing urban density over the future "suburban slums" of North America.

Downtown density will prevail over slums of suburbia

Mar 03, 2008 04:30 AM
Christopher Hume

At the moment of its triumph, suburbia is starting to show signs of collapse.

Having remade the face of North America, the tide now seems to be turning against the 'burbs. The downfall won't be quick, but already the unthinkable is starting to happen.


In short, Leinberger charts the return to the city that began late in the last century and has been picking up speed ever since. Toronto is a good example; just look at the condo boom, now in its third decade, and the rising price of housing in neighbourhoods that until the 1970s, '80s and '90s, were assiduously avoided by the middle class, areas such as Cabbagetown, Riverdale and now Parkdale.

Christopher Hume should know that Realtors, speculators, and property flippers, are the ones driving the condo boom. Also, contractors are driving up housing prices by buying houses, renovating them or razing them entirely to build a new house, and then selling it at a more inflated price. In other words there is sort of a pseudo construction boom going on in southern Ontario were speculation is driving the market instead of real demand.

Also Parkdale was a nice neighbourhood before mass immigration ruined it. The erection of high density buildings to accommodate new immigrants pretty much turned that part of town into an urban slum. If you live in Toronto go and visit Parkdale and you will see what I mean. But if the middle classes are moving in this will drive out the working class immigrant populations already living there. They will need to look for affordable housing elsewhere and I guess this search will lead them to the suburbs and hence the establishment of suburban slums.

Looking back at the postwar conditions that unleashed the explosion of suburbia, it's clear the growth was inspired as much as anything by a desire to escape from the city. Density, associated with danger, disease and decay, was the enemy.

Sixty years later, beset by gridlock, shoddy construction and environmental degradation that can no longer be ignored, density has started to look good again.

Gridlock, shoddy construction and environmental degradation? Does mass immigration have anything to do with this? Nah. We all know mass immigration has zero influence on urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and incentives to build sub par housing.

And as Boomers grow older and couples put off having children, the appeal of the subdivision wanes even further. The result, Leinberger argues, is that the suburbs could well be on their way to becoming America's "next slum."

Research by David Hulchanski at the University of Toronto has already found that poverty here is being pushed out of its historic inner-city precincts and into "postwar inner suburbs" and "large postwar housing projects." Read Scarborough, Etobicoke, Jane-Finch, Rexdale and the like.

These neighbourhoods are all characterized by high density, high crime rates, low incomes, and high concentrations of immigrants. In Scarborough it is mostly Asian and Tamil. In Etobicoke he means north Etobicoke where Rexdale is located and in this neighbourhood it is mostly South Asians (East and West Indians, Sikhs, Hindus, Tamils, Muslims), and Africans (mostly Somali) and immigrants from the Caribbean. Jane-Finch is the same as Rexdale, in fact its not too far from it geographically, but it is mostly characterized by Jamaican immigration. So we see that it is mass immigration that has turned these suburbs into suburban slums. I'd also like to add another one: Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas but this is urban and not suburban so I guess it doesn't count.

Not only is mass immigration adding fuel to urban sprawl but it is also laying waste to once safe and clean neighbourhoods. The problem is not immigration but mass immigration of the current variety. Canada is introducing too many people into our cities particularly those who shouldn't be here. But since our immigration system is a numbers game it doesn't really matter who gets in.

Christopher Hume won't make the connection between mass immigration and the "slumming" of Canadian neighbourhoods but ideology will blind anyone to the obvious.

See also:
Illegal rooming houses taking root in suburbs.


Anonymous said...

If I was still a subscriber to the Toronto Star, a leftist newspaper that out-lefts Pravada in the glory days of the USSR, I'd have no compunction in pointing out their sycophantic reporters must tow the party line or else risk being shown the door, including the disingenuous, Mr. Hume.

There's seldom a balanced view on any topic related to race, multiculturalism, immigration...so how do their credibility ratings stack up......they don't!

I have the advantage of knowing the late-great-city of Toronto from the mid-60s to the early 1990s.

I recall a time, while standing on the south-side of Eglinton, just east of Yonge St. during mid-morning some forty years ago when the late-spring sunshine lit up the street. Looking from east to west, I observed not one vehicle passing me in either direction for a full 30 seconds. All the kids were in school and office workers were dutifully seated at their desks. Unlike the non-stop 24 hr. traffic congestion today, the day's street activity usually began around 11:00 AM when shoppers began to appear and manageable vehicle traffic flowed after a defined 2 hr. morning rush hour.

The low income "housing developments" were much the same -- "manageable".

Street shootings were non-existent -- any gun shooting was a rare event unless committed by the odd bank robber or domestic murder-suicide.

Regent Park housed low-income white people, and yes, you're correct....Parkdale did have a gentrified feel to it before city planners turned it into ghetto housing immigrant minorities.... and Jane & Finch was just an ordinary street intersection, although soon to become known for its' black ghetto notoriety --today.

Watching Toronto's steady decline through a fractured identity crisis since being inundated with mass 3rd world immigration, is a sad event indeed.

Our over-generous welfare mentality will not last forever.....so when the well turns dry and the "free money" spigot is turned off to those incoming immigrants who simply take up space and whine about "their" entitlements....well, one can only imagine how their "gratitude" will play out.

Toronto homes said...

Honestly I think if we are talking about business there is always a great amount of speculation you can`t avoid using this term. However the Toronto condos in my opinion are great options to young couples to move in especially if they prefer to stay close to the area providing job opportunities. Probably we can`t obstruct the process of development these slums I`m afraid.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer not having to read real estate "plugs" placed here under the guise of serious commentary.

PaxCanadiana said...

Funny thing, in my mail box I got a request from a group who issue mortgages to immigrants and they wanted to see if I could drum up business for them. They apparently didn't read anything I wrote.

This just shows how many pro mass immigration advocates see immigrants not as people but as potential revenue sources. Realtors, understandably, support mass immigration for similar reasons. They need people to buy houses, the property they want to flip, and bail them out of other speculative ventures. To put the condo boom in perspective I read in the Toronto Star that last year New York city saw around 6,000 condo units developed, Chicago around 4,000, and L.A. at around 5,000. Toronto was 17,0000! If that's not speculation run amok I don't know what is. Who's buying all these units? Didn't we learn anything from the dot.com bust? Apparently not but greed makes people stupid which explains why so many immigrants throw their middle class lives away to come to Canada despite the well circulating horror stories.

We can obstruct the development of slums. One way is to reduce immigration numbers. Immigration is contributing to poverty in this country.

For the record I have no issue with Realtors. They do offer a needed service and should be compensated for it but if they are promoting a speculative bubble into which they entice people to buy into then there is an ethical problem. I also have a problem with them promoting mass immigration to create demand for housing thus inflating housing prices beyond the reach of Canadians and immigrants. You do realize Canadian households are at record levels of debt and on average are spending more than they make? Could the purchasing of condos and houses they cannot afford have anything to do with it?