Letters To The Editor | Building condos but not neighbourhoods

Plus, a deeply disturbing Leaving Neverland, sailing Sting's The Last Ship and Doug Ford's plan to mess up health care

Replacing homeless people with condos

Re Are We Building A City For Lonely People? by Samantha Edwards (NOW, February 28-March 6)

I am disheartened to see the lack of connection between homelessness and the most recent discussion of condos and loneliness. 

I agree that the architectural style of condos leads to isolation between neighbours, but we should have no sympathy. 

But if we want to talk about isolation and loneliness, we cannot ignore the fact that a homeless person’s day is lived in loneliness, lack of privacy and never-ending isolation. 

Before we bemoan the lack of existence of a “neighbourhood feel,” we should remember what we have destroyed and deemed unseemly to support condo projects. You cannot construct a neighbourhood on top of the skeletons of what you have eradicated.

Emma Nelson, Toronto

Only the lonely 

Re Alone But Not Lonely by Michelle Da Silva (NOW, February 28-March 6). Good article. I know people who are literally afraid of doing anything alone and feel a certain amount of insecurity venturing out solo. I’ve never found anything wrong with it. While it’s always nice to share certain things with others, there are just those times you get more enjoyment on your own.

Kris Kennedy, From nowtoronto.com

Michael Jackson doc a moving experience

I was deeply moved by your film review of Leaving Neverland (NOW, February 28-March 6), and the alleged abuse of Wade Robson and James Safechuck by the late pop icon Michael Jackson.

In my opinion, there is no greater sign of how little we value human life than the pervasive worldwide abuse of children. 

I wonder: if parents individually and societies as a whole are unable (or unwilling) to protect children, our most precious resource, what hope is there of saving the environment of our planetary home? 

I agree that our compulsion to elevate and exult pop stars must change. However, that’s merely a symptom of a failure to adequately address our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

Unfortunately, I see little evidence that humanity will develop sufficiently caring societies within either my lifetime or my daughter’s.

Judith Jakab, Toronto

A working-class hero is something to be

Re Sting and The Last Ship (NOW, February 28-March 6). I can only conclude that reviewer Glenn Sumi has never spent time living in a factory town, read about the struggles of working people and their families, or been close to union leaders on the shop floor. 

The Last Ship authentically portrays that struggle and the brilliant working-class wit so familiar in pubs in Britain that gets them through tough times. 

I had no difficulty following the dialogue and laughed at the “liberation of the means of production” and so many other lines that brought back memories of occupations, including at GM Oshawa in the mid-90s. Facing closure, the workers chose to fight back and keep their dignity. 

Maybe if Sumi had worked in a plant scheduled for closing, he’d get it. Sting does. 

Given the spontaneous clapping in time to the music and the warmth of the standing ovation, the audience got it, too.

Jane Armstrong, Toronto

Harold Pinter on a personal note

Your review of the Pinter plays at Soulpepper refers to “an overused transitional refrain of vacuous greetings” (NOW, February 28-March 6). 

I believe you are referring to the piece “Apart from that,” and the refrain is, “Apart from that, how are you?” 

Pinter wrote this in 2006 when he was in the final stages of fighting cancer. He must have gotten weary of people skirting the cancer issue by asking such a question again and again, while refusing to acknowledge what he was really going through. 

I think the director and cast were brilliant to pepper the performance with this superficial greeting.

Susan Helwig, Toronto

Homelessness is an insidious trap

I wholeheartedly agree with Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s sentiments in Left Out In The Cold (NOW, February 14-20) who cited that inadequate housing is a violation of human rights. 

When someone is homeless, all their energy is focused on survival, making it almost impossible to break free from what is an insidious trap of learned hopelessness. 

Phyllis Kahn, Toronto

Doug Ford’s plan to mess up health care

If Doug Ford has his way, health care will be managed by one big new agency

This is supposed to improve efficiency. I doubt it.

The new agency will need lots more bureaucracy. Patients and families will find it harder, not easier, to navigate the health care system.

It will mess up. And it will be a big, all-encompassing mess, not a bunch of small, local messes. 

Elizabeth Block, Toronto

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