Letters To The Editor | September 13-19, 2018: Toronto’s many faces of gentrification

Plus, from reefer madness to fake legalization

St. James Town losing out to gentrification

Re The Many Faces Of Gentrification by Liam Barrington-Bush (NOW, September 6-12). While everyone continues to cast their gaze on gentrification in the west end, we’ve been ignoring the east-end version of Parkdale: St. James Town and the developers quietly buying up property around Bloor and Sherbourne. 

Gone is the strip mall with the best submarine sandwiches and dollar stores, not to mention Ethiopian restaurants with charcoal-cooked food. That’s something you can’t always find in the downtown core. The Groundhog pub is a distant memory as yet another condo is barfed up. 

Heritage homes along the block are being left to rot, so facadism or total destruction is the only solution. The Selby, a famous haunt of Ernest Hemingway, is now a fucked-up monstrosity. And Howard Street to Parliament has become a no-go zone. 

Teddy Blythe, Toronto

Parliament Street fire a lesson in buying votes

I find it very troubling that politicians eager to buy our votes with splash pads, raccoon-proof garbage bins, rail deck parks and parades don’t have the money or living facilities to help those who sincerely need it when something like the Parliament Street fire happens. Very magnanimous of politicians to organize donations to help the fire victims.

Paul Sweeney, Toronto

City sitting on land for affordable housing

A great article on renovictions (NOW, August 30-September 5). I really feel for the tenants and renters. Affordable housing is one issue where government at all levels has failed miserably. The city is sitting on land owned by Toronto Community Housing. It should give this land up to developers that meet the rental criteria to build affordable housing. 

Stewart Ellis, Toronto

Subway suicides being overlooked

I would like to acknowledge the piece written by Peter Watson on the disturbing increase in suicides on the subway system in Toronto (NOW, September 6-12). 

I have personally experienced the overcrowding at Bloor-Yonge station, and it certainly poses a lot of risks during rush hour. 

While the current focus seems to be on improving infrastructure and connectivity within the Greater Toronto Area, the safeguarding of the lives of people who make Toronto great in the first place is being overlooked.

Sidharth Iyer, Scarborough

From reefer madness to fake legalization

Regarding the article Doug Ford’s Legal Pot Loophole A Win For Illicit Market by Ian Carey (NOW, September 6-12). 

Does anyone have a choice when a new beer store goes up in their neighbourhood? Does the public get to choose where liquor stores will be located? 

All municipalities should be required to allow retail cannabis stores come legalization. This all boils down to people who don’t use cannabis making decisions for the thousands of us who do. Reefer madness is alive and well entering into this fake legalization.

Lori Hall, From nowtoronto.com

Far-right is an absurd mess

Re The Far-Right Held A Rally In Toronto And Nobody Came (NOW, August 30-September 5). Of course the far-right has proven to be a complete mess, with low public support and poorly attended rallies. Their absurd cast of characters, to say nothing of their message, was never going to amount to anything more than that. 

The hysteria surrounding them was always little more than a distraction from the far more serious crimes of our “respectable” political elites and their mainstream media collaborators. It’s not the idiots of the “alt-right” who sell weapons to tyrants, bomb/overthrow foreign governments or seek to sanction (i.e., starve) whole nations into submission. The people we vote for are the ones doing that.

Jan Burton, Toronto

Star-Spangled Banner questions welcomed

Thanks to Gary Freeman for his article Star-Spangled Lies (NOW, August 30-September 5). His questioning of the unsung verses of the American national anthem and their origins are welcome.

Nicholas Power, Toronto

Bike rider in his own private Idaho

Re Ride In Peace by Enzo DiMatteo (NOW, August 23-29). It’s quite obvious that DiMatteo has never been to Idaho after listing the “Idaho rules” as one of the nine suggestions in his crash course on the art of riding as political resistance when it comes to stop signs, red lights and sidewalks, 

I’ve travelled around Idaho a few times. 

The total population of the 14th largest state in the United States is only around 1.7 million. Boise, its capital, has a population of around 217,000, which is about as many people as are usually lined up outside of Tim Hortons in Toronto every morning, waiting anxiously for their morning dark roast and honey cruller.

David Honigsberg, Toronto

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