While the city opens its doors to show off its architectural marvels on May 26 and 27, anti-poverty activists lead a walking tour to lay bare a different side of the city: skid row.
About a dozen people show up for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty's (OCAP) historical walk though the east end, a prelude to next month's camp-out in front of City Hall.
The two-hour tour takes us through Corktown, Moss Park, up Sherbourne to All-Saints Church, which opened its doors to the homeless over three decades ago, and Allan Gardens, where clashes between cops and homeless people have been many.
"The city is in the process of dismantling the history of poor people,"
Heroux says, noting that the loss of 300 shelter beds in the core is pushing homeless people further out into the burbs, where there are no services or soup kitchens.
Just as the House of Providence on Power Street was torn down in the 60s to make way for ramps to the DVP, the displacement of the poor, says Heroux, is being pushed by development.
"Now we're seeing gentrification in Regent Park," he says.
The mayor's spokesperson, Stuart Green, is not saying whether there are plans to beef up security at City Hall for OCAP's camp-out, but is clear that no tents will be allowed.
"There are City Hall security protocols in place for any large event in the square that sometimes involve bringing the police in," he says. "The mayor absolutely respects the rights of people to peacefully and freely express 0their opinions on the square. But they also have a responsibility to respect the law."
Let's hope this doesn't mean we're about to write another sad chapter in the city's history.