We heard you were drinking alone at an upscale Parkdale bar last night, on the day the neighbourhood found out who you are and what you’ve been doing to it in recent years.
We thought about making it public, but felt it was better for you to have that time to reflect on the decisions that had landed you where you were. This hasn’t been an easy week for you. Your face is all over the neighbourhood. You’re getting calls from local and national media, accusing you of being a major part of pushing low-income tenants from their homes.
You probably don’t see yourself this way, even if this is the practical impact of your business. You support Amnesty International! You’re a good guy! We all tell ourselves stories like this to justify the choices we’ve made, particularly when they make us money… and when we don’t have to see the impacts of those choices up close.
So while we don’t know what was going through your head as you sipped away the sorrows of public scrutiny last night, we do hope you were taking a long hard look at the decisions you have made, that have led to the impacts that these posters and website are shining a light on.
It sucks to be scrutinized in public. Of course it does. But you know what’s worse? Losing your home and your community because someone else has branded them ‘desirable’, when you can’t afford desirable. There is no ‘upside’ (to use your language) to being evicted so someone else can make more money off the place you call home.
Rumour has it you’ve bought a building in the neighbourhood yourself? Maybe you want to move in?
So here’s the choice: you can come, your business can’t.
The neighbourhood doesn’t have some personal vendetta against you – we just don’t like how you make your money, because it affects us in negative ways you’ll probably never have to experience. Parkdale is made up of many communities and your particular ways of brokering and selling properties make many of us unwelcome here. So you can of course live here, but your business has to go.
Don’t feel the need to respond right away. There are many stories to be told still about what displacement realty is doing to us in Parkdale; some involving you, others involving people you work and profit with. But give the choice your fullest attention before you follow through on any plans to might have to move here. Parkdale is a welcoming place, but we are also an organized one.
Parkdale’s ‘downside’ potential