Heard a great Parkdale story last night: a guy was giving his wife grocery money in the car and got arrested since the cops thought he was a john. Great neighborhood, if you can contend with crack users at 9 in the morning. Still, some people get upset when neighborhoods go through "gentrification". What would you rather live in, a community that's rebuilding or an abandoned one like parts of Detroit with no momentum unless its crime related?
Parkdale's feeling some pressure now that the lovely little stretch of Toronto called West Queen West is seeing a rivival. Charming galleries and shops line the streets. The Drake and Gladstone Hotel (which opened last night) have tried their best too to make something that the artsy neighborhood would appreciate. But now here comes Starbucks and everyone freaks out. This picture was published in Now and eye magazines this week to further their social commentary about the nasty beast called gentrification.
Sure, there'll always be those that suffer as things change. People won't always be happy. But The Stardust Motel, which is now The Drake, did nothing to make this city sparkle, and to be honest I can't even remember what was on this corner of Dovercourt previously.
On the opposite side of the street there is now a big sign and a very unusual structure which looks like a climbing wall with mirrors, but it's actually a condo office for Westside Lofts. That should make the neighbors happy, or crazy, depending what side of the tracks they're on. A recent article in the Toronto Star featured the lofts at 48 Abell, where my boyfriend Craig used to live. Seems these lofts will be torn down since it can't be brought up to code. So these tenants, who've had great rent and some of the best true lofts in the city will now have to find a new place. I do feel for them, but they've had a great ride.
It's a fantastic new location and I couldn't help put my name "on the list" for the new condo's marketing campaign, as stupid as their message was. Go to the site for westsidelofts to see it for yourself. Girl and guy line up outside a club, but they're "not on the list". "Get yourself on the list" it says. Pretty gay, but condo advertising usually is. I didn't know much about these condos when I signed up but I heard that plans might be to build two towers, one a low income building "with a mind to the art crowd" the paper says, and one tower with "snappy condominiums [for] hipsters that can afford real estate". I think I'm out. Towers in this neighborhood are a bad idea and anyone who thinks they can market condos to wanna-be "hipsters" needs to be a bit more dialed in to this neighborhood's personality.