Montreal's Gentrification Battle Heats Up

The planting of bogus bombs at construction sites brings attention to new developments in 'forgotten' neighbourhoods.
January 8, 2004, 11am PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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The repugnant tactic of placing bogus bombs at construction sites in gentrifying neighbourhoods may backfire in the end. If the intention was to bring awareness to the perilous lack of affordable housing alternatives in the city, the 'Anti-Gentrification Action Committee' may have won a pyrrhic victory. While certainly receiving wide media coverage, according to columnist Henry Aubin the activity also "brings attention to the fact that a part of the city that the middle class had long written off has now become desirable." None of the targeted projects is intrusive (two are condo-conversions of abandoned factories, the others are properly scaled new construction), nor will any residents be displaced, and "if anything, the projects will spruce up the area while bringing in negligible new traffic." "The key to successful revival of neighbourhoods is to balance the material blessings of the newcomers with the rights of long-term residents."

Thanks to Zvi Leve

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Published on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 in The Montreal Gazette
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