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My journey to connect with purpose and passion.

The Intercity Toronto Project

Please visit the project at:  medium.com/intercity-toronto

While I am an immigrant to Toronto, I am a white man and come with all the baggage and entitlement this endows. To write about poverty and discrimination was no easy decision and I fully acknowledge that some might question my right to do so.

That said, I’m done being silent. To be silent is to give support to those who continue to abuse their power and standing.

I struggled with what to name this project until I came across a quote by Shawn Micallef and John Lorinc. They were writing about a part of the city that used to be known of as The Ward. It was a place of desperate poverty and was right in the heart of what we now call the Eaton’s Centre, City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square.

where is The Ward in 21st century Toronto? It is hidden in slab apartment towers, on the sides of ravines or in townhouse cul-de-sacs — the in-between spaces that lie well beyond City Hall’s locus of concern.

Now, as then, the city averts its eyes from inequality and the geographies of difference.

This medium publication is for all the in-between spaces of Toronto — those communities lost to or ignored by politicians, developers and even city planners. I have started by speaking to artists in these neighborhoods, but I am totally open to other voices.

I have begun with a focus on three neighborhoods, but please note that the publication is not limited to these. It is simply where I started.
St. James Town
Regent Park
The Junction Triangle

 An out of service pool in St. James Town

An out of service pool in St. James Town

I was drawn to St. James Town because it seemed strange that the most densely populated community in Canada would also be entirely private property, with pretty much no public space or any of the services that would generally be found elsewhere in the city.

 The dividing line of development in Regent Park

The dividing line of development in Regent Park

Regent Park is in the midst of tumultuous, and some argue, callous change. It will be the most ambitious redevelopment of a neighborhood in Toronto’s recent history. Almost overnight, this part of the city is being transformed into a shiny, new “utopia” with many of the residents having been migrated elsewhere, regardless of their wishes. I find it ironic that the Regent Park it replaces was once known as the “garden city” and was seen as a massive success in replacing the slums that existed on the site prior.

 As you approach the Junction Triangle

As you approach the Junction Triangle

Finally, I am drawn to the Junction Triangle because it remains one of the last vestiges for the struggling artist in our city. But no longer is this the case. Rents are skyrocketing and condos are going up at a crazy rate. We are losing the artists, the elderly and the working class people who made our city what it is.

I hope you will join me by visiting and following this publication on Medium.com or even by writing and submitting a piece on a part of the city that you see as in-between and lost to the majority.

If you have a piece about a community in Toronto that you believe is a fit for publication here, please send a link to the piece. You can email intercityproject@seanhoward.ca.