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Gentrification in North American Cities: A Case Study of a Toronto Neighborhood

Gentrification Definition and Discussion

Your essay will discuss the processes of gentrification in North American cities in general, and in your  chosen  neighbourhood  in  Toronto  specifically.  Please  answer  the  following  questions  in  your essay. Structure your essay under these 6 subheadings: 
1) Introduction: State what your essay is about, what your main argument will be, and how you will discuss it in your essay (i.e., list the sub-sections here). 
2) Define and discuss the concept of gentrification (its origin and meaning). How does it relate to the ideas of “revitalization” and “urban renewal” (are they the same thing?)?  (use academic literature here) 
3) What are some of the positive and negative aspects of gentrification, in general? (refer to some academic literature here) 
4) This is your empirical section. Please do the following for your chosen Toronto neighbourhood: 
• Provide  a  map  of  your  chosen  neighbourhood.  Specify  the  street  boundaries  of  your chosen neighbourhood in your essay. Locate your “Neighbourhood Profile” here (by name or by number): 
• Discuss what processes of gentrification have occurred and/or are occurring in your chosen Toronto neighbourhood over time. You will need to provide a brief history of your  neighbourhood.  You  might  consider  changes  in  the  socio-economic  composition, ethnic composition, housing types and cost, household size (e.g., families, young singles, elderly singles, couples without children, etc.) and changes in retail stores and services in the  neighbourhood  over  time.  What  conflicts  or  problems  related  to  gentrification  have emerged in your chosen neighbourhood over time (between groups of residents within the 
area, between residents in the area and the City, developers, etc.)? Are these related to land use changes? 
• You must provide some Neighbourhood Profile data to illustrate some of these changes (i.e., look at data in at least 2 time periods), which can be  found at the  “Neighbourhood Profile” link above (click on your chosen neighbourhood in the list). 
• You  may  also  include  some  numerical  data  from  other  sources  if  you  wish  (articles, newspapers, real estate data, etc.) 
• You must provide some Google Street View screen capture images in your essay (this is your "virtual field work"). Explore your chosen neighbourhood using Google  Street View, and include some screen shots to illustrate gentrification of the neighbourhood. You may  compare  your  screen  shots  with  historical  images  you  may  find  (online  or  in  other sources). Also, try sliding the time bar back in the Google Street View to see what changes have occurred in recent times (in the black box in the upper left corner of the Street View screen, click on the words “Street View” to see the time bar – slide the bar to see the same 
image at different points in time). 
5) What can be done to minimize or eliminate the negative impacts of gentrification in general? Please  provide  examples  of  mitigation  efforts  attempted  in  at  least  2  cities  in  North America, other than Toronto. Please consider the following: 
• To what extent were they successful?  
• Are they applicable to your chosen neighbourhood?  
• What  do  you  think  should  be  done  in  your  chosen  neighbourhood  to  minimize  or eliminate  the  negative  impacts  of  gentrification?  You  may  mention  some  efforts already underway or proposed in your chosen neighbourhood by the Toronto 
government,  by  non-governmental  organizations  (NGOs),  etc.  You  can  also  provide your own thoughts and opinions here. 
6) Conclusion:  Briefly  comment  on  whether  gentrification  a  good  thing  or  a  bad  thing?  (Give your opinion!)  
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not required to go to the neighbourhood in person. That is why  the  assigned  field  work  is  ‘virtual’.  However,  if  you  feel  comfortable  going,  you  can  visit  your chosen neighbourhood in person to take your own photos to include in your essay. I  still encourage you to look at the Google Street View historical images as well to observe changes over time.

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