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You are required to use at least 5 peer-reviewed articles and/or books. You may use some (or all) of the articles and/or books listed in your bibliography that you created as a group in Group Assignment 1, and used for your presentation, or different ones. 

The Cultural and Economic Impacts of Gentrification

Gentrification in Kensington Market is a delicate process which has both positive and negative repercussions towards the residents and the immigrants. Therefore, caution should be taken during its implementation.

Kensington Market is characterized by bread, meat, vintage, fish, cheese shops, and mongers. Also, nearby there are blended restaurants which feature cuisines from all over the world. Visiting and having celebrations in the Victorian architecture art murals at public places and shiny painted structures showcase the beauty of Kensington Market. It is generally referred as Toronto’s cultural mecca. People of all walks of life, religions, variety of ages and nationalities are found in Kensington Market (Jason, 2016).

Gentrification is a process of reviving and improving degenerated urban neighbourhoods by a method of the influx of more affluent residents (Jane, 2016). The impacts of gentrification in Kensington Market is well narrated through both economic and cultural views. Making reference to Kensington Market, it is established that creation of urban spaces greatly depends on the culture of the natives. In the neighbourhood of Kensington Market there are clashes between the minority group of residents and gentrifies. The backbone of the Kensington Market are people of lower socio-economic status because they are the long-time residents and they have been developing the neighbourhoods both economically and socially. The diversity of the neighbourhoods favour the residents of Kensington Market and makes them resist from migrating to the local areas (Jane, 2016). 

Gentrification geographic research shows that old structures are being renovated and improved to do away with slums. From the 1950s it was established that combination of factors such as rapid demographic, economic growth, changing political views, speculative activities, and technological development has led to little or no investment in most Canadian inner-city neighbourhoods. Conversion of some old structures into lofts in Kensington Market has lured middle class people into the place. Studies have revealed that gentrification has involved huge and current repairs and development of neighbourhoods that cause changes of a locality and increased costs of real estate as the richer professionals invest in the competitive markets. In Canada during the 19th century, there were transformational activities  such as little repairs of existing housing structures and pressures on the local housing markets due to high immigration and speculative development due to high rates of industrialization that was happening (Ann & Lenore, 2009).

Some researchers on renewal of urban areas indicate that betterment of conditions of housing would incorporate sections of the society that had been left out from the modernization. This helps in transformation of citizens into law abiding tax payers (Cantugal & Leslie, 2009).

The Conflict Between Minority Groups and Gentrifiers

Since the Jewish immigrants migrated from the other parts of the world to west of Spadina in the 1930s, Kensington Market has been subjected to evolution and change. This evolution was brought about by varying waves of those who came in build shops adding eclectic combination in the neighbourhood thus the term the heart of Toronto. Gentrification has constantly interfered with original place of small businesses which was initially withstanding large developments. The construction on its border and studies that have been carried out for long time shows that the number of restaurants has become higher than that of raw groceries within the market (Mazer & Katharine, 2011). 


There was a study initiative by the city that was aimed at developing zoning bylaws concerning the increasing number of restaurants. This was aimed at giving recommendations in 2013, this study was being held purposely until a different city proposal to investigate Kensington as a Heritage Conservation District was accomplished the following year. Even though there are plans to point out the place as a Heritage Conservation District, which according to the natives will restrict development, acquaintances of Kensington backed up by the city have been working on the land trust proposal. Land trust is an idea by an organization which is aimed at purchasing land purposely for conservation (Young & Roger, 2009).

Urban hawkers have always promoted how activist and artist develop public streets into areas of community development, spaces of conviviality and play through creative interventions. Those activities usually sabotage the same communities they thought they are supporting. Considering the case of Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, it is significant to establish the function performed by activists and local artists in facilitating local gentrification dynamics and the way the actions represent wider socio-economic questions in the city and outside. In as much as the activists aim at challenging corporatized and homogenized urban development and to develop committed and vibrant communities the activists usually unknowingly strengthen factors that advantage some community members at a cost without including immigrants and working class (Heather & Barbara, 2013). 

Gentrification in Kensington Market has resulted in various negative impacts such as loss of affordable housing and high taxes on properties and inflated maintenance costs of houses has made the area unaffordable for visiting immigrants and low-income earners. Community conflict which is evident by the urban professionals who form their own world while the immigrants form theirs of low class causes social tension, seclusion and creation of social distances between the natives of the neighbourhood and the immigrants. Additionally, gentrification has led to commercial and industrial displacement due to high taxes on business activities.

The Positive Aspects of Gentrification

Gentrification is also beneficial as it has several positive aspects including increased property values, increased social mix through the integration between the residents and the visiting people, stabilization of declining areas through the motivation of people for further commercial and residential improvement of some areas (Mazer & Katharine, 2011).

With an aim of improving the Kensington Market, there are some efforts that have been     put in place, they include; the market area which the official plan designates it for various mixed uses and residential areas designated for the neighbourhoods. The official plan specifies them as areas planned for small-scale change which matches with the available scale and state of development. Provision of zoning bylaws which restricts constructions to at most four storeys and area specific policy which orders that new developments should consistently maintain already available low scale buildings with graded retail, less complications and display of products in the open-air. There is also a special  provision which restricts the retail size and restaurant  in the market to ground limit and maximum size of 200 square metres. In response to local concerns about restaurants and bar proliferation, a study was facilitated in 2013 to propose changes by reviewing zoning bylaws and finally the Heritage conservation District (Kern, 2013). 

Conclusion

Gentrification process in Kensington Market is a delicate issue as the long-time residents are very uncertain about the procedure. The inflated costs of rent and other properties make the residents view it as a threat to their lifestyle. Kensington market is undergoing gentrification process as the middle-class earners migrate to places of low income at the neighbourhood. Lower   economy class of people can no longer afford rental houses since Kensington Market has been revitalized. Gentrification has also separated people in terms of their economic status and position of the locality.

On the other hand, Kensington Market holds important community feature in that it enables one to maintain a good neighbourhood since it has raised a secure platform for people to interact. People have been able to meet at some events within the market. Most of the people encountered in the market place understand the benefits of interaction and this might be destroyed by gentrification if it continues. Kensington Market is one of the treasured places in Toronto and therefore battling gentrification and commercialism is important (Viswanathan, 2009). 

References

Ann, D., & Lenore, N. (2009). Sustainable Development for some: Green Urban Development and Affordability. Local Environment, 14(7), 669-681.

Cantugal, J. & Leslie, D. (2009). Placing Power in the Creative City: Governmentalities and Subjectivities in Liberty Village, Toronto. Environment and Planning, A41(11), 2576-2594.

Heather, M., & Barbara, R. (2013). The Exclusionary Politics of Creative Communities: The Case of Kensington Pedestrian Sundays. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 22(1), 90-110.

Jane, L. (2016). Kensington Market Fights for Survival. Retrieved from Now Toronto Promotions: https://nowtoronto.com/news/the-toronto-ization-of-toronto/

Jason, B. (2016). A Brief History of Toronto's Kensington Market. Retrieved from Culture Trip: https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/canada/articles/a-brief-history-of-torontos-kensington-market/

Kern, L. (2013). All Aboard: Women Working the Spaces of Gentrification in Toronto’s Junction, Gender, Place and Culture, 20(4), 510-527.

Mazer, K., & Katharine, R. (2011). The Social Space of Gentrification: The politics of Neighbourhood Accessibility in Toronto's Downtown West. Environment and Planning D society and Space, 29(5), 822-839.

Viswanathan, L. (2009). Contesting Racialization in a Neoliberal city: Cross-cultural Collective Identity as a Strategy among Alternative Planning Organizations in Toronto. GeoJournal, 75(3), 261-272.

Young, D., & Roger, K. (2009). Fringe Explosions: Risk and Vulnerability in Canada's new in Between Urban Landscape. Canadian Geographer, 53(4), 488-499.

Zukin, S. (2009). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Changing Landscapes of Power: Opulence and the urge for Authenticity, 33(2), 543-553.

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