Gentrification Surge: Developments in the vicinity of Watkinson Park

Parkdale-High Park is experiencing the most outrageous condo boom. Friends of Watkinson Park is currently directly surrounded by three condo development plans (with three others at a slight distance) that will have a huge impact on the low-income community. Everyday, the strip mall store fronts and those across the street from the park are being rented to high end, inaccessible businesses. The pressure of change is causing real depression for people already experiencing so much social violence and insecurity. Studies show that the stress of being poor is exacerbated when living among wealthy people. It’s really hard to see the slow death of your community coming from a distance. Friends of Watkinson Park has been working to the upmost of our sometimes fragile capacities to build up the community here, but we are no match for the forces that are gathering around us.

Even if these developments include affordable housing for low/fixed income folks, the Regent Park Revitalization and other “mixed” developments show that class mixing does not happen and that these developments actually undermine low/fixed income agency and community endurance and exacerbates horizontal segregation (people who share space but not sociality). Condo developments with low income units is NOT the answer. Recognizing the inherent value of low/fixed income life and thus flowing resources to our communities to develop ourselves according to our own needs, wants, desires, is the first step.

Gord Perks office has been sending out notices to various neighbourhood organizations about public meetings re: these development plans. AS PER USUAL – Friends of Watkinson Park, perhaps the people MOST impacted and despite being on the Perks mailing list, did not receive any notification of public meetings and has only heard about these meetings from other neighbourhood folks! Even our email attempts to find out about these meetings have not garnered a response.

Recently, Gord Perks talked about gentrification with Matt Galloway (see link below). He sounds good on paper, but in our experience, Perks stands between the community and the developer, by not supporting, or even allowing low-income people to engage the issue in their neighbourhoods on their own terms. With Friends of Watkinson Park, he refused to support our low-income sociality in favor of middle-class and gentrifier social expansion.


Thanks to the Junction Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Committee for bringing this information to our attention. Each of these projects is substantial, involving a large property or an assembly of smaller properties, and your feedback is important.

2720 Dundas Street West – at the northeast corner of Watkinson Avenue
Councilor Perks is hosting a preliminary public consultation on Tuesday, November 21st at 19:00 in the Indian Road Crescent school gymnasium. This project includes a semi-detached house, restaurant and two other buildings with addresses from 2706 to 2722 Dundas Street West.
For further details about the proposed development project, including architectural plans, landscaping and tree preservation, please view the background documents at:…/…

406 Keele Street – at the southwest corner of Vine Avenue
Councilor Doucette scheduled a community consultation on Thursday, November 30th at 19:00 in the West Toronto Baptist church meeting room.
A preliminary staff report about the proposed development project is available at:…/2…/ey/bgrd/backgroundfile-107275.pdf

To review the other development documents, please refer to:…/…

2639 Dundas Street West – at the northwest corner of Brad Street
A pre-application community meeting was held on November 3rd by Councilor Perks. Local community participants shared their concerns about the proposed height, traffic, noise and construction issues.
The developer shared their concept presentation from this community meeting, please view it at:…/20…/11/2639-Dundas_City-Copy-1-002.pdf

2978 Dundas Street West – at the northwest corner of Pacific Avenue
The Junction Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Committee continues to monitor the progress of this development application. The applicant is working with heritage preservation services and planning staff to revise their proposal that includes four properties. A community meeting will be scheduled when the new version is available.

Also in process: Bloor and Dundas West, and the north east corner of Pacific Avenue.


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