Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Sept. 2
On September 2, we cycled and setup our TiP lab near the Queen entrance of Trinity-Bellwoods Park. During the time we were there, from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, quite a diverse crowd stopped-by and engaged with us.
In Trinity Bellwoods, where gentrification is for the most part complete, responses were differently mixed: Families who had bought a house during the initial stages of gentrification lamented the loss of neighbourly neighbours and how unaffordable the street has become. They had a living memory of the independent grocery vendors on Queen West, and a stronger sense of how a generation of mostly South-European ethnic communities (Portuguese and Italian mainly) have been steadily moving to the suburbs (following their kids). Then there were those who had just moved in the neighbourhood, who knew it as a place of entertainment and youth rebellion, and now enjoy it as a “family friendly” neighbourhood. Finally, we got to meet someone whose life has been diminished by the change of guard in Trinity…no more ‘culture’ in the park, no good groups playing guitar together, no more vintage guitar shop…In its place now is a teeming underworld of people that make-do with gleaning what they can out of an economy that actively pushes them to the margins, and keeps them there. So he drinks and throws his beer can in the park on purpose so as to give some work to the old Chinese women who collect empty cans and bottles for a living. Hippie’s (not his real name) story is one of resilience and underworld solidarity among the marginal.