Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Here's a notice from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) about a lecture coming up this Thursday down Toronto way.

Thurs April 9: Gaetan Heroux Talk on the Downtown East End at U of T‏:
The Department of Planning at the University of Toronto is hosting Gaetan Heroux as a distinguished community planner.Please come out!
**** please forward widely **** ----
"Relief and Resistance: A Poor People's History of East Downtown Toronto"
Gaetan Heroux, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
When: Thursday April 9th, 2009 4.00-6.00pm
Where: Room 2125, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street
East Downtown Toronto is the city's oldest working class neighborhood. It was once the home to some of Toronto's wealthiest residents. Today, Toronto's "skid row" is located in the heart of East Downtown Toronto, and the area has one of largest concentration of social housing in Canada. The current gentrification of the area threatens the very existence of this working class neighborhood which has become a staging ground for some of Canada's most militant anti-poverty demonstrations in since the mid1990's.
How did this transition happen? What was the relationship of Toronto's wealthy philanthropists and church organizations to the "vagrants" and"tramps" who were flooding the city and East Downtown Toronto at the turn of the 19th century and onward? What role did Toronto's poor houses play in the lives of poor people in the area? What was the city's response to slums which emerged in the area shortly have the industrialization of Toronto? How did a local church, which at one time was the church of some of Toronto's most affluent residents, come to open its doors to some of Toronto's poorest residence? How did the local park go from being the playground of the rich to the rallying grounds of the poor? Why are poor people being displaced from Toronto's oldest working class neighborhood?
These are the questions that the presentation will attempt to answer.
*About Gaetan Heroux:*
Mr. Heroux is an anti-poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and an Identification Outreach Worker with the Street Health Community Nursing Foundation. For the last twenty years he has worked with homeless and low-income people in East Downtown Toronto, has served on a number of steering committees related to poverty, homelessness and violence and has been a featured speaker at public events, panel discussions, rallies and workshops on poverty in cities across Ontario and Quebec. Mr. Heroux is currently working on a book on the history of East Downtown Toronto.
For more information, contact Ayesha Alli, alli@geog.utoronto.ca * 416-946-0269

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