Friday, April 23, 2010


Here's an interesting event coming up next Wednesday down Toronto way. From the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) ...

People's History of Downtown East End:
Wednesday, April 28th

**Next Wednesday:
Historical Walk of Downtown East End
with anti-poverty activist Gaetan Heroux
Wednesday April 28, 2010
6pm to 8pm
Meet in front of 51 Division (South East Corner of Parliament and Front Streets)
East Downtown Toronto is home to one of the city's oldest working class neighbourhoods. East Downtown Toronto 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 the largest concentration of social housing in Canada. The current gentrification of the area threatens the very existence of this working class neighbourhood. During the Great Depression and in the mid 1990's East Downtown Toronto became a staging ground for some of the most militant anti-poverty demonstrations in the country.
How did this transformation happen? What was the relationship of Toronto's wealthy philanthropist and the various church organizations to the"vagrants", "tramps", and "unemployed" who were flooding the city in the 1830’s and onward? What role did the House of Industry, Toronto’s first poor house, play in the lives poor people and the unemployed? How did this poor house come to dominate the lives of Toronto's poor for over a hundred years? What was the city's response to slums which emerged in East Downtown Toronto shortly after the industrialization of the city? How did a local church, All Saints Church, which at one time claimed some of city’s richest citizens as its parishioners, come to open its doors to Toronto’s poorest residents? How did a local park, Allan Gardens, go from being the playground of the rich to being the staging ground for some of the most militant anti-poverty demonstrations in the country? Why are the poor now being displaced and from their own community by the city?
Come and walk in East Downtown Toronto with Gaetan Heroux and find out how the poor survived, organized and fought against relief policies that often left them destitute. Gaetan is an anti-poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. He has worked in East Downtown for the last twenty years. Over the last five years Gaetan has been researching the history of how the poor in East Downtown Toronto have resisted and organized.
More information?
Contact the Downtown East Fightback Campaign

No comments: