Three faces of poverty: A brief, personal history of Parkdale

On Memory and Desire

This is the first part of a three-part series on poverty in Canada. You can find the background and rest of the series here.

An old neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto, Parkdale is one of those areas whose name is synonymous with poverty. Or at least it used to be. Ten years ago Ossington Avenue, a north-south street just east of Parkdale, was a bit ‘dangerous’; now it’s a strip of cool art galleries and restaurants. A “Parkdale bachelor” was a local name for a bachelorette apartment – an undesirable place to live – not an eligible single hipster dude.

If you were to stand at the corner of King and Jameson, one of Parkdale’s major intersections, and, say, and turn time back to the late 19th century, you would be in a very different place. Instead of standing in the middle of a strip of mid-20th-century…

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