Distinctive dialogues, in relation to civic engagement, are evident in Port Credit, Lakeview, Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico

I’ve been involved with local history as it relates especially to Long Branch for a short time, about 10 years. It’s been a most interesting form of education, for me. I have lived in Long Branch for 20 years.

One of the underlying themes that has emerged, during the few years that I have observed a range of local neighbourhoods, at the City of Toronto and the City of Mississauga, concerns the nature of the dialogue that occurs between residents and planners / developers.

I have an interest in storytelling, and in story management. Stories are of interest to most of us. For each of us, stories help us to make sense of things that we observe in our day-to-day lives, as the years go by.

In matters related to stories about development and redevelopment, a distinction can be made between being heard and being notified.

My sense is that in Lakeview and Port Credit, a particular configuration of historic forces, extending back many decades, has given rise to a form of civic engagement where the likelihood that residents will be heard is very high.

That is a source of inspiration for me. That gives me a sense of what is possible. The dialogues that are emerging at the City of Mississauga warrant celebration.

The dialogues that I have observed in south Etobicoke at times warrant celebration. I have been inspired by some of the things I have seen, in particular when the province has been in a position to make a decision that takes the views and interests of local residents into account.

At other times, there is evidence that a particular configuration of historical forces, extending back many decades, has given rise to rhetorical flourishes, in south Etobicoke, regarding the value of civic engagement.

The flourishes tend on the whole to be accompanied, however, based on the evidence that I have observed, by a reality that runs strongly counter to the rhetoric.


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