Backlash to magazine story exposes ugly side of Toronto’s housing obsession: U of T experts (U of T News article)


From time to time, I read about gentrification. That being the case, I’m pleased to share with you a Jan. 2, 2021 Atlantic article entitled: “The Pandemic Disproved Urban Progressives’ Theory About Gentrification: The ‘gentrification-industrial complex’ isn’t who anti-growth progressives think it is.”

As well, a recent post is entitled:

There are limits to what upzoning can do; that said, upzoning appears capable of making a difference



A June 2, 2017 U of T News article is entitled: “Backlash to magazine story exposes ugly side of Toronto’s housing obsession: U of T experts.”

An excerpt from the article features the following comment from Deborah Cowen, an associate professor of geography and planning:

“Any time I want to make sense of something, I begin by asking where we are. Every story has a context, and this one really matters. This is a moment of acute housing crisis in Toronto with some of the fastest change and aggressive displacement taking place in this very neighbourhood. Parkdale is notorious as a centre of the city’s gentrification. It is known internationally in the scholarly literature as an area where so many people – Indigenous, poor, of colour, immigrant, working class, with physical and mental disabilities, on pensions, LGBTQ, students and artists – are being pushed out. Average prices for single family homes in Toronto have soared recently to well over a million dollars. Income polarization is deepening, as are its racialized contours. Toronto’s housing crisis has become so acute that we now have an average weekly death rate of two homeless people on city streets.”

[End of excerpt]


Deborah Cowen is the author of several books, including The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade (2014). The book is “Reference only – not holdable” at the Toronto Public Library but can be borrowed at the Mississauga Library System.

I have found the book of much interest – including the author’s overview of the history of the development of Logistics as a key factor in multiple aspects of contemporary life.

Logistics appears to me to be a language in its own right – the Language of Logistics, perhaps even more important than Tactics and Strategy in the wider scheme of things.

I have also come to view Logistics as a key element in Story Management, a topic that I have been exploring in recent months. Logistics, in a sense, functions as a Story in its own right, and creates a Story – slanted toward Logistics – out of everything that it comes in touch with.

The overview of the history of Logistics occupies part of the fist third or so of The Deadly Life of Logistics (2014). That is a part of the book that I find easy to follow. The rest of the book is beyond my current capacity to comprehend. The text, elsewhere in the book, entails a form of jargon that is (at the moment and perhaps forever) beyond my grasp. That said, I find the book is of much interest. A person can learn a fair amount by reading a text while ignoring the jargon.

Deborah Cohen is also author of Military Workfare: The Soldier and Social Citizenship in Canada (2008). Some years ago, members of the Toronto Public Library could borrow this book. It’s now in the “Reference only – not holdable” category. I read it some years ago and found the study of much interest as well.

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