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How unlikely neighborhoods change

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I’m writing this post from the Lakeview Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The view of the (frozen) lake and mountains is absolutely stunning (see above). I can totally see why people move to the Rockies and never leave. Frankly, I’m not sure how I’m going to ever go home 😉

This Chateau was first built up in the late 19th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Developed as a way to encourage ridership and fund railway expansion, its position on the eastern edge of Lake Louise was probably a fairly obvious choice (although only when accompanied by rail). It’s designed to take full advantage of the views of the lake and the mountains.

Photograph Chateau Lake Louise ~ by Carmen Brown on 500px

Chateau Lake Louise ~ by Carmen Brown on 500px

But it’s not always this easy to predict or select where development should happen and will happen next.

Yesterday I was quoted in a Torontoist article talking about the rise of Dovercourt Village in Toronto – which is a topic I covered here on ATC about a month ago.

The interesting thing about Dovercourt Village – and specifically Geary Avenue – is that they seem like unlikely places for new investment. Many of the buildings aren’t particularly beautiful. And there’s a rail line and a set of power lines running through the middle of it.

But if the buzz around Dovercourt Village proves to be true, then it could very well end up as a new yuppy enclave in the city. I’m not going to debate the merits of gentrification today, but I think it’s interesting how change can seemingly emerge out of nowhere.

If you rewind 10 years to before Ossington Avenue became the hotspot that it is today, many of you would have probably classified it as an unlikely place for gentrification. Located beside the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the area wasn’t considered desirable at the time. (CAMH has since undergone a lot of change.)

But oftentimes change can come out of nowhere. It just takes few enterprising pioneers who see something that nobody else does.

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