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Locals hate you

BlogTO recently reported that “snarky anti-condo signs” have been popping up around Toronto. Here is one of them via Instagram. It reads (in all caps): Dear Condo Dwellers: Locals Hate You Go Fuck Yourself

I find these posters curious, though it is obvious that they are a reaction to growth, intensification, and general change in this city.

For one, it implies that condo dwellers and locals are mutually exclusive. In other words, “locals” don’t live in condos. Presumably the implication is that they live in low-rise grade-related single-family housing. Or maybe they live in rental housing? Is it a tenure thing?

According to the latest 2016 Census data, just over 26% of private dwellings in Toronto are condominiums. And about 30% of people live in a building that has 5 or more storeys. If you include “apartments” less than 5 storeys, this latter number jumps to 40%. So many potential non-locals.

However, it could be that these posters are primarily directed toward new condos and new condo dwellers. This poster seems to have been plastered in front of this recently completed condo building on College Street.

If that is the case, then I wonder if there is a temporal cut-off for the hate. For example, the condo building that houses (at its base) my regular grocery store was completed in 1983. 

The units are large and the demographic seems to skew a bit older. Are these condo dwellers – some of which may have been there for over 3 decades – to be hated? Are they non-locals? Or does urban myopia set in after awhile and they become locals?

At the same time, it wouldn’t be unusual for the residents of an older condo building to oppose a new proposed condo building. So perhaps “local” isn’t about building typology and it’s more about who came first. That’s certainly a tricky one. Better end here.

A curious poster that could use a bit more specificity. What do you make of it?

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