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‘All of a Sudden, it’s Becoming Toronto’: Community Identity and Belonging in the Beaches’ Anti-Condominium Activism

‘All of a Sudden, it’s Becoming Toronto’: Community Identity and Belonging in the Beaches’ Anti-Condominium Activism

Written by: Emilija Vasic
Published in: Outstanding Papers - Year: 2014
Book Line: Vol. 20 No. 14 ISSN 1702-3548 (online)


This paper explores the intersections of identity, community, and belonging in the context of anti-condominium activism in Toronto’s Ward 32 Beaches-East, York. Using local newspaper articles, archival research, and face-to-face interactions with residents from neighbourhood associations, it investigates the hatred of condominiums and the threat they pose to collective ‘Beacher’ identity. It moves past simplistic NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) explanations and complicates political motivations beyond typical concerns of traffic, property values, and noise. Through a broad theoretical archive including affect and nostalgia, NIMBYism, anti-urbanism, and critical accounts of settler colonialism, the paper examines how the affective relations of hate, fear, and
threat are produced and experienced in the neighbourhood and come to be constructed and upheld by examining the opinions of residents in light of these literatures. The paper proposes that a framework of urban planning that considers affect, settler colonialism, and intersectionality would better accommodate bodies and communities with various relationships to power and difference.