Try and picture “Dundas and Jarvis” in your mind’s eye, and something tells me you’ll cringe just a wee bit.
It’s not a great corner. In fact, it’s not a great area.
But both the southeast and northeast corners are being demolished as we speak to make room for 50-storey towers.
Here’s a video I shot on Thursday, asking if the area would eventually become a bit less rough. So excuse my frazzled and scattered nature because I had two dudes harassing me the whole time…
I had high hopes for this video.
But that video was actually my second take.
During the first, I had this squeegee guy, who I’ve seen out there a hundred times before (I drive by here twice a day), asking me for change through two minutes of my video. He’s always high out of his mind on drugs, running into the middle of the street. Although I’m flattered that he centered me out and wanted to hang with me for a few minutes while I shot my first take.
I had to delete that take, and then in the second one, I had another guy shouting at me, “I don’t want my photo taken” over and over, finally saying, “I’m gonna break that F******* camera.”
I managed to finish the take, but I fumbled through the last thirty seconds or so, and messed up at the end when I said, “Show me a corner with less development,” when I meant more.
Anyways, that’s a microcosm of what this area is all about.
As I said in the video, my wife is a social worker, and she’s familiar with each and every shelter, mission, and low-income apartment building in the area. There are a lot of them.
So it’s somewhat ironic that condominiums are being built at three of the four corners of this intersection, which will be bought by people with money.
What does the future hold for this area?
Does new real estate and an influx of capital automatically clean up the area?
Or is it just lipstick on a pig?
The bottom line is: those shelters aren’t going anywhere, and one block east, at Sherbourne & Dundas, you’ve got an even worse corner.
I make no promises, and no predictions.
Alright, fine, one prediction: most of the condos in those two developments will be bought by speculators, many of them overseas. Go to Google Maps, type “downtown Toronto,” and see where Jarvis & Dundas lays. This looks like a fantastic area, on a map. But in practice, it’s not.
That’s what’s unique about Toronto – every great area is just a couple blocks away from a bad one…