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  #321  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2018, 8:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Martin Mtl View Post
The PQ lost the election because of the charter. The population rejected it.
Do you really think that was a key issue that led to the PQ's downfall? For some people, it probably changed their vote. But many were probably indifferent either way, and I bet some people were - and still are - in favour of the idea behind the Charte, but were turned off by how disastrously and awkwardly the PQ handled the issue and could no longer trust them to form a government as a result.

Right now the three main parties in Quebec representing (off the top of my head) 80-85% of voting intentions all support a ban on face veils to some degree. They do differ on the details of how this should be addressed.

The CAQ who are favoured to form the next government are pretty strong with the identity politics card, moreso than any party would dare to be in Anglo-Canada, but of course they're nothing like what you see in some European countries.
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  #322  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2018, 8:53 PM
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Do you really think that was a key issue that led to the PQ's downfall? For some people, it probably changed their vote. But many were probably indifferent either way, and I bet some people were - and still are - in favour of the idea behind the Charte, but were turned off by how disastrously and awkwardly the PQ handled the issue and could no longer trust them to form a government as a result.

Right now the three main parties in Quebec representing (off the top of my head) 80-85% of voting intentions all support a ban on face veils to some degree. They do differ on the details of how this should be addressed.

The CAQ who are favoured to form the next government are pretty strong with the identity politics card, moreso than any party would dare to be in Anglo-Canada, but of course they're nothing like what you see in some European countries.
There are always multiple factors to explain the defeat of a party at an election. In this case, i do think the charter was a big contributor. Even the present chief of the party, Jean-François Lisée, said so himself.

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  #323  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2018, 10:07 PM
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Heritage preservation is of course important, but one could also make the argument that the scale of historic buildings in Stockholm is better suited to modern needs & economics than the more modest heritage buildings of Canada.
I guess it's possible, but a lot of stuff demolished in Canada is more modern and closer to contemporary construction than what's been preserved in some of the most desirable parts of Stockholm. By this I mean stuff like medium footprint 8 storey masonry office blocks from 1900 or so.

In Halifax the provincial government was contemplating the demolition of a medium-sized 7 storey masonry building from 1860-1910 just a couple years ago (Dennis Building). The scale is similar to a lot of Stockholm buildings. The floorplates if anything are probably larger and more uniform, and therefore easier to use. The stated reason for demolition was that keeping the building wasn't that important and there was too much deferred maintenance and decline. In most European cities, demolishing a building like that would be beyond the pale. In fact a lot of them reconstructed buildings like that after WWII.
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  #324  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2018, 10:14 PM
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What it comes down to is that private industry will often say that something isn't feasible when in reality it's just less convenient or less profitable. There are obviously cases when something genuinely isn't feasible, but just taking their word for it isn't very useful in discerning when such an occasion arises.
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  #325  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2018, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Martin Mtl View Post
There are always multiple factors to explain the defeat of a party at an election. In this case, i do think the charter was a big contributor. Even the present chief of the party, Jean-François Lisée, said so himself.
If I recall correctly, the day the tides began to swallow up the PQ during the 2014 election campaign (they started out well ahead of PLQ in the polls) was the day that Pauline Marois was pushed to admit that there would indeed be job losses if public sector employees disobeyed the Charte, after an "adjustment period."

Everyone knew it, of course, but when she said it for the first time, she sank her and her party's chances of being elected.
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  #326  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 2:06 AM
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No, I don't think it's affordability. I think it has to do with the fact that the commercial areas where Toronto creative types want to settle is remarkably constricted and has seemed to hit a glass ceiling.

MonkeyRonin was right in a roundabout way: if more people with urban affinities supported the businesses around them, then Toronto's urban fabric (which is not just physical, but social) would expand. But they don't, so we're stuck pining over the same areas. If those areas expanded, then Toronto would be more 'affordable', in the sense that we would bring the desirable amenities closer to more people. Moving the mountain to Mohammed, so to speak.

I mean, yes, the area that is considered 'cool' has expanded and now places like Bloordale Village and the Junction are much more vibrant than when I left 10 years ago (well, sort of, these areas were already getting there when I was here before), but, given that Toronto's urban population has grown by 20%, or so since the boom started, and its wealth even more so, I was kind of hoping there would be more of a spread of vibrancy rather than a super-concentration of it.

In a way, I'm arguing against what Kool Maudit is applauding.


Final point: I try to support the businesses in my fledgling area around Bathurst and Wilson, which is the outermost point of Toronto that could be considered 'urban' in any way. I even walk to these places, even though driving would be easier. Beyond me, it's pure suburbia. I like the Filipino restaurants up here, and I also have a soft spot for the Jewish businesses further south of the 401 on Bathurst, but I can't get anyone to come up here and give it their time of day. Also, the good Filipino restaurants aside, I can't walk to a full selection of stores and services that meet my needs, so the area has limited appeal to me. A lot of Toronto's inner suburbia is stuck at that sort of Los Angeles-level of walkable limbo, that I think turns people off. On a more serious and less navel-gazing level, this area is very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. There's a flower tied to the pole outside of my building indicating that a pedestrian died there not too long ago. When I ride my bike, I ride on the sidewalk since the road is a traffic sewer. It's yet another part of the outer 416 where the distance between traffic lights means that people dart across the traffic just to reach a bus stop going in the opposite direction. In the areas where I live the city has built these bizarre traffic islands that permit pedestrians to cross to a sheltered midpoint, but leaves the act of crossing the road wholly in the pedestrian's hands. There isn't even a sign warning motorists that pedestrians might cross. A walkable area will not be cultivated here under these circumstances.
That's really interesting. I wonder why that is. For a non-Canadian contrast, there are a lot of residential parts of Denver that were either actually quite dangerous (from what I'm told) or at least were very undesirable with little retail and other businesses have been completely transformed in the last 10 or so years. The area around my office is a perfect example, and there are many others. I guess it helps though that the portion of Denver that's built on a grid is really large, and there seem to be historic commercial lots scattered throughout many of them. Do the parts of Toronto that are gentrifying versus not correspond to the road pattern at all?
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  #327  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 4:36 AM
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For a thread so young, I seem incredibly late to the party!

I'm actually going to skip commenting on the substance of the thread for now.

Needless to say, many others have written volumes!

The reason I felt a need to post was to thank Kool for creating this thread and for sharing his thoughts and observations.

I've enjoyed many of his posts in the past, and none more than this.

I found it insightful, poetic, wistful, enjoyable as a read merely for its own sake.

There were responses from others and from Kool in this thread that gave it an even more fulsome depth.

Despite some silly defensiveness, boosterism and me too'ism in the thread I found it to be a pleasant, and interesting, if lengthy read tonight.

My thanks to all who have positively contributed.

Its the very best of SSP.
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  #328  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 10:07 PM
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That's really interesting. I wonder why that is. For a non-Canadian contrast, there are a lot of residential parts of Denver that were either actually quite dangerous (from what I'm told) or at least were very undesirable with little retail and other businesses have been completely transformed in the last 10 or so years. The area around my office is a perfect example, and there are many others. I guess it helps though that the portion of Denver that's built on a grid is really large, and there seem to be historic commercial lots scattered throughout many of them. Do the parts of Toronto that are gentrifying versus not correspond to the road pattern at all?
Toronto was sort of a funny case, because back when it "bottomed out" in the early 1990s, the city's inner city commercial strips and non-downtown inner city residential neighbourhoods were all pretty vibrant and populated. Some of them were compositionally different - they had more ethnic social clubs, and stores that sold old appliances, and whatnot, but most storefronts were filled with something.

Now what was different back then was how much surface parking there was in the downtown core. That's where most of the city's tremendous growth has been siphoned in the past 15-20 years. Unfortunately, these condo projects were not - and still are not - conducive to retail, for various reasons, so these condo dwellers had to go out to the existing urban neighbourhoods to shop and play.

So what has happened to those old commercial strips is that they went from being reasonably filled places to support the everyday needs of 600,000 people, mostly working and middle class, to being hyper-competitive spaces to serve 800,000 people, quite a few of them now from the upper middle and upper classes.

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  #329  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 10:19 PM
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Transit is the big issue here. It's too hard to get around the city, so most people want to stay as close as possible to prime neighbourhoods, subway corridors, and jobs. This also hinders the growth & improvement of the more peripheral neighbourhoods since they're harder to get to and can't really attract people from further afield.

I'm at the point in life where I'd like to buy a home in the next few years, and based on my regular MLS browsing there's nothing in my area that we could afford, but there is quite a bit of affordable housing stock in that Davenport to Eglinton stretch to the north, and up along the Weston corridor. Those are nice enough, solidly urban areas, and St. Clair in particular is a great retail strip - but it's just too hard to get around there for me to seriously consider living there. As such, I'll probably just keep renting a slightly more marginal apartment in the central west end for the foreseeable future. That would not be the case if there were fast, reliable transit between the two.
We're finally turning a corner on this one after decades of inaction. The Eglinton Crosstown is probably the most important transit improvement since the Bloor Danforth line, given that it will not only knit together a full-length east-west corridor with a high captive transit ridership, but because it is built at such a community-sized scale. It's kind of a "back to the basics" subway line through an urban neighbourhood that's been sorely lacking for 50 years. It also opens up a lot of access to some affordable urban neighbourhoods. I would scope those areas out.

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Hey cool, that's my childhood neighbourhood. It's a pretty decent place to live and has got some great stuff, but is so far off the beaten track that I'm still a little taken aback anytime I hear it mentioned - which actually seems to be becoming a slightly more common occurance these days with the neighbourhood being rebranded as 'Little Manila'.
I'm glad it's on people's radar, but it's still at a pretty feeble stage right now. It doesn't help that the 1950s-era bungalows are being demolished for monster homes, rather than for more dense, urban housing designs. Also, the public realm up here is the pits and nobody's doing anything to make it better. A lot of streets don't have sidewalks, and the giant cluster of condos near Wilson station seem to be adding a lot of people without making any concessions to the public realm or adding amenities. The developers are probably raking it in.
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  #330  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 11:05 PM
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Montreal seemed to me like it represents multiculturalism better than Toronto, maybe because of the language thing. The inner suburbs of Montreal like Montreal-Nord also reminded me a lot of the inner suburbs of Toronto (e.g. commie-block architecture, multi-storey strip malls that mimick traditional main streets). Montreal-Nord made me feel like I was home again.
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  #331  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2018, 10:19 AM
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I think it's time to move back to Montreal: I like emptiness.

Queen West is a bore, as is Yonge Street.
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  #332  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2018, 3:22 PM
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Montreal seemed to me like it represents multiculturalism better than Toronto, maybe because of the language thing. .
I used to think this too - that the jostling between French and English, mixed in with people all over the world, gave Montreal an edge while Toronto, though even more extremely diverse, was still too anglo-normative and that that kind of smoothed out the differences and made things more conventional.

I don't think that's the case anymore (if it ever was) and Toronto is definitely the multiculturalism poster child today. The global multicultulturalist trend is often anglo-normative to begin with, and the fact that European movies occasionally occupy the top rungs of the box office in Montreal or that pop music that's not in English or French regularly "charts" on the radio here doesn't carry much weight these days. Nobody gives a shit about that stuff any more, and you even look a bit silly if you bring it up.

Montreal's brand of globalization - which was a real thing at one point - is of another era and is today "passé".

That doesn't make it a less interesting city, though.
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  #333  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2018, 11:40 PM
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I used to think this too - that the jostling between French and English, mixed in with people all over the world, gave Montreal an edge while Toronto, though even more extremely diverse, was still too anglo-normative and that that kind of smoothed out the differences and made things more conventional.

I don't think that's the case anymore (if it ever was) and Toronto is definitely the multiculturalism poster child today. The global multicultulturalist trend is often anglo-normative to begin with, and the fact that European movies occasionally occupy the top rungs of the box office in Montreal or that pop music that's not in English or French regularly "charts" on the radio here doesn't carry much weight these days. Nobody gives a shit about that stuff any more, and you even look a bit silly if you bring it up.

Montreal's brand of globalization - which was a real thing at one point - is of another era and is today "passé".

That doesn't make it a less interesting city, though.
Do you anticipate anglo-dominant multiculturalism or Anglo-American driven globalization is here to stay for the long haul?

There's the idea that as non-western countries (eg. China and India, but even in the long-term, countries in Africa) modernize, Anglo-American culture will no longer choose the way globalization happens on their own terms. The majority of the world's population is after all, not western.

But it still feels like Anglo-American culture is still the gatekeeper of "what's hip" in the world. Yes, countries do pick up on other countries' cultures without having an Anglo-American intermediary (eg. Bollywood becoming popular in other non-western countries or places like eastern Europe (but that could be back in the day during the Cold War when the western side was less able to penetrate the barrier), or say East Asia and the Middle East and Latin America watching one anothers' soap operas and dramas on TV), but it still feels like American cultural domination still sets the stage for what's popular.

It seems it'd be really unlikely to have, say Indian cinema becoming popular in Toronto among white Torontonians, while being unpopular among white New Yorkers, or white Vancouverites watching dubbed or subtitled East Asian TV shows much more that white Seattleites.

Multiculturalism seems mainly limited to food and festivals, even most non-Anglosphere (or non-American approved for that matter) movies (the language barrier is obviously one real factor but subtitles and dubbed films obviously exist) beyond some small niches (or ethnic markets) have a hard time breaking into markets even in places that are renowned multicultural hubs.
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  #334  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 1:50 PM
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Do you anticipate anglo-dominant multiculturalism or Anglo-American driven globalization is here to stay for the long haul?

There's the idea that as non-western countries (eg. China and India, but even in the long-term, countries in Africa) modernize, Anglo-American culture will no longer choose the way globalization happens on their own terms. The majority of the world's population is after all, not western.

But it still feels like Anglo-American culture is still the gatekeeper of "what's hip" in the world. Yes, countries do pick up on other countries' cultures without having an Anglo-American intermediary (eg. Bollywood becoming popular in other non-western countries or places like eastern Europe (but that could be back in the day during the Cold War when the western side was less able to penetrate the barrier), or say East Asia and the Middle East and Latin America watching one anothers' soap operas and dramas on TV), but it still feels like American cultural domination still sets the stage for what's popular.

It seems it'd be really unlikely to have, say Indian cinema becoming popular in Toronto among white Torontonians, while being unpopular among white New Yorkers, or white Vancouverites watching dubbed or subtitled East Asian TV shows much more that white Seattleites.

Multiculturalism seems mainly limited to food and festivals, even most non-Anglosphere (or non-American approved for that matter) movies (the language barrier is obviously one real factor but subtitles and dubbed films obviously exist) beyond some small niches (or ethnic markets) have a hard time breaking into markets even in places that are renowned multicultural hubs.
Multiculturalism across political borders as we know it today is basically an offshoot of the British Empire and the Pax Americana hegemony that succeeded it.
I doubt that something of that reciprocal nature is ever the original intent of cultural imperialism (main goal = civilize the savages that are worth saving) but eventually if you're close enough to people for your culture to rub off on them, their culture will also rub off on you.

At this point I don't think that emerging superpowers like India or China are really interested in that type of stuff. Maybe I am wrong, though.
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  #335  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 8:51 PM
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We're finally turning a corner on this one after decades of inaction. The Eglinton Crosstown is probably the most important transit improvement since the Bloor Danforth line, given that it will not only knit together a full-length east-west corridor with a high captive transit ridership, but because it is built at such a community-sized scale. It's kind of a "back to the basics" subway line through an urban neighbourhood that's been sorely lacking for 50 years. It also opens up a lot of access to some affordable urban neighbourhoods. I would scope those areas out.

The Crosstown line is a great development and very important, but the problem there is that it still functions as, well, a crosstown line rather than an express route into the core. Right now it takes about 45-60 minutes to get from say, Keele & Eglinton to Union by transit, depending on traffic. The Crosstown might knock 10-15 minutes off of that journey, which is great, but it'll still be twice as long of a trip as the ride on the UP Express between Union and Weston station, for example.

That will be fixed if and when the Smart Track ever materializes, though.



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I'm glad it's on people's radar, but it's still at a pretty feeble stage right now. It doesn't help that the 1950s-era bungalows are being demolished for monster homes, rather than for more dense, urban housing designs.

Yep. It's neighbourhoods like these that I have in mind with the need to get rid of the SFH zoning designation, and replace it with one that allows for small apartments and duplex/triplex-type housing as well. I'm sure the demand would be there if they weren't illegal. My now-empty nester parents have even considered converting their house (one of the 1940s, 2-storey ones) into a duplex, but just can't.

(It's especially frustrating considering that the neighbourhood already has several low-rise apartment streets like these, which aren't able to "expand" further: https://goo.gl/maps/pUQbR5vE31R2)
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  #336  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 9:56 PM
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Yep. It's neighbourhoods like these that I have in mind with the need to get rid of the SFH zoning designation, and replace it with one that allows for small apartments and duplex/triplex-type housing as well. I'm sure the demand would be there if they weren't illegal. My now-empty nester parents have even considered converting their house (one of the 1940s, 2-storey ones) into a duplex, but just can't.

(It's especially frustrating considering that the neighbourhood already has several low-rise apartment streets like these, which aren't able to "expand" further: https://goo.gl/maps/pUQbR5vE31R2)
Damn, I did not know they were illicit....now wonder we hardly see them around except for the mid century or older variety. How come they were banned legally? Duplexes would be a great asset for the city.....Yonge and Eglinton and many other parts of the city would boom with those duplexes, and help alleviate rental strain.
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  #337  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 11:07 PM
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Multiculturalism across political borders as we know it today is basically an offshoot of the British Empire and the Pax Americana hegemony that succeeded it.
I doubt that something of that reciprocal nature is ever the original intent of cultural imperialism (main goal = civilize the savages that are worth saving) but eventually if you're close enough to people for your culture to rub off on them, their culture will also rub off on you.

At this point I don't think that emerging superpowers like India or China are really interested in that type of stuff. Maybe I am wrong, though.
Perhaps a lasting impact of Anglo-American continued dominance (including use of English as global lingua franca, Anglospheric social norms as world standards), even after the British Empire or even American dominance as largest economic power declines or if American exceptionalism is no longer the rule, is kind of like how long after the Roman Empire ceased to exist, and the Pax Romana ended, Roman influence shapes and defines much of western culture including Europe and Europe's offshoots in the New World -- law, political system, culture, religion, architecture etc. including of course how a good portion of the western world speaks Latin-derived Romance languages.

Multiculturalism is definitely not all one sided but still highly asymmetric as you said -- the colonizers' cultures interact with the colonized peoples, but the "high culture" is still the colonizers. It seems like there's definitely the colonized peoples' influence rubbing off in places like food (I mean that's what multiculturalism stereotypically evokes for people in places like Toronto, after all, hot and spicy food festivals and whatnot), music etc. (African-influence in African diaspora music genres like jazz, blues, reggae, hip hop), but language, political systems, the culture people are educated in etc. is far less influenced by the colonized. For example, Latin American culture might be a mix of native and Spanish/Portuguese influences, but the latter is stronger, Afro-Caribbean culture might be a mix of western and African culture, but it's clear which one historically dominated and continues to hold dominance.

Regarding India and China, most people only talk about their rise in terms of them being no longer poor, economically/militarily/geopolitically in low standing vis-à-vis the west etc. They're rising as powers but there's not much talk over whether their "soft power" can stand a chance in winning over westerners' preferences (the way western soft power, from western attire to western fast food, has won over them and other places). Well historically, I suppose these big civilizations, China and India did spread out and influence their neighbours, which is why Japan, Korea and Vietnam have (or used to have) Chinese-derived architecture, scripts and use chopsticks etc., or how India's linguistic influence (eg. Sanskrit) and its religions, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. did manage to spread to other parts of Asia. But obviously nothing like the globe-spanning empires of Britain, or France or Spain and the influence that they and Britain's in particular managed to capture.
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  #338  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 11:25 PM
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Damn, I did not know they were illicit....now wonder we hardly see them around except for the mid century or older variety. How come they were banned legally? Duplexes would be a great asset for the city.....Yonge and Eglinton and many other parts of the city would boom with those duplexes, and help alleviate rental strain.
They're not banned outright, only in specifically single-family zoned areas. These comprise most of North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke, but little to none of the old city, York, or East York, to my knowledge.
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  #339  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2018, 11:35 PM
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They're not banned outright, only in specifically single-family zoned areas. These comprise most of North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke, but little to none of the old city, York, or East York, to my knowledge.
Oh, alright. I guess the justification was because it would be too drastic for the suburbs? No matter the justification they had, it's a pretty poor decision which should've been repealed ten or more years ago.
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  #340  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2018, 11:27 AM
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Multiculturalism is definitely not all one sided but still highly asymmetric as you said -- the colonizers' cultures interact with the colonized peoples, but the "high culture" is still the colonizers. It seems like there's definitely the colonized peoples' influence rubbing off in places like food (I mean that's what multiculturalism stereotypically evokes for people in places like Toronto, after all, hot and spicy food festivals and whatnot), music etc. (African-influence in African diaspora music genres like jazz, blues, reggae, hip hop), but language, political systems, the culture people are educated in etc. is far less influenced by the colonized. For example, Latin American culture might be a mix of native and Spanish/Portuguese influences, but the latter is stronger, Afro-Caribbean culture might be a mix of western and African culture, but it's clear which one historically dominated and continues to hold dominance.

.
In spite of the globalist rhetoric we're still very confined to our western silo even in the upper reaches of human society. OK in terms of science there is some cross-pollination with non-western knowledge as we all inhabit the same planet and the homo sapiens is always the same basic machine. But anything in the wide range of humanities is still almost entirely western-centric, and I am talking about everything from the fine arts to intellectual thought.

I would wager that most PhDs in the western world have never even heard of Ibn Khaldoun who was a groundbreaking figure in sociology, philosophy, etc. who created what was perhaps the first universal encyclopedia in human history. (I am not a scholar of this stuff - I only know of him for a specific personal reason.)

Even the diversification of our resident population does not appear to break this trend as we assimilate kids of all origins to the western knowledge sphere. Italian-Canadian kids in Woodbridge don't read Dante Alighieri. They read William Shakespeare.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing BTW. But it does run counter to a certain mythology that has lots of currency at the moment.
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