A group of Toronto residents worried that a planned midrise development in their neighbourhood probably thought they were on the right track when they dubbed their top concern "density creep."
They probably didn't expect it would be co-opted by Torontonians online, who turned it into a hashtag mocking what they see as the NIMBYism of millionaires.
It all started with a Toronto Star article Monday profiling a group of residents concerned about a four-storey, 80-unit building that has been proposed on Keewatin Avenue, in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood.
"I'm really concerned about my property value going down," Lisa Goodwin told the Star. "Right now all the houses are $1.1 to, say, $2.2 [million] but they're looking at putting in places that are only $500,000."
One website currently lists 20 of the 80 units ranging in price from $369,900 to over $1,559,900. Unit sizes range from 619 to 2,328 square feet.
The residents have banded together, calling themselves the Density Creep Neighborhood Alliance. Goodwin compared the wall of campaign signs they've erected tothe wall in the HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones, which protects The Seven Kingdoms from Wildlings (savages) and White Walkers (zombies).
Mocked as NIMBYism
"The proposed development exceeds the current zoning restrictions in height, density and setback and does not fit with the character of the street," the group's website densitycreep.ca says, calling it "a dangerous precedent" for the city if approved.
Others were less sympathetic for the homeowners concerned that their $1-million-plus properties would be surrounded by homes worth only half a million each.
#DensityCreep quickly trended on Twitter in Toronto. The Game of Thrones allusion, seemingly comparing new neighbours to unkempt Wildlings, was a notable source of comedy and derision.
I'll summarize that #DensityCreep article: Rich, white people worried about not-so-rich white people moving into their area.— @meigharoo
MORE LIKE MT. PEASANT, AM I RIGHT? #densitycreep— @swaych
Imagine you are a Toronto raccoon & because of #DensityCreep all your bins are filled with Pizza Pizza crusts instead of Pizzaiolo.— @snotforprofit
Even Coun. Norm Kelly got in on the fun.
Some millennials online noted that it was unlikely members of the neighbourhood group would even see the critical tweets. There is a Density Creep Alliance Twitter account, but it has been inactive since the Star's article launched.
Signs are up. Show the developers we are a neighborhood&will not allow them to destabilize & destroy our community. pic.twitter.com/RRUPlAOMwP— @densitycreep
The alliance also has a Facebook account, though membership must be vetted. Still, it seems a few posters have been able to get approval and pledge their (what we assume to be) sarcastic support of the movement.