Wealthy Toronto residents don't want neighbours with sub-million-dollar condos

A group of Toronto residents expressing worries about a planned midrise development in their neighbourhood caught some serious backlash online Monday.

Density Creep Neighborhood Alliance mocked online

An artist's rendition of a proposed four-storey, 80-unit development in the Yonge and Eglinton area of Toronto. Some residents say it's an example of 'density creep' and will lower their property values. (Trolleybus Urban Development and Freed Developments)

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 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.

Even Coun. Norm Kelly got in on the fun.

Since the story blew up on the Toronto Twittersphere, someone managed to register, as opposed to, to redirect to the Wikipedia page for NIMBY.

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.

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.



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