Montréal, tales of gentrification in a bohemian city is about the effect of condo development and gentrification in Montréal. Many former working class and low-income communities across the city are being transformed by large-scale urban development, which affects many residents. Distinct neighbourhoods such as Shaughnessy Village, Saint-Henri, Griffintown, Pointe Saint-Charles, Parc-Extension and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve are being targeted to become more like Montreal’s most well known district, Plateau Mont-Royal.
This is my first feature documentary film. Since moving to Saint-Henri, I’ve started to pay close attention to what’s happening there and in other parts of Montreal. If gentrification is taking place than it’s good to know and talk about it with others in each community affected, so I decided to do a film to start a debate or a discussion on this issue. Montreal is such an affordable city, which is why students, artists, musicians and people from the creative class decide to move here and call it home.
But, there needs to be a dialogue as to what will be done to protect those less fortunate from the result of high-rise condo development, where rents are pushed up as a result of young, urban, professionals moving into the area. All over North America, large-scale development is pushing out low-income families, who’re moving further and further into the extremities of cities. And the one thing that makes Montreal unique, being the bohemian city that it is, is that there’s still a great mix of people from all different classes in each neighbourhood.
Do Montrealers really want to lose that?
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