The Erasure of Little Jamaica: Exploring the Role of Design in the Gentrification of Toronto's Eglinton Avenue West
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Toronto is undergoing a series of neoliberal changes related to a large regional transit development initiative for the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (Freeman and Hume 2015). This has resulted in the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line and the accompanying EGLINTONconnects redevelopment plan through the Little Jamaica market area. This development signals the displacement and erasure of the marginalized and immigrant community in the Little Jamaica area and follows historical precedents of the erasure of Black spaces in Canada. Through photographs and interviews, this study explores the role of design in the gentrification of Little Jamaica by analyzing its visual artefacts for insight on how the area is produced. The findings indicate that significant differences in power dynamics between the Caribbean community and those with political power and capital affect how they use design for their benefit and are a driving force behind the displacement in the area.