The Re-Branding Project: The Genealogy of Creating a Neoliberal Jane and Finch

Suzanne Narain

Abstract


This research examines the stigmas that have been given to the Jane and Finch area in Toronto, Ontario and the effects of re-branding the neighbourhood as “University Heights”. The re-branding initiative started in 2006 and has rapidly changed the face of the Jane and Finch community with the development of new housing complexes and a subway expansion. Using a genealogical approach I trace the steps that were taken to develop “University Heights” to determine if a democratic process was used throughout the decision-making phases. I outline the key social, political and economic stakeholders that played a role in the re-branding project. In the context of neoliberal praxis, I use the public statements made by the stakeholders to unpack what the re-branding initiative entails and highlight whose interests it is likely to serve. This research calls attention to the ways in which residents of the Jane and Finch area will be affected by the gentrification of their neighbourhood. A critical race framework is used to uncover the neoliberal ideologies that have been fundamental to the creation of “University Heights”. The crux of my project is to highlight the social injustices along the axis of race, class and gender, that are embedded in applying a neoliberal agenda in the Jane and Finch area.

Keywords


Race, Class; Neoliberalism; Gentrification; Marginalization; Community Consultation

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