Addressing the roots of gentrification, one brick, one story, at a time

Groundstory / Histoire de Terrain is a cross-sectoral collective impact effort with a mandate to uncover and address the effects of gentrification on the arts in Ontario.

Until 2030, Groundstory will bolster cross-sectoral responses to three systemic issues related to gentrification and the arts in urban and metropolitan communities across Southwestern Ontario, including:

  • Deepening income precarity and inequality;
  • Increasing lack and loss of affordable shelter and spaces of work and cultural engagement; and,
  • Growing socio-spatial displacement of vulnerable, low-income arts and culture workers from rapidly changing neighbourhoods.

For decades, artists have been commonly implicated in traditional debates around the facilitation of gentrification and displacement. However, recent research indicates that the “standard arts-led gentrification narrative is too generalized or simply no longer applicable to contemporary arts-gentrification processes.” (Grodach, Foster & Murdoch, 2016).

Groundstory will detail, and respond to, these evolving narratives with a focus on the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, while reaching communities across Ontario and the rest of Canada through a deep commitment to shared learning online.