May 20, 2018 4:26 pm
Updated: May 20, 2018 6:48 pm

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve residents rally against gentrification

WATCH ABOVE: At a rally held in Montreal’s Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, residents and community organizations expressed their concern over the skyrocketing cost of living which is changing the neighbourhood. Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports.


Around 50 people turned out for a rally on Sunday against the gentrification of the borough of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in the southeast part of Montreal’s Island.

The event was organized by a local community group, in an effort to make others more aware of their changing neighbourhood.

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“Most people in this neighbourhood still pay over 40 per cent of their income towards their rent — which is way too much because everything else around here is also going up in price, there’s less and less affordable stores, and more and more fancy cafes — that are really not for people in the neighbourhood,” said Danielle Holyk, a community organizer with Comité Bail, a social housing group in the borough.

According to community organizers, the borough of Hochelaga-Maisoneuve is undergoing major gentrification.

READ MORE: Saint-Henri demonstration denounces gentrification

They claim, in many parts of the neighbourhood, the cost of living has skyrocketed, some residents are being pressured to leave their apartments after a landlord change and others simply can no longer afford to live in this community.

They also insist Ontario Street is now filled with trendy bars and cafes, that area residents can’t afford to go to.

One of the things community organizations are pushing for is for the city to reserve empty plots of land for social housing.

READ MORE: Anti-gentrification protesters target Saint-Henri shop

Residents insist the borough desperately needs affordable housing instead of more condo buildings.

“This is a popular neighbourhood, it’s a working-class neighbourhood, it’s a neighbourhood where people from all over different places, people on welfare, and they deserve to stay here,” said Holyk.

Global News reached out to officials with the borough for comment, but have yet to hear back.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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