“People are more prejudiced about where you live than what skin colour you are in this city.” Such statement was made by user MikeToronto87 on a Toronto subreddit initiated a few months ago, and it definitely bears some truth.
Toronto has been dubbed “the city of neighbourhoods” for the 140 prominent and iconic neighbourhoods that make it up. So naturally, the subject is a rather touchy one; especially when the conversation involves stereotypes about those areas.
Many Torontonians took to Reddit to voice how they think other people in the city perceive them based on the neighbourhood they live in. Here’s a summary of what some of them had to say:
Note: You can read the original comments on the subreddit here.
Jane & Finch
Jane & Finch is perhaps one of the most misunderstood areas in Toronto. Due to a history of crime-related headlines, many negative stereotypes of the people from that area have arisen. These could be anything from having a broken family to a bad upbringing involving gangs and drugs. The stereotypes have gotten so bad over the years that some residents (and others living in the nearby areas, like Jane and Eglinton) have admitted to being more cautious about how they disclose where they live. But other residents assure that it’s not as bad as people perceive it to be – for them, it’s all relative.
Leslieville is often viewed as popular neighbourhood for new, middle-class families. It typically gets associated with things like double-strollers and expensive family cars, and has even been dubbed “Strollerville” by some. Others claim that Leslieville is a popular second option for those who weren’t able to get a house in Leaside due to the high market.
The Junction is regularly confused with another Toronto neighbourhood that has a similar name: the Junction Triangle. Such confusion readily occurs despite the two neighbourhoods having completely different historical backgrounds and geographical boundaries. Due to a plethora of indie shops and spots, the Junction is sometimes perceived as a relatively “hipster” location.
Yorkville’s main stereotype is that everyone who lives there is rich. Known as a hub for luxury condos, 4-star hotels, gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping, it’s no wonder why such stereotype exists. As a byproduct of such, many people from the area are also often perceived as being a little bit pretentious or stuck-up.
Rexdale is often generalized as a “ghetto” neighbourhood, though it may not be as sketchy or dangerous as people think. Like any other neighbourhood, it has its good and bad areas parts; however, people who live there are often associated with more of the bad. Such may be due to past criminal activity in the area.
Deer Park is often believed to be a rich neighbourhood due to its close proximity to Forest Hill. However, in reality the area is actually more middle-class in composition, with a growing number of apartment buildings showing up in the area. A plethora of relatively under-priced apartments makes this a hotbed for both first-time and seasoned renters.
Fort York is often overlooked as a separate neighbourhood altogether. Many individuals like to combine it with other neighbourhoods like CityPlace, Liberty Village or Harbourfront.
Moss Park is often judged as an impoverished area because of its older-looking apartments and bounty of homeless individuals. Because of such, it is also sometimes perceived as a sketchy area. One individual even claims that he says he lives near the Eaton Centre instead of Moss Park during interviews.
Bloor West Village
Bloor West Village is perceived to be solely a Ukrainian community; however some have argued that the area is actually more multicultural in composition nowadays. According to one individual, the area has become “less Ukrainian” over the years, but it still maintains an overall Ukrainian image.
Woodbine-Lumsden is known by many as a dominantly Greek area, however some people believe the area is actually a lot more Albanian now. Previous perceptions of the area not being the most suitable place to raise a family may be discarded, as there are many nearby areas for kid activities (i.e. indoor pools, rinks, Stan Wadlow Park).
Grange Park, like Fort York, is a frequently forgotten neighbourhood. Some residents are convinced that most Torontonians don’t know where Grange Park is, or that they have no idea it exists at all.
Malvern’s crime rates are seriously over-exaggerated, despite the fact that the area has experienced a significant decrease in criminal activity over the past few years. The stereotype that Malvern is a place where people get jumped and robbed is one that still persists today.
Willowdale could be undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. To the east, one can get more of an urban feel, with the several restaurants, pubs, theatres and public areas along Yonge. To the west, one can get more of a suburban feel, among quieter streets of single-family houses and trees. Some people also feel that it does not yet have a strong sense of community as Leslieville or Little Italy.
York Mills has been called by one individual as the “poor man’s Bridle path.” Many think that only doctors and lawyers live in the area, but in reality there is actually a big mix of different people, from researchers, athletes, executives, architects, consultants, and other high-income professions.
King West is not all just “clubs and douchebags“, according to one individual. The area has a peaceful neighbourhood vibe from Sunday to Wednesday, and turns into a “sh*t show” from Thursday to Saturday.
Which ones do you think are true or false? What other neighbourhood stereotypes have you heard over the years?
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