The Justice for Queen and Close Exhibit is an effort to depict the contrast in developer renderings of 1375 Queen Street West and the community ideation of what the site could be used for, a stark contrast of the dreams that Parkdalians hold and their material reality due to the financialization of housing.
Justice for Queen and Close coalition found that Skale Developments promised five different times that they would build affordable housing at the development at 1375 Queen Street West, yet have confirmed that Skale has no intention of creating that affordable housing. Further, the site was previously a gas station and there has been zero transparency about whether there has been any environmental remediation of the site.
This exhibit is a tribute to the site, commonly referred to as “the lot across from Loga’s” or “the site next to Full Worth” it has also been used as an informal market space for Parkdalians to sell their goods. We have been waiting 19 years for affordable housing at this site, and now we need it more than ever. This is especially the case with the Province’s current attempts at deregulating the development sector and the lack of affordable homes for the people of Toronto.
The Justice for Queen and Close coalition says NO to this development until Skale follows through on their promises to provide affordable housing, with a minimum of 15 affordable units (30% of their units), and cleans up any contamination left behind from the gas station that previously occupied this site.
Justice for Queen and Close coalition members gather and organize on the traditional territories of the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
We gather at this site remembering the devastating impacts of the white settler colonialism that enabled Imperial Oil to 'purchase' this land in 1920 for one dollar ($1) and for Skale Developments to acquire this land in 2016. We remember the devastating impacts of environmental racism at brownfield redevelopment sites, where developers capitalize off of a lack of remediation and, in this case, a big oil company leverages their long-term contamination on the site to make a huge profit.
We gather remembering those who have been forcibly enslaved and brought here against their will through the North Atlantic Slave Trade. We gather to make more visible the injustices of private property and the for-profit development sector that depends on social, economic, and political violence against Black, Indigenous, people of colour, women, non-binary, two spirited and low-income communities to centralize wealth to the most privileged and well-off.
We gather in deep gratitude for this opportunity to show up in meaningful ways to build a shared dignified community in which we can each fight against these dehumanization processes, practices, and systems in our own ways as a collective.