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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Is Queen Street Dead? & Funeral for a Building tomorrow

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Put on your blackest of black art-discourse suits and your thinking cap tomorrow as the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International hosts an afternoon of discussion and performance on the topic of urban space. At 2pm at the Drake Hotel, artist Eric Glavin and U of T Architecture school director Andy Payne will give a lecture on Urban Perspectives. Things get a little more sombre at 3:15pm at the Gladstone Hotel’s Melody Bar as a lecture panel moderated by Misha Glouberman considers the question “Is Queen Street Dead?” (It will be interesting to see what panelist Margie Zeidler, revitalizer of 401 Richmond, will have to say on this one.) Whatever you’ve decided on that question, 6pm will still see Jessica Rose and other 48 Abell residents mourn the loss of their studios and apartments during the public performance of A Funeral for A Building at the corner of Queen West and Abell. A day pass for the fair is $7 and includes all lectures, though I believe it’s still BYOK (bring your own Kleenex). For more information click here.

Image via Active 18.



  1. So we will ponder the Death of Queen St at Queen St’s temples of gentrification. Question answered.

  2. Queen Street WEST. People do live, shop, and entertain on the eastern end as well.

  3. Enjoy it while you can, Queen Easter. The Condo Galactus has its eye on you next.

  4. What a ridiculous topic. Anyone who has lived in the area for more than a few years knows that Queen West has never been more alive. A little more than ten years ago, the stretch between Bellwoods and Dufferin was an empty, grey space with more than its fair share of empty lots and crumbling buildings.

    Now, there’s lots happening and even the stretch between Dovercourt and Dufferin has a healthy street life (something I’d never have imagined in the mid-90s). Gentrification … sure. But mostly healthy gentrification. Mourning the previous state of the area — a place nobody ever wanted to go — is absurd.

  5. I think what is meant by dead, is…. Is the risk-taking, boundry-pushing, status-quo-disregarding and affordable-living-for-culture-makers dead??

    all of those qualities were once linked directly with what we know as the location of Queen West. Queen West was these ideas, not just a location.

    (and I use past tense because if I see another Hummer or jocks kicking a homeless person in front of the drake ill scream)

  6. What I’m protesting against is the assumption that the term “Queen Street” automatically and exclusively refers to Queen West. It’s not even about Queen East’s revival or resurgence or whatnot, but presumptuous vocabulary.

    The topic clearly concerns itself with the situation of the Queen West neighbourhood, so to pretend all of Queen St. goes down the drain because one area is perceived to be “dead” is a small flip of the finger to everyone else, especially those might care less about gentrification.