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Wealthy Toronto residents don't want neighbours with sub-million-dollar condos

05/26/2015 01:53 EDT | Updated 05/26/2016 05:59 EDT
A group of Toronto residents worried that a planned midrise development in their neighbourhood probably thought they were on the right track when they dubbed their top concern "density creep."

They probably didn't expect it would be co-opted by Torontonians online, who turned it into a hashtag mocking what they see as millionaires' NIMBYism.

It all started with a Toronto Star article Monday profiling a group of residents concerned about a four-storey, 80-unit building that has been proposed on Keewatin Ave., in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood.

"I'm really concerned about my property value going down," Lisa Goodwin told The Star. "Right now all the houses are $1.1 to, say, $2.2 (million) but they're looking at putting in places that are only $500,000."

The residents have banded together, calling themselves the Density Creep Neighborhood Alliance. Goodwin compared the wall of campaign signs they've erected to The Wall in the HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones, which protects The Seven Kingdoms from Wildlings (savages) and White Walkers (zombies).

Mocked as NIMBYism

"The proposed development exceeds the current zoning restrictions in height, density and setback and does not fit with the character of the street," the group's website densitycreep.ca says, calling it "a dangerous precedent" for the city if approved.

Others were less sympathetic for the home owners concerned that their million-dollar-and-up houses would be surrounded by homes worth only (gasp) half a million each.

#DensityCreep quickly trended on Twitter in Toronto. The Game of Thrones allusion, seemingly comparing new neighbours to unkempt Wildlings, was a notable source of comedy and derision.

Even Toronto councillor Norm Kelly got in on the fun.

Some millennials online noted that it was unlikely members of the neighbourhood group would even see the critical tweets. There is a Density Creep Alliance Twitter account, but it has been inactive since the Star's article launched.

The alliance also has a Facebook account, though membership must be vetted. Still, it seems a few posters have been able to get approval and pledge their (what we assume to be) sarcastic support of the movement.

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