The whites who want better city “planning” and fewer big box stores so the community would be forced to come together in pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods are wrong.
So are the whites opposed to immigrants with granny apartments because it shows a simple disrespect for private property rights.
Both sides are wrong to think that sitting down and talking about their differences will settle anything.
Those who look to Toronto’s past as some sort of harmonious example of minority groups accepting one another are completely ignorant of the anti-Italian, anti-Irish, and anti-Portuguese sentiment immigrants from those lands faced when they first arrived in Toronto. (You don’t have to have different colour skin to hate each other.)
Those voices from the south Asian community who think that the differences come from fear ignore the fact that the social friction is a complex stew of facts and feelings, that yes, does include fear, but also much more (like competition for jobs, an increase in cars on the road, escalating housing costs, official and unofficial multiculturalism, etc…).
The voices from south Asia who think that their community needs to be more open to not living in enclaves ignores how most people operate (in tribes).
But what is most frightening, and seemingly the basis for the entire article, is the belief that some master plan by some master planner can fix all this.
Satpaul Singh Johal, a journalist from India who is now raising a family in Brampton,” agrees with the white woman the Star implies is racist, when he tells the paper, “Government should facilitate this, help bring them together.”
Government cannot eliminate social friction, and probably shouldn’t even try if it could.
What everyone seems to dislike is that people are making rational choices — insular immigrants moving into ethnic neighbourhoods to be with people who are like themselves, and established families leaving because the communities they valued have fundamentally changed.
To me this seems like the way of the world. To others, it is a crisis crying out for a government program; and a little Toronto Star racism hysteria.