Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Canada > The Maple Leaf
Reload this Page >

Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Old Sep 5th 2023, 10:01 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 21
AJ_2021 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Hi all,

We previously lived in Canada for a short time and now live in rural Wales UK.

We have dabbled a few times on whether to return but recently recinded our PR due to it expiring and not having enough days in country, still wanting to visit for vacations for now.

We have recently spent some time in Toronto, and I think this has been, by a long way, the worst state of deprivation and homelessness I have ever seen. Some areas were like hell on earth.

I saw people carrying around drug paraphernalia, violence upon others and criminal damage being caused to city property. I also saw security trying to revive some poor soul n a busy street, clearly homeless, presumed overdosed. As I crossed the road in downtown, a topless bedraggled guy cycled at speed straight at me, turning sharply away at last minute. It felt unsafe and saw so much for only being in the city for two days. A big eye opener.

​​​​What I also found a bit odd comparing back to my memories of Canada was that this time there was no real sign of police or in fact any time of support services, only on scarce moments when they drive through, and I can only assume they ignore the issues, and just saw lots and lots of security personnel looking after private buildings.

I am left shocked and quite frankly appalled. I have never ever seen anything like this in the UK. I have never seen so many people suffering so bad.

Have I been softened by my UK life or is it getting worse? I know Canada has had a problem for many years, but I was gobsmacked.

​​I am left wondering where did it all go wrong for Canada. I have visited many US cities and Toronto felt far worse than any of my other travels.

If you live in a major city, how do you cope with this?
What is Canada doing to tackle this matter and help these people who are clearly suffering so very bad?

It seems like it's at crisis point to be honest.

​​​​​

​​​
AJ_2021 is offline  
Old Sep 5th 2023, 2:23 pm
  #2  
Assimilated Pauper
 
dbd33's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 40,006
dbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by AJ_2021
Hi all,

We previously lived in Canada for a short time and now live in rural Wales UK.

We have dabbled a few times on whether to return but recently recinded our PR due to it expiring and not having enough days in country, still wanting to visit for vacations for now.

We have recently spent some time in Toronto, and I think this has been, by a long way, the worst state of deprivation and homelessness I have ever seen. Some areas were like hell on earth.

I saw people carrying around drug paraphernalia, violence upon others and criminal damage being caused to city property. I also saw security trying to revive some poor soul n a busy street, clearly homeless, presumed overdosed. As I crossed the road in downtown, a topless bedraggled guy cycled at speed straight at me, turning sharply away at last minute. It felt unsafe and saw so much for only being in the city for two days. A big eye opener.

​​​​What I also found a bit odd comparing back to my memories of Canada was that this time there was no real sign of police or in fact any time of support services, only on scarce moments when they drive through, and I can only assume they ignore the issues, and just saw lots and lots of security personnel looking after private buildings.

I am left shocked and quite frankly appalled. I have never ever seen anything like this in the UK. I have never seen so many people suffering so bad.

Have I been softened by my UK life or is it getting worse? I know Canada has had a problem for many years, but I was gobsmacked.

​​I am left wondering where did it all go wrong for Canada. I have visited many US cities and Toronto felt far worse than any of my other travels.

If you live in a major city, how do you cope with this?
What is Canada doing to tackle this matter and help these people who are clearly suffering so very bad?

It seems like it's at crisis point to be honest.

​​​​​

​​​
I guess your experience of US cities didn't include Philadelphia nor San Francisco. They have big city problems too.

That said, I'm in active correspondence with a Canadian, from Guelph, who is currently in London. Shoreditch specifically. The lack of apparent homelessness and drug use in Shoreditch, compared to Guelph, is, apparently, something that catches the Canadian eye. Shoreditch is, of course, a sink estate like Rosedale is a sink estate,

Canada has less of a support network than the UK though more of one than the US. Accordingly, one would expect, the divide between the housed and unhoused to be more stark in Canada than the UK, though less so than the US. Most immigrants from the UK are not going to be unhoused in either Canada or the US and either option will provide the immigrant with more consumer durables than staying in the UK. That's the deal, give up culture and family, gain a bathroom. In taking the deal one must sometimes hold one's nose and ignore the local customs; visible homelessness, open use of meth and crack, is part of that. It's just drugs though; it's not like there's much actual slavery in the cities (well, just sweatshops and sex workers and grow op workers and the like).
dbd33 is offline  
Old Sep 5th 2023, 3:20 pm
  #3  
BE Forum Addict
 
CanadaJimmy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 1,947
CanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

It really boils down to housing ultimately. Canada hasn't invested in public/social housing for 30 years, and now it's reached crisis point. Social housing projects that are funded are often blocked by NIMBYs who don't want social or subsidized housing in their neighbourhood so get endlessly delayed, even though most of the people who live in them are decent and hardworking. Homeless shelters don't provide much stability and end up being magnets for petty crime, which makes people even less supportive of social housing projects.

And of course, market housing costs are completely out of control in major cities, spiraling into the thousands of dollars a month just for a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, again due to constrained supply, slow permitting and restrictive zoning laws.
CanadaJimmy is offline  
Old Sep 5th 2023, 4:00 pm
  #4  
Oscar nominated
 
BristolUK's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Moncton, NB, CANADA
Posts: 50,183
BristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by dbd33
...That's the deal, give up culture and family, gain a bathroom. ...

It could be a slogan for recruiters




BristolUK is offline  
Old Sep 5th 2023, 6:19 pm
  #5  
Dive Bar Drunk
 
JamesM's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8,638
JamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond reputeJamesM has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy
It really boils down to housing ultimately. Canada hasn't invested in public/social housing for 30 years, and now it's reached crisis point. Social housing projects that are funded are often blocked by NIMBYs who don't want social or subsidized housing in their neighbourhood so get endlessly delayed, even though most of the people who live in them are decent and hardworking. Homeless shelters don't provide much stability and end up being magnets for petty crime, which makes people even less supportive of social housing projects.

And of course, market housing costs are completely out of control in major cities, spiraling into the thousands of dollars a month just for a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, again due to constrained supply, slow permitting and restrictive zoning laws.
Good points.

Toronto has gotten worse over the years and is starting to remind me more of Manchester when I lived there in the late 90's than the cleaner safer place I arrived to in 2004.

They build lots of property in Toronto but they tend to build tiny condo's that are frankly too small for one person to live in. The positive is very few can afford to live in them anyway.

The most Liberal neighbourhoods like the Beaches can't stand the thought of affordable housing so it all gets pushed on to the Conservative parts.

It's unfortunately modern city living. As DBD says go and see San Francisco and some west coast cities in the US.

Comparing Toronto to rural Wales is hardly apples to apples though so the initial post is rife with WYSIATI. I'd still rather Toronto than Cardiff or Swansea for example- there is less sheep around.

Last edited by JamesM; Sep 5th 2023 at 6:26 pm.
JamesM is offline  
Old Sep 6th 2023, 8:16 am
  #6  
`
 
BEVS's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 38,595
BEVS has disabled reputation
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Many of these posts could apply to New Zealand.
BEVS is offline  
Old Sep 6th 2023, 9:33 am
  #7  
Still alive
 
Dorothy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 28,994
Dorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond reputeDorothy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by BEVS
Many of these posts could apply to New Zealand.
Or Australia. Or any other first-world country.
Dorothy is offline  
Old Oct 1st 2023, 9:44 pm
  #8  
Best Place on Earth- LMAO
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: BC
Posts: 571
jandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of lightjandro is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by AJ_2021
Hi all,

We previously lived in Canada for a short time and now live in rural Wales UK.

We have dabbled a few times on whether to return but recently recinded our PR due to it expiring and not having enough days in country, still wanting to visit for vacations for now.

We have recently spent some time in Toronto, and I think this has been, by a long way, the worst state of deprivation and homelessness I have ever seen. Some areas were like hell on earth.

I saw people carrying around drug paraphernalia, violence upon others and criminal damage being caused to city property. I also saw security trying to revive some poor soul n a busy street, clearly homeless, presumed overdosed. As I crossed the road in downtown, a topless bedraggled guy cycled at speed straight at me, turning sharply away at last minute. It felt unsafe and saw so much for only being in the city for two days. A big eye opener.

​​​​What I also found a bit odd comparing back to my memories of Canada was that this time there was no real sign of police or in fact any time of support services, only on scarce moments when they drive through, and I can only assume they ignore the issues, and just saw lots and lots of security personnel looking after private buildings.

I am left shocked and quite frankly appalled. I have never ever seen anything like this in the UK. I have never seen so many people suffering so bad.

Have I been softened by my UK life or is it getting worse? I know Canada has had a problem for many years, but I was gobsmacked.

​​I am left wondering where did it all go wrong for Canada. I have visited many US cities and Toronto felt far worse than any of my other travels.

If you live in a major city, how do you cope with this?
What is Canada doing to tackle this matter and help these people who are clearly suffering so very bad?

It seems like it's at crisis point to be honest.

​​​​​

​​​
I haven't lived in or visited Toronto for years but when I did live there I remember seeing a lot of homelessness around Queen and Spadina - people sleeping on grates in sub zero weather and lots of begging. I never saw any tent cities though. I read that Allen Gardens is surrounded with tents or recently was. I've noticed the amount of homelessness and encampments has increased in the lower mainland and I feel i have to be more wary travelling on the sky train. It has a lot to do with the housing crisis I think and people not being able to afford the high rents.

I was recently in the UK and saw a fair bit of street begging in Edinburgh's city center including someone a tent set up in the street. In London I only experienced some begging around Elephant and Castle. Overall not nearly as bad as here.
jandro is offline  
Old Oct 2nd 2023, 3:44 pm
  #9  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 342
Tumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

We have started to see tents spring up all around the centre of Halifax, sadly. No level of government, of any party, seems to be willing to take this on... seems to be a closed eyes fingers in ears type of thing and hope that a solution magics itself into existance.
Tumbling_Dice is offline  
Old Oct 3rd 2023, 11:04 pm
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
CanadaJimmy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 1,947
CanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by Tumbling_Dice
We have started to see tents spring up all around the centre of Halifax, sadly. No level of government, of any party, seems to be willing to take this on... seems to be a closed eyes fingers in ears type of thing and hope that a solution magics itself into existance.
Because solving the homeless problem requires upsetting NIMBYs/homeowners, either by hurting their house prices while making homes more affordable or building social housing near them, and politicians are terrified of upsetting that demographic.
CanadaJimmy is offline  
Old Oct 4th 2023, 1:58 pm
  #11  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,148
Moses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Can't comment on Canada now but as Dorothy said above, it's probably the same with any first-world country. The only difference is the way a country hides the homeless population.
In a city like Madrid you have the biggest shanty town in Europe, so people would probably hang around there and not be considered homeless. In Ireland the homeless now live in hotels, although Dublin is very bad in parts now. Look to Germany and this is now normal in Frankfurt, you see it later in the video.


https://www.zdf.de/politik/laendersp...ertel-100.html
Moses2013 is offline  
Old Oct 4th 2023, 11:29 pm
  #12  
BE Forum Addict
 
CanadaJimmy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 1,947
CanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by Moses2013
Can't comment on Canada now but as Dorothy said above, it's probably the same with any first-world country. The only difference is the way a country hides the homeless population.
In a city like Madrid you have the biggest shanty town in Europe, so people would probably hang around there and not be considered homeless. In Ireland the homeless now live in hotels, although Dublin is very bad in parts now. Look to Germany and this is now normal in Frankfurt, you see it later in the video.


https://www.zdf.de/politik/laendersp...ertel-100.html
Interesting to get an outside perspective. The capitalist system is basically failing millions of people globally.
CanadaJimmy is offline  
Old Oct 5th 2023, 1:42 am
  #13  
Assimilated Pauper
 
dbd33's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 40,006
dbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy
Interesting to get an outside perspective. The capitalist system is basically failing millions of people globally.
The consequences of modern capitalism are utterly Dickensian.
dbd33 is offline  
Old Oct 5th 2023, 8:01 am
  #14  
BE Forum Addict
 
calman014's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,087
calman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond reputecalman014 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

If you look on YouTube there are remarkably similar scenes from New York and Toronto from a poster who walks through these areas with a small camera. Welcome to the City of the future.
calman014 is offline  
Old Oct 5th 2023, 10:13 am
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,148
Moses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shocking Deprivation and Homelessness in Canada

I still watch German TV and do find that a lot of things that happen over there eventually reach all of us in Europe (similar in UK). While homelessness is a problem, there are other examples.
The guy in the video at 3:20 is originally from Turkey, but is well integrated and has been living in Germany for many years (kids born there etc.). When he moved to the area he was told that this is Romania and he should leave. Now the whole neighbourhood has been taken over and many do not pay any rent for months as they get away with it. This attracts more of the type and eventually the properties are worthless and normal people give up. The elderly lady has been living there for 32 years and bought the apartment with her husband for 90K (22 years ago). She can't leave now as nobody would buy it.
No homeless here, but not a nice place to live either
Moses2013 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.