From Balconville to Condoville, but Where Is Co-opville? Neighbourhood Activism in 1980s Pointe-Saint-Charles

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
From Balconville to Condoville, but Where Is Co-opville? Neighbourhood Activism in 1980s Pointe-Saint-Charles
Abstract
The author points out that historians of postwar Canada have relegated neighbourhood activism to specific periods of city-wide mobilization. In Montreal, he notes, authors who participated in or studied urban social movements describe a rapid decline in activism following the first sovereignty referendum in 1980. The author argues that this periodization of activism has privileged the experiences of a mostly middle-class left who circulated in activist networks spanning the city and has largely ignored the experiences of working-class people who could not afford to stop organizing in their neighbourhoods. During the 1980s, he explains, residents in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles launched projet St-Charles, a plan to build 500 units of co-operative housing to buttress the deindustrializing area against gentrification. The author explains that co-ops were a form of low-income housing that some felt could also serve as the organizational basis for a broader movement of poor and working-class people. But, as he explains, plans did not progress exactly as intended; internal race, gender, class, generational, and linguistic tensions within the neighbourhood complicated attempts by local organizers to build a representational movement, as did the social-spending cutbacks that characterized the neoliberal 1980s. Rather than abandon their principles, the author explains that projet organizers continued to develop co-op housing, thereby sheltering a social fabric and radical critique in Pointe-Saint-Charles from the violent restructuring of the neoliberal city.
Publication
Labour / Le Travail
Volume
No. 81
Pages
159-186
Date
Spring 2018
Language
en
Citation
Vickers, Simon. “From Balconville to Condoville, but Where Is Co-Opville? Neighbourhood Activism in 1980s Pointe-Saint-Charles.” Labour / Le Travail No. 81 (Spring 2018): 159–186.
Find in a library
Permalink