Transcript: London's Urban Renewal | Apr 05, 2018

Clips show images of a coffee shop kitchen.

Jeyan says THIS IS
THE LONDON FOOD INCUBATOR,
NESTLED IN LONDON, ONTARIO'S,
OLD EAST VILLAGE.
THIS 15,000 SQUARE FOOT
HISTORICAL BUILDING, ONCE
DERELICT, IS BREATHING A NEW
LIFE.
THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING HOUSES
A LOCAL COFFEE SHOP AND A
GROCERY STORE, WHILE THE BACK IS
HOME TO SEVERAL SMALL
BUSINESSES.

A caption reads "Dave Cook. Social entrepreneur."

Dave is in his forties, balding and with a graying beard. He wears a brownish red shirt.

Dave says WHAT THIS PLACE WAS CREATED
TO DO WAS GIVE THEM A HALFWAY
STOP SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO COME
IN DO MASSIVE RENOVATIONS, THEY
DON'T HAVE TO COMMIT TO
LONG-TERM LEASES AND THEY CAN
HAVE A SPACE THAT'S 500 SQUARE
FEET FOR 550 DOLLARS A MONTH, WHICH IS
EXTREMELY CHEAP.

Jeyan says DAVE COOK
IS THE MIND BEHIND THE
INCUBATOR.
HE IS THE OWNER OF FIRE ROASTED
COFFEE AND ONE OF THE SOCIAL
ENTREPRENEURS BEHIND THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD'S REVIVAL.

A map of Old East Village appears.

Dave says THIS IS AT DUNDAS AND
ADELAIDE.
WHEN YOU HEAR THE CLASSIC EAST
OF ADELAIDE, YOU'RE REFERENCING
THIS SPECIFIC BLOCK THAT WE'RE
DOING BUSINESS IN.
AND SO IT'S OLD EAST VILLAGE.

Jeyan says THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD WAS ASSOCIATED
WITH POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS, AND
UNEMPLOYMENT.
A DECADE-OLD STUDY BY WESTERN
UNIVERSITY NAMED LONDON'S EAST
END A FOOD DESERT.

Dave says EVERYONE WAS SHOPPING AT
VARIETY STORES BY AND LARGE.
WE HAD A PROFESSOR FROM UWO DO A
STUDY OF FOOD PRICING PRIOR TO
THE MARKET AND FOOD PRICING
AFTER THE MARKET, AND IT DROPPED
TO THE TUNE OF I THINK IT WAS
AROUND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF 200 DOLLARS
A MONTH PEOPLE SAVED ON FOOD.

Jeyan says IN 2006,
COOK TOOK HIS ROASTED COFFEE
BEAN BUSINESS WHICH HE WAS
BUILDING IN HIS GARAGE TO THE
FARMERS MARKET.

Dave says I WAS DRIVING THROUGH THE
COMMUNITY ONE DAY AND IT SAID
MARKET STARTING, VENDORS WANTED.
I HAD A FAIR TRADE COFFEE
COMPANY THAT I WAS ROASTING AT
THE TIME AND JOINED THE MARKET.

Jeyan says FOR 80 DOLLARS
HE RENTED A BOOTH AT THE FARMERS
AND ARTISANS MARKET AT WESTERN
FAIR.
NOT LONG AFTER HE PURCHASED THE
MARKET FROM THE ORIGINAL OWNER.
NOW MANY OF THE BUSINESSES JUST
LIKE COOK'S THAT GOT THEIR START
IN THE MARKET HAVE POPPED UP
ALONG DUNDAS STREET AND TAKEN A
STAND ALONE LOCATION.

Dave says WE HAVE FULL BLOWN GROCERY
STORES AND RESTAURANTS, WE HAVE
CHEESE MAKERS AND BUTCHERS.
ANY COMMUNITY WOULD BEG TO HAVE
THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE IN OUR
COMMUNITY.
IT WASN'T THAT WE WAITED FOR
THEM, WE BREWED THEM.

Jeyan says SARAH MERRITT
MOVED TO LONDON IN 1992.
SHE HAS SEEN THE CHANGES NOT
ONLY AS THE LONG-TIME MANAGER OF
THE OLD EAST VILLAGE BIA BUT
ALSO A RESIDENT.

The caption changes to "Sarah Merritt. Former BIA manager."

Sarah is in her fifties, with straight brown hair in a bob cut and wears a black sweater and a printed yellow, red and orange scarf.

Sarah says THE BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE
HAS IMPROVED AND THE VACANCY
RATE IN THE BUSINESS DISTRICT
HAS DECLINED SIGNIFICANTLY.
BUT THE REASON THAT MY HUSBAND
AND I LOCATED IN THIS AREA WAS
BECAUSE OF THE INCREDIBLE SENSE
OF COMMUNITY.

Jeyan says NOT ONLY
HAVE NEW BUSINESSES SET UP SHOP
ALONG THE BUSINESS CORRIDOR, BUT
NEW DEVELOPMENT IS COMING TO THE
OLD EAST VILLAGE.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS APPROVED A
FIVE-STOREY AFFORDABLE HOUSING
APARTMENT AND WORK IS WELL
UNDERWAY AT THE FORMER KELLOGG
PLANT.
THE SITE IS BEING PERFORMED INTO
AN ENTERTAINMENT HUB THAT WOULD
INCLUDE A HUGE INDOOR PARK AND
BREWERY.

Sarah says EVERYTHING THAT WAS DONE HAS
ALWAYS STARTED WITH
CONVERSATIONS WITHIN THE
COMMUNITY, BROADER MEETINGS WITH
THE COMMUNITY.
IF NEW DEVELOPMENTS COME IN, WE
GET PEOPLE OUT, WE LOOK AT
WHAT'S BEING OFFERED, THEY HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THEIR
INPUT.

Jeyan says BUT WITH
ALL THE DEVELOPMENT, AT LEAST
ONE ORGANIZATION IS FEELING
ANXIOUS.

The caption changes to "Chuck Lazenby. Unity Project."

Chuck is in her thirties, with long straight blond hair and wears a sleeveless black T-shirt, a brown beanie, a pair of earrings and a long golden necklace.

Chuck says THE THING THAT WORRIES ME I
THINK MOST IS OVER TIME... THE
HOUSING PRICES ARE ONE PIECE,
THE RENT PRICES ARE ONE PIECE.
BUT THERE'S ALSO A SOCIAL COST
TO GENTRIFICATION, WHICH IS WHY
I THINK THAT THE ROLE ABOUT
TALKING ABOUT WHAT THE REALITY
IS VERSUS PERCEPTION, TALKING
ABOUT REDUCING STIGMATIZING
LANGUAGE AND, YOU KNOW, ENSURING
THAT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING
IN POVERTY ARE PART OF THIS
COMMUNITY BECAUSE PEOPLE, WHEN
THEY DON'T FEEL WELCOME IN A
COMMUNITY, THEN THAT'S WHERE
THEY CAN FEEL DISPLACED, AND NOT
JUST PHYSICALLY DISPLACED BY THE
COST OF RENT AND THE COST OF
HOUSING BUT ALSO IN THAT
PRESSURE YOU FEEL FROM THE
NEIGHBOURS AND THE COMMUNITY
ITSELF.

Jeyan says CHUCK
LAZENBY IS THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF UNITY PROJECT, AN
EMERGENCY SHELTER IN LONDON'S
OLD EAST VILLAGE.
THE ORGANIZATION HAS CALLED THIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD HOME FOR OVER 15
YEARS, AND LAZENBY HERSELF HAS
LIVED HERE FOR JUST AS LONG.
THE UNITY PROJECT ALSO PROVIDES
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING FOR THE
CITY'S MOST MARGINALIZED
MEMBERS.
FINDING PERMANENT HOUSING IN THE
AREA HAS BEEN DIFFICULT.

Chuck says THERE ARE CHALLENGES WHEN IT
COMES TO FINDING PEOPLE PLACES
TO RENT THROUGHOUT THE CITY, AND
CERTAINLY THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD
USED TO HAVE MORE VIABLE OPTIONS
FOR FOLKS WHO ARE ON A LIMITED
INCOME.
AND THAT'S VERY QUICKLY
DECREASING.

Jeyan says THE CITY
IS LOOKING TO SET UP A SAFE
INJECTION SITE, AND THE DOWNTOWN
AREA, INCLUDING THE OLD EAST
VILLAGE, HAS BEEN LOOKED AT AS
AN OPTION.

Chuck says THERE ARE CERTAINLY FOLKS WHO
ARE SAYING, LIKE, ABSOLUTELY
NOT.
THAT WILL BRING, YOU KNOW, CRIME
AND MORE PROBLEMS TO THIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
IT MAKES THEM UNSAFE.
AND THEN OTHER PEOPLE ARE
SAYING, THIS IS A HEALTH ISSUE
THAT WE NEED TO, YOU KNOW, MAKE
SURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL
BENEFIT FROM THIS SERVICE WILL
HAVE ACCESS TO.
I THINK THE OLD EAST VILLAGE IS
IN THAT PLACE OF, YOU KNOW,
HAVING THESE DEBATES AND
DISCUSSIONS, AND REALLY
PARTICIPATING IN ANY KIND OF
COMMUNITY FORUMS THAT COME UP
WITH WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, AND I THINK
THAT IF THERE'S... THE TWO
OPPOSING PERSPECTIVES ARE
REPRESENTED.

Jeyan says MERRITT
ARGUES WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE
OLD EAST VILLAGE IS
REVITALIZATION, NOT
GENTRIFICATION, AND THE PEOPLE
WHO LIVE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
HAVE THE BIGGEST EFFECT.

Sarah says I DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN MAKE
THIS LEVEL OF CHANGE IF YOU
DON'T LIVE HERE.
I DON'T.
I THINK YOU HAVE TO LIVE HERE.
IT'S SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.
YOU'VE GOT TO BE ANSWERABLE TO
YOUR NEIGHBOURS.

Dave says MANY COMMUNITIES WILL TRY AND
WAIT FOR SOME OUTSIDE ENTITY TO
COME IN AND BLESS THEM WITH
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY, BUT WE HAVE
STUMBLED ACROSS A WAY TO CREATE
OUR OWN AND IT BECAME WILDLY
SUCCESSFUL, SO MUCH SO THAT IT'S
STUDIED ELSEWHERE IN THE CITY
AND ELSEWHERE AROUND THE
PROVINCE AS A WAY TO GIVE
COMMUNITY AND RESIDENTS OF THAT
COMMUNITY SOME POWER TO CREATE
THEIR OWN ECONOMIC DESTINY.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO.

Editor, David Erwin.

A slate appears with the caption "Ontario Hubs are made possible by: The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: London's Urban Renewal