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Sunday, April 28, 2013

When Your Old Neighborhood Changes

Tongue in Cheek, a review of a neighborhood battling change

I wrote this for a contest called Hyperlocal, which deals with change in our environment, and how it affects the individual. 

  • They post every entry so it's no success to be posted, and I have 2 likes including my own. 
  •  I am not an editor's pick nor am I a popular post.

But here it is:

Shifting View of the Glenora Skyline by Kenna Mary McKinnon     

The Glenora Skyline condominium project, standing tall on Stony Plain Road and 142nd Street in the City of Edmonton, as viewed by a Glenora matron, was so undesirable. Residents of the popular and prestigious neighborhood objected in vain to the development. 

The west arm of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) is scheduled to take in the Glenora Skyline project and incorporate it into a nice little commuter ghetto in Glenora. It's touted as a "neighborhood within itself," complete with three residential towers, offices and commercial spaces, scenic walkways and access to buses and LRT, and within walking distance of the lovely river valley. 

Great for the apartment dwellers. With an "acre of exclusive green space" to themselves, the condo residents will bask in their proximity to the LRT planned for the area, only minutes from downtown, and their own community in the midst of an opulent neighborhood.  

How did the society matrons and gentlemen lose their clout?  Surely they won't put up with these developments without an expensive opposition, they in their stately houses and perhaps with disdain for us denizens of the high rise? The ever shifting skyline as viewed from the top of the economic ladder, beautiful Edmonton viewed from a luxury one bedroom suite or through glass walls from a penthouse, oh, the uproar were it rental property!

They have a lovely view of a lovely neighborhood. At a premium price for the privilege of changing the ambience of Glenora, there won't be any riff-raff in this community. To me this means progress and a secret snigger at the discomfiture of an exclusive area of Edmonton. 

Neon colored silouhette of a young anarchist
My inner child is about
twelve years old and still a rebel, still hostile toward authority and the presence of history and refinement of manners, still aching to throw a china teacup across a perfectly pristine room and spatter a snowy wall with stains. 

Is that all this means, the contemporary room with the grand piano and the orchids, threatened by 21st century advancements and a subculture of hipsters? Surely there's more to the story than this. 

 "Experience a new level of living" the Glenora Skyline condominium's  on-line ads promote. The convenience of an apartment community within a neighborhood known for its quaint cul-de-sacs, understated and opulent living style, and quiet Saturday afternoons; refinement cluttered only by the low rise, renovated apartments on the northwest corner of the neighborhood, close to Coronation Park and Westmount Shopping Centre, not really in Glenora at all. 

What changed the society matron's point of view? Little but a whimper is now heard. 
Society child kissing a frog prince
The upward thrusting face of change has made its way into historic Glenora, and I'm saddened but elated, too, that one of cultured society's last bulwarks is finally threatened.    

         I never promised you a rose garden youtube


  1. My neighborhood buildings stayed the same. Just the neighbors changed, and not for the better.

  2. Yes, that often happens and it's seldom for the better. Neighborhoods go down in value and pleasant living as sometimes transients or others move in, or maybe the zoning changes, or the neighborhood becomes older and no longer vibrant. As the case with the high rise condo, the change was carefully planned. You might recognize the Riff-Raff, then? lol

  3. A lovely written article(tongue in cheek of course!) Seems this applies totaly to the lovely area i live in here on the full of apartments and townhouse living....squeezed together for max. finanial gain. But love how you write.

  4. Thank you, Heather, yes, that happens to lovely old neighborhoods, and it's a shame about Glenora, but that's progress, they say. I heard there were something like 300 new condo buildings going up in the next year or two. Where is the parking? Underground, I guess.

  5. Very nice blog, Kenna. One might rejoice that your city is growing and progressing, unlike some here in the States. It's sad to see the decay in once-fine neighborhoods.