Hey, look over here—it's the Downtown Eastside, "widely considered the worst neighbourhood in Canada" if you read the Toronto Star.
It turns out there is a poor person or two living here capable of reading and speaking and walking—not just dancing and watching a reflection in a window, humming music nobody else can hear. Which, again, is what you may think poor people are totally like, if you read the Star's review of a Downtown Eastside walking tour.
It seems that a few of them weren't impressed by the newspaper's cute invitation to tourists: "look an invisible person in the eye" for the totally reasonable price of $185. (This bit of poetry comes from a reporter "hosted by Tourism Vancouver and its partners" by the way.)
In response, a group of local drug users staged their own little walking tour yesterday afternoon, getting a real close look at one of the neighbourhood's most notorious invasive species: rich pricks.
This wasn't like the "socially responsible" tour featured in the Star, where a guide warns of shocking alcoholism and sadness. Nor did the drug users give away "meal tokens" to their wealthy neighbours, as if feeding ducks in a pond (though good idea maybe next time).
The tour circled around a few blocks until some guy on a condo balcony gave them the finger and told them to fuck off. They chanted "Downtown Eastside is not a safari, drive away in your Ferrari."
There's no happy ending here, only a hot-faced response to shitty poverty tourism. We should know that gawking at poor people is a bad look; apparently some of us needed a reminder that, yes, poor people can look back.
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