Ontario activists claim ravines are racist

DM

A new analysis by The Globe and Mail’s Urban Affairs reporter and Architecture Critic argues that race, gender, and economic status “can all be barriers” to Toronto’s free and publicly accessible green spaces. The article asserts that Toronto’s ravines are only accepting of people’s different backgrounds and income levels “in theory,” and cites the case of black outdoorswoman Jacqueline L. Scott, who says that the lack of diverse faces makes it less likely for people of colour to go to green spaces—something that is sometimes called a self fulfilling prophecy. The article argues that concerns around representation discourage “racialized people” living near ravines from using their public backyards, and that hurdles such as a “lack of signs indicating where to enter a ravine” remain in place. Another barrier, according to University of Toronto doctoral student Ambika Tenneti, is that “people of colour communities like to sit and chat around,” an activity that is difficult to do in ravines, which are “generally trails.” “You just have to walk and there’s no place to sit down or anything,” she says.

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