Someone Is Pranking Rich People In Montreal With Fake Official Warnings Of "Luxury Car Arson"
Montreal is quickly changing.
Once a bastion of affordable living, the city has seen rent and real estate prices slowly climb in recent years as a new wave of foreign investment fuels development downtown.
As a result, once working class neighbourhoods are rapidly gentrifying. As wealthy people take advantage of lower living costs, poorer residents are displaced.
Gentrification is especially visible in the south west neighbourhood of St-Henri, where municipal investment, an influx of restaurants, and condo developments along the Lachine Canal have transformed streetscapes.
The area has long been a site of conflict between gentrifiers and anti-gentrification activists.
Activist graffiti adorns several walls in the neighbourhood. In the past few years, isolated incidents of anti-gentrification terrorism even plagued the area.
Last year, several cars were set ablaze on residential streets.
The memory of that event has hung in neighbourhood whispers ever since.
In fact, renewed efforts by activists have exploited that lingering fear.
Today, St-Henri resident Andy Smits posted a photo to Facebook depicting a fake public advisory warning gentrifiers of "luxury car arson." Smits found the flyer under the wiper of a Lexus.
The fake advisory is actually hilarious, offering readers resources to help them in their "relocation" out of the neighbourhood.
With the font and logo of the Ville de Montréal, the flyer at first appears legitimate. But its contents become more and more ludicrous by the page. "Report all acts of vandalism to your insurance company immediately," it instructs.
Whether the flyer is meant to serve as a good-humoured reminder to consume responsbily or represents a viable threat is uncertain.
In the meantime, current and prospective Montreal residents should think critically about how their actions and consumption can affect their neighbours.