A painfully hilarious viral tweet pokes fun at Montreal's increasingly costly rents and subtly warns of their dire cultural consequences.
The May 23 tweet by Montrealer Sam Donald compares the Montreal of 2021 to famously expensive Toronto — a city whose glitzy glass towers and lack of accessible cultural offerings (at least, according to Quebecers) are often the subject of anecdotal warnings by Montrealers worried about the fate of their city's vulnerable indie arts scene amid a rising cost of living.
Montréal 2011: do you want to live in a city with low rent, a thriving music scene and great locally owned bars? M… https://t.co/320H2pAnGA— beateasy (@beateasy) 1621799397.0
Donald, who is a city council candidate for Balarama Holness' Mouvement Montréal party, told MTL Blog that "it seems like the people in power are pushing a corporatization of Montréal at the expense of the culture that's at the heart of the city."
"I came to Montréal because of the city's artist-friendly culture and accessible rents, which seem to be disappearing at the hands of our local government," they said.
Tenant rights groups have called on political leaders to take action.
In a June survey, the Regroupement des comités logements et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ) declared that "the price of housing is exploding in Quebec." The group's survey showed an 11% increase in the price of a two-bedroom Montreal-area apartment between 2020 and 2021.
The RCLALQ called on "François Legault's government to implement real measures to guarantee access to affordable housing," including a public rent registry.
Ahead of the September federal election, the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) is also calling on federal party leaders to "make clear commitments to social housing" to address the housing crisis.