By Urban Anomie
CALGARY, AB — Residents in the northeast community of Renfrew say being part of the northeast leads people to believe it’s just another community for poor people.
“There’s a stigma in Calgary that surrounds the northeast,” says Lindsey Green, who bought into the neighbourhood three years ago. “People think, ‘Eww, poor people’ when they see ‘N.E.’ on the map.”
Green says there are other communities with similar stigmas, such as trailer parks and third world countries.
“When looking to purchase a home, nobody envisions walking down the street with their children to the playground wearing bullet-proof vests,” said Green. “Unless they’re in the northeast.”
The group Renfrew West wants the City to move the boundaries that separate the northwest from the northeast from Centre St. to the Deerfoot Tr. valley.
Renfrew West president, Sanjay Ganesh, says it makes perfect sense to move the boundary to Deerfoot, as there is a built-in buffer zone.
“We don’t want our children mixing with those from the northeast,” says Ganesh. “Those from the other side of the tracks, if you will. The valley is perfectly situated to limit our exposure, to give residents of both sides space to breathe.”
Residents of neighbouring Mayland Heights call Renfrew West’s proposal absurd.
“The boundary should not be moved from Centre St. to Deerfoot Tr,” says Craig O’Collins, president of the Mayland Heights Community Association. The boundary should be moved to Barlow Tr. We don’t want to be in the northeast, either!
Residents of Renfrew are planning to circulate a petition to keep the issue fresh in people’s minds and hopefully lobby the city into changing the boundary.