Alienating Landscapes? Rural restructuring and housing inequality in Ontario’s Cottage Country

Authors: Bill Bedford*, York University
Topics: Rural Geography, Landscape, Cultural Geography
Keywords: rural change, access, privatization, social class, recreation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper explores how housing options for different income groups are changing in Ontario's "Cottage Country". How does the ongoing encroachment of aspects of the urbanization process affect who has the right to dwell in areas valourized for their recreational and aesthetic attributes? The central hypothesis is that housing is becoming more unaffordable due to cultural and economic factors surrounding in-migration and the growing viability of local housing as an object of global investment. Furthermore, an emergent culture of exclusivity, privatism and enclosure will be seen to correlate with the gradual displacement of low income local residents. Housing, and the exchange value produced through framing the valourized natural environment, is instrumental in changes to the spatialization of class on a regional scale.

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