Does Canada have "ghettos"?

I saw Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, and they had a part in Canada where he goes to the Toronto "ghetto" and it was just low income housing. If you want to see the clip it is

Youtube thumbnail

and the part about the ghetto is at about 8:45.

I figure Moore might be making an exaggeration, but does Canada really have ghettos like in America? Or are they just not as bad/dangerous as they are in America? Also, if you have any idea why, why would the ghetto situation be different in Canada?

16 Answers

  • SteveN
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ghettos in Canada are not usually anywhere close to what you see in the States. The city generally tries to control vandalism and grafitti here, and buildings rarely remain boarded up and abandoned for long. If the owner refuses to do something, some cities here have laws allowing them to take control of the property and make improvements.

    Here are a couple of examples of places I consider "ghetto" in the Montreal area. Go to Google Maps, type in these addresses, and then switch to StreetView.

    1664 Rue Mullins, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    The Point St Charles area. It has been pretty much a blue-collar area where many of the poorer families have lived over the last 100 years in Montreal. There are occasional streets and buildings in the area that are old and rundown, and some get grafitti on them. But for the most part the people in this community try hard and are not drug addicts or criminals.

    2188 Sainte-Catherine Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    This is actually part of the west end of the downtown core. The street used to have hotels, restaurants, and theatres. But the buildings got old, were not well maintained, and the taxes were so high that many owners closed down and boarded up the properties. The city is trying to revamp the area now. But literally this is one stretch of about three blocks with lots of homeless and drunks/druggies walking around looking for handouts. Cabot Square Park nearby is like a homeless and drug user haven.

    4260 Barclay Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    The Cotes-des-Neiges area has often been the place to experience cockroach and rat infestations, and police are called out for street violence, or drug related raids. Many people living here are low income families or recent immigrants with low-paying jobs. Sometimes you hear of a family of 6-8 people living in a two bedroom apartment here. Outside the apartments, they do not look that bad. And again, it is not ALL of the neighbourhood, just certain areas that tend to be more prone to bad things happening. But if you looked at the housing, you could not really tell from driving through that this area might be considered a ghetto.

    Some of the worst housing situations that may look like ghettos are in northern Canada on the First Nations reserves. The weather rips into these houses every year, and the money is simply not there to pay for things like a new roof, siding, fixing the foundation, plumbing, electricity, etc. So many houses end up looking like the one here. Or worse, no house at all and people living in temporary shelters made of tarps and scrap woood.

  • RAWR
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    lol wow its hard to believe only 10 years ago i watched that movie and totally bought into michael moore's propadanda. i was young back then, what can i say, and i didn't read the news at that time either so i never did hear about all the murders around me. canada has a lower crime rate than the U.S. thats for sure, but we certainly have plenty more than many other western countries. after watching that dumb movie you'd be left with the impression nobody kills anybody in canada when the fact is there is murders here all the time. and yes there are ghettos too.

  • 8 years ago

    Yea, we do. I live in Ottawa (capital of Canada, in Ontario, about 5-6 hours from Toronto), and there's a neighbourhood called Ledbury/Herongate, and there are gangs.. drug dealers, everyone knows about that area and avoids it. The city's apparently planning to rename Ledbury so more people will move there, since it has such a bad rep. We get a couple shootings/murders once in a while in this area. Everyone knows Toronto is way worse than Ottawa for ghettos and gangs etc, but Ottawa's still pretty bad for it.

    Like someone else said, every place has ghettos... they'll just be different extremes of ghettos depending on where you are. I really don't know why it's different in Canada (less ghettos than America for sure).. possibly because of lower population? Stricter gun laws? Simply less guns?

  • 8 years ago

    We have no "ghettos" like in the USA. We have ethnic areas but almost none have a majority of any group that would form a ghetto. For example , here in Toronto there are several neighborhoods with black people but only tiny "Melvern" has a majority of black people.

    I live in Toronto. I have always locked my door at night and as far as I know , all my friends do too. It is an unnecessary risk to leave your door unlocked at night. There are wackos here too. Lots of people leave their doors unlocked during the day.

    Toronto has a very low murder rate. However nearly all are black drug dealers killing other black drug dealers.

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  • alkbsh
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Niagara Falls, cold, Fishing, Hockey, converse English and/or French, Maple Leaf, Canadian Rocky Mountains, skiing, Many cites in Canada are ranked high places to are living for fine of lifestyles, lovely colossal nation.

  • 8 years ago

    Canada does not have ghettos. In fact, most inner city areas of Canadian cities have been taken over by Yuppies, and the houses are actually very upscale, and expensive. And, people in Canada live by economic means, not race. While some areas may have slightly more of one race, or ethnic group, Canadian cities are a real mix. When you say "ghetto" you think poor and black (even though the word originally meant the area where Jews live, being a "Sabbath's day walk" from a synagogue). That just doesn't happen in Canada.

  • 8 years ago

    The "ghettos" in Canada compared to the USA ones just do not compare. As far as Canadians are concerned the whole of the USA is a ghetto.

  • I grew up in the Jane/Finch corridor of Toronto. Its very ghetto.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Many people are asked to avoid North Winnipeg even in Wikitravel.

  • Yes that Ghetto in that video is pretty much what every ghetto in Canada looks like, Canada does not have an equivalent to the ghettos you see in the US. We don`t even call them ghettos to be honest they are just referred to as lower income areas.

    The reason its different in Canada is because for 1 all of our citizens are covered under their provincial health care plans, so that added worry of paying loads of money for medical attention simply isn`t there. There is also more equality in terms of wealth distribution in Canada. Our government also rarely lets an area get so run down to the point that is starts being referred to as a ghetto.

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