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Making Co-opville: Layers of Activism in Point St-Charles (1983-1992)


Making Co-opville: Layers of Activism in Point St-Charles (1983-1992)

Vickers, Simon (2013) Making Co-opville: Layers of Activism in Point St-Charles (1983-1992). Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Vickers_MA_F2013.pdf - Accepted Version



Making Co-opville:
Layers of Activism in Point St-Charles (1983-1992)

Simon Vickers

To date, most writing on co-operative housing has begun from the assumption that co-operatives are objectively good. These celebratory narratives have emphasized the affordability and sense of community that they associate with co-op housing. What is missing from these narratives, however, is the acknowledgement that through their process of selecting neighbours housing co-ops are, by necessity, exclusive.

This thesis will take a more critical approach to co-operative housing by stepping outside of individual co-ops, and looking at the way they were perceived through the frame of a neighbourhood. In 1983, local activists in the Montreal neighbourhood of Point St-Charles launched PROJET St-Charles. Promoted as an alternative to the revitalization strategies of a city government that actively promoted gentrification, PROJET supporters sought to build 500 hundred non-market co-ops over the next three years.

Over the next decade, debates over how to fund, build and fill these co-ops revealed much about the multiple undercurrents of culture and activism in Point St-Charles. Although these “layers” of social relations could normally co-exist, the process of choosing members for co-operative housing required that the Comité become selective. Through their governance of a plan to build and fill co-ops for and by the neighbourhood, the Comité St-Charles literally chose who would represent Point St-Charles in the coming years.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Vickers, Simon
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:14 July 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):High, Steven
ID Code:977630
Deposited On:03 Dec 2013 21:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44
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