Place Making, Keeping, and Guarding: A Museum/Cultural Centre in a Gentrifying Ethnic Enclave

Laurie A. Walker, Courtney Little Axe, Laura J. Folkwein, MJ DesRosier, Stephan Chase


Neighbourhoods experiencing multiple waves of redevelopment may include residents with various reasons for supporting or resisting a museum or cultural centre. The data were collected and triangulated from a mixed-methods survey of 48% of residents (n = 195), qualitative interviews with neighbourhood-association attendees (n = 17), field notes, and archival data representing stakeholder groups. Survey questions focused on resident ratings of the importance of specific components of proposed development, neighbourhood-association organizational collective efficacy, and demographic variables. Sample demographics represent three groups: generational, predominantly Indigenous and Latinx residents; those who had relocated to the neighbourhood during urban renewal; and newer residents who represent neighbourhood demographics of the city as a whole. The three groups show mean differences in their answers to survey questions based on length of time in the neighbourhoodModels created from the results show differences among the three groups’ reasons for their support of a heritage museum or cultural centre. Thematic analysis of survey and interview data from generational and newer-resident perspectives resulted in themes focused on development that maintains culture. Study results highlight differences in priorities among newer residents and planners who focus on tourism and streetcar-related economic development versus generational residents and activists who focus on people, culture, and place.


colonialism; ethnic groups; gentrification; migration; residence characteristics; resistance

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