housing crisis

Toronto housing is unaffordable…

but who cares, because… Booth!


Utilize your Booth. Or it’s Church Basement for you, loser.

Drawing on an entrepreneurial offering that I keep bumping into online, I think stand-alone phone booths costing $3,495.00 USD — yes, this is an actual thing—would make a simply spiffing way of adding some affordable housing to the Toronto real estate scene.

I’m hoping to blatantly steal this idea and convince Mayor John Tory and/or Premier of Ontario Doug Ford that it’s the only way, once I have their attention. And I’m positive that I will have their attention after next Tuesday, which is when I plan to streak through Nathan Phillips Square and nail my scrotum to “The Archer”. (I did a course.)

I’m The Guy with Ideas About the Homeless and Affordable Housing Problem. Ideas that don’t involve simply waiting until after Christmas then putting homeless people and the other losers who can’t afford over two thousand a month, not including utilities, in a church basement, feeding them macaroni dinner and canned ambrosia pudding, then bringing out some Anabaptists to scream at them about how they’re all losers who’ll never amount to much.

(Are Anabaptists the ones with the tambourines? Or the ones who baptize the faithful by holding them under water, just not, and this is only my personal opinion, for a long enough period of time?)

Having ideas about housing people is not difficult. Even I can do it. I, Murgatroyd McGraw, whose last idea about paying my rent involved having a roommate, which hasn’t been successful in six years, but somehow I have ideas about housing people, so the complexity level is, as they say, low.

John Tory—I wish all politicians had to change their name to John Tory, or Justin Liberal or Jagmeet Endeepee, in the manner that people used to be called “John Norfolk Cowherd” or “Betsy Poxstrumpet Back-Alley”, so you could make an informed choice—John Tory, Toronto’s OK-ish, “if you have to have one it might as well be him” Mayor, promises more affordable housing but does nothing.

OK, this is positive! At least doing nothing means he doesn’t actively destroy anything, and this reassures me that he’s merely a lackluster, underachieving old-school conservative, and not secretly cooking up something involving virgins, junior hockey coaches and the Book of Revelation.

A “cuck,” in today’s parlance.

I shudder with revulsion as I type that word, like I shudder when examining plasticized fast-food menus offering “sliders,” or catching sight of a mall-goer wearing a sweatshirt that says, “wine me dine me sixty-nine me,” or learning that there is a porn category called “creampies.”

But for taxonomic purposes, comb Roget’s from dawn to dusk though I may, “cuck” gets right into the nooks and crannies of John Tory and his oh-so-Canadian brand of bland. Are you still awake?

You can’t not like John Tory. That would be almost abusive. It would be like not liking the runty, annoying kid in class, the kid with bad breath and whose kitten just died, who puts up his hand once per year, and his answer’s wrong. You give him a pity-hug, but you wince.

It would be like admitting to Carrie that you took her to the Prom on a dare while preparing a bucket of pig’s blood. Except John would just go, “Oh, OK. Thanks for letting me know,” look a bit crestfallen and go home to re-read “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

I’m gonna come through this! There’s always next prom, and I’m a Good Person!

A “cuck,” if you didn’t know, is a man who is so clueless, he is literally the only person in town who doesn’t know how clueless he is.

John Tory is so clueless he waits until it’s cold in January, expresses shock about how cold it is, then tells us how determined he is to get on top of this homeless shelter thing, because cold in January in Canada? Who knew? Goldarn weather in January, sneakin’ up on us!

Mad Magazine, where males first imbibed smart-ass satire at the ages of twelve to fourteen, may be shutting down, but we have Maclean’s to pick up the slack. Maclean’s magazine tells us that Trudeau’s housing plan, and I must have nodded off during that one, is a bad idea and that we should—now, I hope you’re sitting down, in case you fall over laughing and crash into that Lalique figurine you just finished paying for—we should let the market provide affordable housing.

Right? Talk about obvious, staring-us-in-the-face solutions!

This is the much-celebrated “trickle-down” effect, and for visuals I invite you to imagine the moment in “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy’s farmhouse trickles down right out of the tornado and lands right smack on top of the Wicked Witch of the East, if the tornado represents The Market and the Witch is, well, us.

Just to think of all the time we’ve wasted, annoying politicians with our suggestion that the market, released of pesky rent controls and awash with subsidies for first-time buyers’ mortgages, having spiraled so out of control that an average one-bedroom apartment in Toronto now costs $2,200 per month, does not seem to be getting with the program and providing affordable housing.

I can’t imagine what happened, the market having been so amazing at providing all the other things that the middle class, now reduced to a bunch of hobos sleeping in a dumpster, so desperately needs.

I think, on a balance of probabilities, that someone probably forgot to tell the market it was supposed to provide affordable housing. A simple oversight, and thanks, Maclean’s, for a well-needed reminder of that market-based approach that has never, ever, even once, achieved what it’s supposed to achieve without someone in government legislating in order to provide affordable housing and stop the market doing what it actually, in reality, does.

How off track is the market? Let’s see. Minimum wage, now rolled back by Doug Ford to $14.00 per hour because every small business in Ontario will founder if employees get one dollar more per hour, works out to $28,000 per year, assuming a forty-hour week (non-existent for the minimum wage crowd, but let’s play extra fair) and two weeks’ vacation.

Twenty-two hundred dollars per month for a one-bedroom apartment on the market is $26,400 a year, leaving that single mom a nifty $1,600 per year in disposable income, or a jaw-dropping $134 per month.

For everything.

But it’s me, as always, to the rescue, this time with my stand-alone phone booth idea. It’s win-win, just with both wins for me.

All mod cons:

Beautiful particle board finishes, which you won’t see because there’s no electricity. You can just maybe run a big-ass extension cord from the Don Valley to, say, the reference library if you’re not content with the sun in the morning and the moon at night. Also, the holes in the back of the booth for those self-replicating cords that come with your technology and get updated once a week by Apple are perfect for peeing out of, bit more challenging for the ladies, but when did we promise that your choice to be homeless would bear any resemblance to a bowl of cherries? Exactly!

And someone just said “glory hole,” but that’s possibly an extra level of market segmentation too far, at least before I’ve pitched John. We’ll reserve judgment on the glory hole thing, pending Tanya Granic Allen and any resolutions she might get on the agenda regarding gay people being a “liberal holocaust of heterosexuals and what about the children.”

Also the phone booth has just enough space that you can bring your own phone as long as its the Samsung foldable.

There’s no kitchen. Kitchen, already! So you can cook that filet mignon stuffed with foie gras from the Food Access Program, no doubt! Unbelievable!

Cutting-edge Iconic Design bit:

The Philip-Johnson inspired glass door with its twelve square feet of glass and awesome, jaw-dropping hinges will make you think your portable ghetto, or single-dwelling slum if you haven’t taken your meds in a while, is sitting in its very own National Trust landscape of rolling hills and, at first glance, galleries. Which is an easy mistake to make when you catch your first glimpse of artists jumping from the Overlea Bridge with burlap sacks of their best work because they can’t get a grant any more.

If an artist lands on your booth, they should just bounce off, due to its flexible yet durable construction.

Kiss our Boothy asses, Frank Gehry or do we mean Stella!

Minimalism+Modernism= Minimodmumism: We Bore Down and Birthed a Movement

You want to live the Toronto lifestyle, but you don’t have the cash. We understand.

You’re still fucked, though, because you can never stop working for the rest of your natural life, or save any money, or move, and every time you move out the landlord gets to jack up the rent as much as she likes.

Fast food workers can’t get a raise of one dollar after years and years, but landlords absolutely have to get a raise every year. Every year for a guaranteed amount. Otherwise, they’d be so resentful they’d come around to your place at night, sneak in and turn down the thermostat and close your windows, so extravagant are you with the utilities.

And at four times eight equals thirty-two people per booth, so the monthly rent of $3,495.00 plus any charges for spontaneous drug raids and to make sure everyone’s buying the cheap, zero-percent-fat yogurt, divided by thirty-two works out to—a helluva lot fairer, assuming the breadwinners for the booth can extract themselves enough times in a month to buy enough fifty-percent-off “enjoy this tonight!” pork chops to cook over the flame of someone’s torch lighter.

It’s all about density, guys.

֍

Advertisements