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East Side Showdown

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Middle-class homeowners, angry radicals, desperate drug addicts and people simply looking for a place to lay their head: all are players in a bitter struggle in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood of Dundas and Sherbourne.

Angel, a prostitute and drug addict, dodges the law. Bed-and-breakfast owner Renée rails against the sex and drug trade. Community organizer John Clarke advocates direct action in defence of the poor. And at the eye of this storm is Reverend Jeannie Loughrey, whose drop-in centre provides much-needed help for the poor, yet homeowners accuse the centre of harbouring criminals and are lobbying to shut it down.

By focusing on one particular Toronto neighbourhood, East Side Showdown reflects on issues affecting towns across the country, as our social safety net is eroded and the gap between rich and poor grows wider.

1999, 46 min 01 s