Q&A with Globe foreign correspondent

Toronto Life‘s September issue includes a Q&A with Globe and Mail foreign
correspondent Doug Saunders, who discusses his new book, visiting the
world’s most dangerous slums and what Toronto is doing right.

The opening question from the interview with Toronto Life‘s Katherine Ashenburg:

“The title of your new book, Arrival City, refers to the urban neighbourhoods that poor villagers settle in when they immigrate. You’ve said that the book might’ve been called The Torontofication of the World. Why is that?”

“Anyone who lives in Little Italy, Kensington Market or at Broadview and Gerrard knows that most immigrants are from villages, not big cities, and they’re not living as villagers here, but they’re not living as core Torontonians, either. They’re creating a culture that keeps one hand in the village and one hand in the city, while trying to raise the standard of their kids. This has been happening in Toronto for some time, now it’s happening all over the world.”

Here is another excerpt from the interview:

“To research your book, you travelled to some of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the world. Were you ever scared?

“Rio de Janeiro was dangerous. Teenagers who work for the reigning drug lords confront you with firearms before you can enter their turf, and then, when you get past them, there are more kids with guns guarding bricks of cocaine. They’re not professional soldiers, and they’ve got weapons. That’s scary.”