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Art Hut presents First Gentrification by Justin de Lima

First Gentrification explores the physical remains of urban life and the ever-increasing debris of gentrification. Justin de Lima’s parents were married in a Portuguese hall that is now in the process of becoming a condo on the trendy Ossington strip. Despite feeling very at home in Little Portugal, Lima feels responsibility for the trendy bars, restaurants and expensive living that has more recently taken over the area, especially as a “young creative” who frequents the many tropical themed cafes and curated vintage shops.

First Gentrification is a project that explores the notion of taking responsibility for the change we often criticize. Reclaimed material found at home and on the streets is pieced together using expansion foam and paint, creating narratives that explore gentrification, immigration and the first gen identity. Suspended from the ceiling, the pieces reflect debris and rubble; the works reveal the sometimes-violent process of gentrification.



Justin de Lima is a visual artist from Toronto. A recent graduate of OCADU, he recently returned from a residency in Hungary. His paintings and sculptures often explore the importance of space and the city in shaping identity.