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For more information about the writing of Cockburn in the late 1960's, read "Four 'Lost' Poems of Bruce Cockburn" in the News Archive.
The influx of counter-cultural young people to the area made the city administrators and politicians nervous and it wasn't long before things came to a head. The hippies wanted the city to close Yorkville Ave. (the main thoroughfare) to traffic and make it a pedestrian mall.
A petition was circulated and most of the businesses on the street were in favor of the idea. Yet, the city refused and wanted to "clean up" the area and turn it into an upscale shopping district instead. A party at a warehouse was broken up by the cops, and the hippies headed backto Yorkville and sat down in the street, preventing any cars from entering.
Bruce Cockburn was at the warehouse party, but said:
"I remember hearing about the sit-in, but I really wasn't involved in things like that then, so I didn't make the connection."
-- quoted in Before The Goldrush, by Nicholas Jennings.
In the 1980's Cockburn did indeed 'get into politics'. Check out our "Issues" Section for more information.
By the year 2000, Yorkville had Canada's highest income population bracket, with high priced condos taking over the district. A nice area, but one that's now very antiseptic and somewhat soulless feeling (at least to me).