I was born in Lachine, a suburb of Montreal in the province of Quebec. My family moved to west Etobicoke, Ontario in 1974 when I was 7 years old. I moved out when I was 20 years old, but it wasn’t until I was 23 that I moved downtown, where I’ve remained. For almost 20 years I lived within the boundaries of Bloor/Christie/St George and College, with a brief stint on Brunswick Avenue a few blocks north of Bloor. In 2007 I moved to Cabbagetown, east of Yonge for the first time. I fell in love with what’s known as West Riverdale, and I’m here to stay for a while.
This is my city. Especially the downtown. My various workplaces over the last 20 years, where I went to school (ah, OISE), my volunteer gigs, my credit union, all within this relatively small space in the larger city that I love so much.
Art, culture politics. In the late 1990s I read my written work for the first time in my life, to an audience as part of the Mayworks festival, at a venue on Church Street.
Why this preamble? Because today this was not my city. Today my city was taken over, today, I saw Toronto in a way that I have never seen it before, and it wasn’t good.
Saturday June 26, 2010
There are no streetcars running on my stretch of Carlton Street, so I walk to University Avenue. I pass Yonge Street and see my first set of police, standing around, not doing much, their riot helmuts dangling down one leg, and a large pouch strapped down their other leg. What’s in the pouch? Tear gas canisters? Extra rubber bullets? I will never know.
I arrive late to the march and rally, and join it in progress at University and College.
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