Wednesday, April 25, 2007

my west toronto

west of bathurst.south of eglinton.north of college.east of jane.

My early years were bounded by those areas. With no family car or driver in the first 11 years of my life, public transit and walking was the mode of transportation. Some years later public transit and walking are the style again. This time around I have a greater appreciation for the row houses, corner stores that are located on actual corners and not within plazas, streets lined with fruit markets, patios, fabric stores and various other shops. These were my first impressions of commerce, of community, of the city. This isn’t a rant about the end of suburbia, because for all its publicized ills, there are many positives. But this isn’t about suburbia, this is about the area I was bounded, or rather, allowed to grow in.

In my limiting definition its west toronto, my west toronto. A place once referred to as home.

A place that gives me a smile when I’m on a streetcar or a bus and see signs for pistachio gelato or boneless goat roti. A place that make me reminisce when I see kids on bikes, skateboards and on foot darting in and out of back laneways in games of tag. A place that when what starts out as a private conversation becomes a public forum as strolling neighbours stop to listen and engage.

These things are not exclusive to my west toronto, but for me, this is where they began. I learned my earliest lessons in life in west toronto, so it comes as no surprise to me that i find myself revisiting these places and spaces. west of bathurst. south of eglinton. north of college. east of jane. my west toronto.

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