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Toronto shining and not so much

Why is summer more perfect as it ends? This weekend, I’ve heard, will be the loveliest of the year – and so far, that has been true. It’s been a great pleasure to show the city to my friends from beautiful, tranquil Bowen Island, and the place has done me the favour of providing perfect weather and the choice of a hundred interesting things to do.

Today we went to St. Lawrence Market in the morning, loading up on the outpouring of produce – oh the berries, veggies, peaches, corn! Not to mention the Buskerfest just outside, the street closed down for street food and street performers of all kinds.

Later we headed to the water on bikes – neighbour friends were kind enough to lend theirs for the occasion – but the line-up for the ferry to the Islands was so long, we decided to meander along the water on this side instead. It’s the tragedy of this city that access to the waterfront is so limited, but what bit of waterfront there is, today, was packed. Shari and I went as far as the Bach Garden, where I used to stroll with my beloved friend Sarah, and then rode home under the trees and by the river, along the Don Valley Trail. Now they’ve gone to their sound-check at C’est What, where I’ll go in a few hours to hear them sing and play.
I had a Toronto-style shock yesterday – I saw the end of a real “take down” on Parliament Street. The police apparently had been chasing a car and actually shot out the windows – the car, with its smashed windows, careened to a halt on the sidewalk on a crowded corner, just outside one of the busiest restaurants on the street. I saw them handcuffing a young white male and stuffing him into a patrol car, and then the more than a dozen police officers, male and female, strutted about, opening the car and taking out golf bags. Perhaps it was a stolen car, or those were stolen bags, but I wonder if the loot was worth the risk to passersby; it’s a miracle no one was killed by a stray bullet or by the out of control car.
I realized, watching the cops, that since the G20 debacle here, I have lost all respect for them. I now expect a Toronto police officer to be brutally authoritarian and stupid. That’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true. Anyway, luckily my gentle Bowen friends did not see that scene.
And a final word – I’ve been having nightmares about those miners in Chile. May they emerge safely from the bowels of the earth, and never have to go underground again.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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