A Toronto Psychogeography Society Blog

Saturday, March 3rd

Three Days, Three Shooks, Three Falafels

I catch a lift with my cousin Ronital from her home outside the city into the honking streets of Jerusalem. She drops me on her way to the university, a few blocks away from the city centre. It's been ten years since my last visit to Israel, and memories float back with ease. A favoured pub, a well-shaded park, a common spot for buskers.

I remember the route towards Jaffa Gate, one of eight entrances into the fortressed city of Old Jerusalem, and make my way towards the forty-foot high stone-block exterior walls. With the walls to my left, it's easy to imagine away the traffic to my right, replaced by sparse forests of previous millenia, this city first established on a moutain top three thousand years ago. The fortress walls, a mark of the 14th century Ottoman rule, surround the ancient city, which has been built and destroyed on six previous occassions, successful regimes building atop the rubble of the conquered. Today, the city is divided into three neighbourhoods, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, with the Jaffa Gate opening on the divide between the Jewish and Muslim sections.

Through the gateway, the sounds of traffic are replaced by men offering their guiding services and the quiet conversation of congregating tourists. There's a road that extends the perimetre of the Old City, a modern-day contribution, the space providing a view on the tightly-packed frontage of buildings three stories tall. Between two of the buildings sits an opening, maybe eight feet across, that leads to a downwards-sloping cobblestoned corridor. This is an entrance onto the Shook Aravic, the Arab Market.

The market is divided into small, windowless stalls, from which merchants sell everything from cups to rollerblades to foodstuffs to carpet to jewellery to hot tea to anything else of possible interest. Displays are simple, with small tables and cloth-covered crates extending stalls into the corridor, adding to the already dense and dark feel of the market.

As I'm walking away from one of the stalls, I hear someone calling from behind.
"You like what you see?" I turn to face an approaching merchant.
"Yes, it's quite pretty," I say of the embroidered wall-handing I've noticed in several other stalls.
"Yours for just one hundred twenty shekels," he counters.
"I'm happy to look for today," I say.
"For a good price, you can look at it from home." I laugh and continue walking, the parade of visual oddities leading me down through the twisting corridor, intersecting other stall-filled corridors, the labyrinthine market seeming to spill in every direction. Shoppers here tend to be local residents of East Jerusalem and tourists like myself, though the most obvious sounds are the calls of aggressive merchants and the grating metal of well-worn dolleys and carts.

I decide to turn on a corridor I've not been down before, thinking that I can pick up the more familiar path at the next turn. Except the opportunity to turn doesn't soon approach, and I feel myself moving deeper and deeper into the unknown market. I pass several butchers, spice merchants, and open candy bins, through crowds of hejabbed women and fast-talking men, before recognising an impending sense of suffocation. The market walls seem to be moving in on me. It's then that I decide to seek refuge in a small hole-in-the wall falafel stand. I order a pita with all the toppings, and take a few minutes rest, before returning my search for a way out from the mysterious Shook Aravic.


The next day, I take the bus into Jerusalem on my way to Tel Aviv, unsure of where to exit for the city's new bus station. Looking out the window for signs of dense bus activity, I notice another bustling market, this one in New Jerusalem. I exit the next stop and decide to explore.

The corridors, somewhat wider than the Old City, are packed with shoppers preparing for the coming sabbath. Some of the men wear black hats and full beards, and many of the women are in long skirts, both black and otherwise. While I'm generally put off by religious conservatism, Arab and Jewish alike, I'm more famliar with traditional Jewish garb, and in combination with the open air of the market, I seem to be breathing easy.

The merchants offer a variety of displays. There are some standing behind large pull carts, their wares stacked in piles before them. Others keep store front displays, as in the case of bakers with permanent ovens in back. And still others have walk-in spaces, the walls lined with refrigerators and shelves. The pre-sabbath rush pits shoppers against each other, several pushing and budding to grab a desired merchant's attention. They push over peppers and chicken thighs, bud for bagels and hamantaschen cookies.

The New Jerusalem market seems to be more linear than the Shook Aravic, the passageways easier to navigate, the merchants grouped by merchandise. Also of interest is the impression that the fruits and vegetables seem abundant and fresh, making obvious a void in yesterday's tour of the Old City.

For me, a boy accustomed to the culinary offerings of a Jewish grandmother, this market represents a cornucopia of my favorite foods. Everything seems enticing, though I fall for the chocolate ruggulah.
Me (in my anglicized hebrew): Shalom, ten lee sesh ruggulah (Hello. Give me six ruggulah cookies).
Him (humourless vendor): You want six ruggulah?
Me (now determined): Ken (yes).
Him (handing over the bag): Seven and a half shekels.
Me: Todah (Thanks).

Before I'm through, I'll sample olives, babaghanoush, figs, and potato bourakas, Though no matter how much I've snacked, when I arrive at the falafel stand by the end of the passageway, I'm sure to sit down with a sandwich, stopping to enjoy the midday market buzz.


I take a bus into Tel Aviv, the most American of Israel's urban centres. My cousin says that Fridays are a good time to visit the neighbourhood northwest of Allenby Street, where three adjoining markets are all open for business. There's a clothing market that runs through two adjacent alleys, called the Betzalel, an artisans' fair throughout a pedestrian area called the Nahalat Benyamin, and an open air meat and produce market called Shook HaCarmel.

Once again I'm traveling without a map, and resort to an eye-spy-with-my little-eye-something-that-looks-like-a-busy-Friday-market to get off the bus. All the streets are packed with people, as Fridays are the first day of the Israeli weekend. They linger over drinks at outdoor cafes, browse through retail stores, and everywhere are people wearing t-shirts, jeans and sunglasses, many with cellphones in hand. Because it's the day before Purim, a holiday involving masquerade to confuse identity, several teenagers are dressed in costume.

It's the pedestrian walk that cues me to exit the bus, the market entrance fenced off by security that checks each shopper on their way in. Once through, I wander past table after table of brightly coloured crafts, from glassware to ceramics to puzzles. I stop to watch buskers, to listen as one trio plays Bob Dylan while masking themselves in full action muppets. Smiles are contagious, the weekend shoppers reveling in the noontime sun.

As I continue to drift, the artisans are replaced by discount clothing stalls, the music replaced by negotiating customers. There's an orange t-shirt that catches my eye.
"Yesh lechah et zeh beh gadolah?" I ask.
"English, please," says the shopkeeper.
"Do you have this t-shirt in large?" I say. The man takes a look through a pile and pulls out my request.
"Twenty five shekels," he says with more assuredness than I can think to question. I pull the money from my pocket and put the shirt in my bag.

Further into the market, the clothing stalls switch to flower stalls, the flower stalls to candy stalls, the candy stalls to produce stalls, the last of the stalls belonging to the butchers and bakers. The market is filled with activity, but once again I'm sure to find a quiet spot to sit down with a delicious falafel sandwich.

Posted by Eric on 03.03.07 @ 10:23 AM EST [link] [396 Comments]

Thursday, October 5th

Last Walk of 05/06

We meet in the Hart House Map Room. Four seasoned psychogeographers and twenty curious U of T students, brought together by a Student Union rep who thought it’d be a good idea for us well-worn wanderers to share some of our worldly wisdom with this next generation. Or at least give ‘em a couple hours entertainment.

Hart House itself, with its myriad of staircases and passages and other unknown corridors, seems a likely enough place for discovery, though we stick with convention and make for the outside.

There we face our first challenge of the night, to decide which way to turn. I explain to the group that the trouble with a directionless walk is deciding which path to take. Of course, it doesn’t much matter which way we go, as long as we keep the trip moving. With exchange students from Paris, Tokyo and Taiwan and new arrivals to Toronto from small-town Ontario, there are several claims of ‘I don’t know where I’m going’ and similar blank expressions. And despite my insistence that not knowing where you’re going is the perfect qualification for leading a psychogeographic walk, I’m at the front of the pack when we make our way towards Queen’s Park.

Then we walk to the newly opened Pharmacy Building, the blue-green fluorescence and floating orbs catching the collective curiosity. Somebody says that there are classes in these orbs, and so we decide to check it out, ascending our way to the entrance of one particular seminar room. Very cozy, except that opening the door sets off an aggravating beep, and that’s enough to ward off these hesitant student explorers.

Till Vince steps forward with initiative and decides that we should take turns leading our way, a sort of passing of the conch, and so it goes that we find ourselves back on the street, west on College, south on McCaul, across Baldwin till we enter a labyrinth of alleys.

Where we find a back alley garage, stacks of rickshaw frames piled on top the roof, a sort of sculpture installation that we can’t quite see. A few steps later we pass a row of well-kept rickshaws parked in the alley, and this gives rise to the following conversation:
Vince: “I didn’t even know there were rickshaws in the city.”
Me: “Yeah. You can sometimes see them on Front Street. Real tourist-like.”
Japanese Exchange Student: “How do you say this word?”
Me: “Rickshaw.”
Japanese Exchange Student: “Reek-shaw?”
Me: “Yes.”
Japanese Exchange Student: “This is the same, like in Japan. Reek-shaw.”
Me: “Oh.”
Japanese Exchange Student: “It’s the same.”
Me: “Oh.”
It goes like this for a little while, with everybody having something to say about it, until we don’t, and just sort of stand there for a while, listening to trees blow and a car idle in the lane behind us, and share this odd particular moment.

Later, when we arrive at the steps to The Gladstone Hotel, a woman we have not met enters our circle and asks what it is that we’re up to. I start into my psychogeographic babble, before catching myself and putting the question to the rest of the group, preferring for the word from these wandering newbies. It’s Vince who says it best; that he never knew there’d be so much to do when there really wasn’t much of anything to get up to. Or at least he says something to this effect. In any event, we trade smiles and email contacts and well wishes, before making our separate ways back into the night.

Posted by Eric on 10.05.06 @ 12:37 AM EST [link]

Tuesday, September 19th

When Faced With a Stranger

The 24 is a bus that goes along Sherbrooke Street in Montreal. I board one westbound at St. Denis, and take a seat in an otherwise empty quad, next to an open window for the afternoon breeze. I slide my shopping bag between my legs and consider the empty seat across from me.

A man my age takes the seat to my right. He too has a shopping bag, which he carries on his lap. Soon a woman takes the seat across from him, and then across from me sits some other woman. As this one settles into her seat, I feel as she kicks my bag, in a soft and gentle sort of way, trying to create what room she needs.

She is young and attractive in a plain sort of way, wearing a simple white sweater with buttons fastened almost to the collar. She opens a book with its cover to her lap, though across the top of the pages I can read a stamp marked ‘McGill’. She is the picture of eager academia, so it’s not surprising that when I look to her face, I find her head down towards the page.

The outside provides relief from having to consider this woman further, except that I notice as she keeps looking up from her page to look out the window, to glance in what I take to be my direction. Eventually she starts rubbing the sides of her nose and then chews on her fingers.

As she shifts in her awkwardness, I see that she is reading Raymond Carver’s collection of short stories, “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please”. This happens to be one of my favourite writer’s these days, and so I think to tell her so, and say something remarkably ordinary, something like “I really liked that book”. Except that I either don’t say it loud enough or it’s just too far out of context to say something to someone you don’t know, so that my comment fails to register. Nevertheless, I’m determined to make the connection, and I reach my left arm out towards her and say it again.

This time she looks up, and meets my comment with a smile. “What story are you on?” I continue, and she says “60 Acres.”

“Is that the one about the Indians?” I ask, and she tells me that she’s only gotten to the part with the trespassing boys, so she can’t be sure. Then she wants to know which story was my favourite. I say it’s the one where the woman orders a birthday cake and then doesn’t pick it up from the baker for a few days because her kid gets sick, but that I think it’s a story from another collection. Then she says that she’s reading this one because it’s a collection that was published after Carver’s editor made significant changes without the writer’s consent. I say that I didn’t know that, and then she says yeah, it’s true, and with a sense of certain seriousness, gives me a list of reasons why this is interesting to her.

We are two strangers curious enough to check each other out, left to discover that we have little in the way of easy conversation, though we continue along with our polite-at-a-distance talk. Till she leaves, at a stop somewhere west of Atwater, and I'm left to consider how much more satisfying the real is than the fantasy.

Posted by Eric on 09.19.06 @ 11:04 PM EST [link]

Wednesday, September 6th

Feeling Good About Pissing

I was recently in New York, staying with cousins who live in Tribeca, a downtown Manhattan neighbourhood. Their curtain-less living room window, some seventeen storeys above the street, looks out on the Federal Building, which among other offices, houses the FBI. Each morning that I woke on their AeroBed, it seemed possible that agents across the way were watching me from their desks.

Five days in the city, even when not much happens, is packed full of incidents and experiences. And in light of some recent emails about pissing in parks, it makes me think to share one particular moment from my time in Manhattan.

I had been out for a while already, having met my friend Jeremy for a hike along an abandoned elevated railway known as the High Line, a curiously quiet stretch of the city that runs twenty-some blocks through Chelsea. We were wet from the rain and tired from the walk when we finally said goodbye on 4th Street. Continuing south on West Broadway, I set my sights on my cousin’s, looking forward to a comfortable toilet and a nice hot shower.

I caught stride with a group of three walking the same direction as me. One of the men in their group was particularly loud, animating himself for the sake of his female companion. I couldn’t help but listen as this man explained why school in Philadelphia was the shizzy-dizzy, whatever that was, and why this woman absolutely had to come visit.

I looked ahead to see a man, downtrodden to say the least in a weathered sweatshirt and tired face, cross our path. His stench was unmistakable. In a city of insiders, where ten thousand interesting things may be happening at any one time but they’re all somewhere off in private and you either have to know where to go or have the money to get by the doorman, this was a man of the streets. I imagined him as the constant wanderer, in a never-ending state of motion.

As the Philadelphian continued with his rant, his woman let out an ‘aww’, that compelled us all to turn to see what she had seen. And there, at the base of a mid-block street sign, it became clear that this New York City street person had moments before defecated right there on the spot. What we saw was a man stumbling away in relief. The Philadelphian responded by saying, “well sometimes that’s has you got to do it”, but for my part, I felt nauseous, maybe because of a simple visceral reaction, and maybe because I was determined to carry my load all the way home.

In any event, I wanted to move past the incident as quickly as possible, and so I stopped inside the first store I saw, a second-hand retailer called ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around’. There, I found well-worn Motley Crue t-shirts on sale for two hundred and sixty dollars and a beautiful but bored clerk setting a line of cowboy boots in perfect display. Order seemingly restored, I had to resist the urge to go right there on their perfect hardwood floor.

Posted by Eric on 09.06.06 @ 02:25 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, September 5th

When the Finish Is Known, How Do You Psychogeography?

This week we meet outside Dundas West Station. Michael's the last to arrive. He has with him some two-dozen plastic plates, forks and knives, which he carries in a sagging plastic bag. He says it's for tomorrow night's Winthrow Potluck, that the only way is to carry them with.

So we set out, five walkers and two dozen plates, forks and knives. We walk south of Bloor, where we notice some curious store displays; a mens' wear store with a variety of brown fedoras, marked with $3.79 cardboard tags tucked in the hat band, a barbershop supply store for all your barbershop needs, signage that seems from another time. As we continue along, it seems that the whole block has transformed. Store after store, the frontages are throwbacks, which we later learn is part of the film set for a Hairspray production that will shoot over the weekend.

We continue on Roncesvalle, speculating on friendly neighbourhood watering holes and Polish delicatessens and why the east side sidewalk is stepped, though mostly we pass by without much hesitation. The drycleaner with half its store space given over to plants and the travel agency with a madman's mask window, his head topped by a fluorescent green mohawk, are exceptions that require further contemplation.

Knowing I won't likely attend the Potluck and wanting to participate in some small way, I offer to carry the plates a while. Michael accepts, and carrying the bag, maybe fifteen pounds in plates, it's amazing to me that the plastic hasn't yet torn. Oh, and we head east on Harvard, find a delightful court of houses on Callender, and learn how to send group texts from Todd. At some point Michael takes his bag back, mostly because I chastise him for not carrying it himself.

We continue south on Jameson, cross over the streaming lines of lights that is the Gadriner Expressway, and arrive at the lakeshore. It happens to be ten-thirty, in time for CNE fireworks, and in the distance to the east, we watch as periodic bursts of colour fail to inspire anything more than comments like, 'oh' and 'i think the windmill's kind of cool'.

For a while we sit by the Martin Goodman Trail, a recently opened stretch of asphalt that runs next to the water, and watch as a small party of revelers drift by aboard a small motor boat. They're singing along to some cheesy eighties song, which could've been Kool and the Gang's 'Celebration', even though it wasn't.

We wander on into the Ex, through crowds on their way home and on past the Food Building. We imagine what it might be like if all buildings listed what was inside them in one-word descriptions on the facade, like School, Clothes, Automatons. Perhaps more inspired now that we're on the grounds, we stop to eat deep-fried donuts, to do backflips off the harnessed trampouline (That's right. There was one boy, maybe seven years-old, who looked like he was floating, getting higher than any of the other jumpers. He also seemed to be having the most fun, laughing his head off, and it made sense at the time that the way to jump higher was to let it all go and float, real zen like. After that, I just had to try it).

Having sated our appetite for the Carnivalesque, we exit through the GO station, across the train tracks and into Liberty Village. It's at this point, in the terrible motorcade that is the King Street tunnel, that we discover we've left the bag of plates somewhere behind. Michael steps up, backtracking for the goods that I have most certainly helped to forget, while the rest of us push on for Sudbury Street, for an opening at Mercer, and yes, for a Thursday Night walk that ends at The Drake.

Posted by Eric on 09.05.06 @ 04:09 PM EST [link]

Friday, July 21st

Stroll - Gerrard Street

Last week's Stroll was about Gerrard. We have since found out that the garden that was planted in the Carlaw parkette is supplied with water from the Fire Station across the street -- they pull up their truck in the alley and fill the cistern up. It's nice when the city seems to work like this.


The Wild Wild East
July 13/2006

To celebrate the end of the Canada Day weekend, we left a friend's house on Canada's most famous street, De Grassi, and headed east on Gerrard. Just around the corner is a storefront painted with slogans like "Drunk drivers are lousy lovers" and "Welcome to Metro, 156 languages spoken, including French" -- a 1990s axe still grinding publicly away and a rare example of curmudgeon-graffiti.

That Gerrard can still support this kind of weirdness makes it more interesting than some more celebrated, gentrified parts of the city. It's a mix of residential and commercial, where the lines between the two are often blurred. Storefront windows look into makeshift living rooms lit by harsh fluorescent tubes, while some front porches are computer and electronics stores. Maybe it was the heat, or the holiday, but we encountered a series of shirtless men standing on their front stoops, most with their hands on their hips, silently surveying the street.

There is a little forgotten-in-plain-view park at Carlaw that backs onto the railway tracks. A local woman named Shannon took it upon herself to dig up the lawn in one corner and plant a vegetable garden, complete with compost bins, little brick walkways and water barrels. My De Grassi friend says the Halal Meat store nearby has started planting here as well.

Beyond the Carlaw underpass is Gerrard Square, one of Toronto's less successful urban mall experiments, currently undergoing a complete renovation. The Square lost its anchors (Sears, BiWay) and then found new ones (Staples, Home Depot) and in the process has been turned into a stucco fortress. I've found myself on more than one occasion in that Home Depot, somewhat panicked and surrounded by burly contractors, trying to find the one item that will make some problem go away, making railing against big box stores more difficult.

Past Greenwood is the Ulster Arms, a dive tavern that is the last old Orange Toronto bastion before the street gives way to the much less dour India Bazaar, "the largest marketing place of South Asian goods and services in North America." It's dominated by the ever-expanding Lahore Tikka House. The restaurant always had a chaotic campsite look to it, but now they're building a two-storey restaurant that will dominate the street and be one of the first South Asian establishments to build its own new structure. Further west, some of the stores expand onto the narrow sidewalk selling cane juice (a year's worth of sugar intake in one cup) and roasted corn. It probably drives blind folks and bylaw offices alike crazy, but it makes this one of the city's more fun walks.

Posted by Shawn Micallef on 07.21.06 @ 10:29 AM EST [link]

Thursday, June 29th

Stroll - Leslie Street Spit

This week's Stroll column in Eye is about a midnight bikeride down the Spit -- Toronto Psychogeography entries on the Spit can be found here (by Laura) and here (by Jason) and here (by me, with picturesof Spit Ice).


Leslie Street Spit


Eye Weekly June 29/06

Three of us went for a midnight bike ride out on the Leslie Street Spit, a wild and thin piece of artificial land that sticks out of the eastern port lands five kilometres into Lake Ontario. We rode together in the darkness, encountering a handful of other cyclists and walkers at first, then nothing but the open road. For a while we separated, and I rode with no hands, enjoying the slightly out-of-control feeling of nighttime bike rides.

About halfway up the Spit, we started to hear an awful Hitchcockian sound: thousands of cawing buzzards. Soon it was all we could hear and we abandoned our bikes and walked down wooded footpaths toward the sound, now in congress with an overwhelming fishy stink worthy of the Digby, Nova Scotia scallop fleet -- though here the Bay of Fundy was replaced by the Toronto skyline, obscured by the silhouettes of circling birds. The vegetation became stunted, trees leafless -- victims of a fowl strain of herbicide. We only had our LED bike-lights with us, useful more for avoiding bird corpses than finding our way. Then, like the final interior scene in The Birds, a hidden flock suddenly spoke up in unison, all around us. We retreated quickly, only then noticing that in the darkness we had missed signs warning us of this environmentally sensitive area.

This wilderness was unplanned. The Toronto Harbour Commission began building the Spit in the 1950s as a breakwater for an expected boon in shipping after the St. Lawrence Seaway opened. The steamers didn't come though, but Toronto kept growing, and all the rubble and waste of our city-building was dumped here. As it grew, the Spit was colonized by cottonwood and poplar forests that include some 400 plant species. By day, it's obvious that those terrible buzzards are just cormorants, gulls and some 300 other species of birds, migratory and resident.

In 1976, a plan was floated to build a $26-million aquatic park with marinas, an amphitheatre and even a waterskiing centre. Soon after, the "Friends of the Leslie Spit" was formed, lobbying to keep the space public and turn it into the nature preserve it has become, one that changes and grows with every new truckload of debris. It was named Tommy Thompson Park, after the former Toronto Parks commissioner responsible for those great "Please walk on the grass" signs.

The Spit ends at Vicki Keith Point, where Keith began and ended some of her marathon swims across the lake. It's a jagged place littered with twisted metal and chunks of Toronto's buildings and sidewalks. The kind of place you could hurt yourself, the kind adventurous kids find so magical. So did we.

Posted by Shawn Micallef on 06.29.06 @ 12:13 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, June 27th

Stroll - Corktown

Eye - June 15, 2006

Irish eyes were smiling

The superheated day the TTC went wildcat, I spent the afternoon following Dennis Keliher around Corktown, circa 1890. He's the sole character in A People's History Distilled, a wonderful, historically based mobile play that has Keliher lead an audience on a walking tour of the Distillery District, where he worked, and out into Corktown, where he lived.

And it's when the play ventures outside the preserved Distillery confines that this necessary Toronto mythologizing gets exciting. At Mill and Cherry Streets, we encounter the unrelenting green wall that surrounds the West Don Lands. The wall went up seemingly overnight, and everything inside of it is being removed for a new community. Keliher mentioned living here, a nod to this area being residential over 100 years ago. If the Toronto Fire Department has its way, new streets will be a lot wider than they were in Keliher's day to accommodate our massive fire trucks. But narrow, intimate streets make for better neighbourhoods, so why not compromise with smaller trucks?

The Don Lands regeneration is 20 years in the making. In the late '80s, the St. Lawrence Square scheme -- later renamed Ataratiri -- was a proposed affordable housing development that saw $300 million spent on a project that didn't happen. Planning fetishists can visit the St. Lawrence Library branch and look through report after report on Ataratiri: "Social Structure Analysis"; "Noise and Vibration Study"; "Soil Analysis"; "Flood Protection Options" -- reading them is like listening to George and Martha talk about their son who doesn't exist in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Before the fence went up, Bayview and Front met in a derelict Detroit-ish place where one could dump bodies unnoticed in the darkness at the edge of town. Outside, in Corktown, there is an element of fleeting dereliction that is rare in Toronto, like the unkempt urban prairie that grows between Richmond and Adelaide, super-arterial roads that cut through the heart of Corktown in the 1960s.

Later, I revisited the area alone and wandered the streets, going up alleys, finding original Corktown cottages and sneaking under flying roadways where film crews store New York City cabs. Getting lost and a little dizzy, I repeatedly forgot I was in Toronto until I'd turn a corner and the electric skyline, always so sheer when viewed from the east, came into view.

At St. Paul Catholic School on Queen at Sackville, hundreds of Irish refugees from the Great Hunger in 1847 were buried. Today, they're underneath a paved playground, complete with a baseball diamond nobody would ever want to slide into home on. Corktown itself isn't dead, but you have to find it in between all the concrete.

Posted by Shawn Micallef on 06.27.06 @ 12:00 PM EST [link]

All that can be found anywhere can be found in Toronto.
-Victor Hugo, with some liberty and paraphrase.

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