Personal Treasures

I have to move. I have to move both myself and my treasure chest out of Parkdale.

I knew my time here was limited: I knew it the first time I saw a café where a cup of coffee cost over two dollars; I knew it when the condominiums started going up. My last apartment was going to be renovated when they turned the dive bar below it into a swanky lounge. It must rent now for twice as much as I paid, as it’s right on Queen. So I moved to the tenements on Jameson. It will be at least a couple of years before they convert this stretch of street into a place with class. But I don’t have years to wait.

The construction to eliminate the Dufferin Jog has restarted. It was dormant for so long that I had been simply going about my business. Now that the machines are in motion, my business is to rescue my belongings from the path of excavation and move to a different part of town.

I do not want to go up to Jane and Finch. It’s so far away from everything.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 6. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

“So I moved to the tenements on Jameson. It will be at least a couple of years before they convert this stretch of street into a place with class . . . ” —Jameson Avenue

“I will barely exist in one of those highrise low-rent buildings. I must have a sentimental attachment to the West End. But the West is not my kind of neighbourhood anymore. I’ve been here so long that I’m no longer blending in with the scenery . . . ” —Parkdale

“My last apartment was going to be renovated when they turned the dive bar below it into a swanky lounge. It must rent now for twice as much as I paid, as it’s right on Queen . . . ” —Queen Street West

“I do not want to go up to Jane and Finch. It’s so far away from everything. I expect there would be no people on the street at night that far north. So I explored the parts of downtown that are still considered bad neighbourhoods . . . ” —Jane and Finch

“Just south of there, Sherbourne and Queen is still pretty rough but it’s hemmed in on all sides by antique shops and brunch places and homes that people actually own. It won’t last long . . . ” —Sherbourne and Queen