an open letter to the City of Toronto and my neighbours

To whom it may concern:

I read with great interest the Vatican’s pronouncement on 21st century sins in Tuesday’s paper.

You cannot imagine how impressed I was to learn that the Men in Red are turning their minds to some 21st century issues for once.

However, Pope Benedict forgot one very important one, which should be not only the eighth new deadly sin but also the 11th Commandment as far as I see it:

Shovel thy sidewalks!


This was the scene in my neighbourhood yesterday more than four days after the Big Storm 2008. Four days!!!

I’m not certain whether the City of Toronto itself should be trying to squeeze itself into a confessional booth or not, or if I should just go after my neighbours and the landlords of multi-res buildings on Bathurst north of Heath.

All I know is that three days have passed since the last big storm, and the sidewalks leading from my building to the St Clair West subway station resemble a vertical rock climbing gym surface.

Come on, people!! Have some consideration for others, would you?

I also note that, although the sidewalks and curbsides are a complete shambles…

… people have somehow managed to shovel out their own driveways in order to drive their own cars:


To be fair, The City did also clear the way in front of one of the six bus stops between my apartment and the subway station:


And the sidewalks downtown near my office? Let’s just say that if I actually wanted to go skating, I’d attend at Nathan Phillips Square rather than try to walk to the newsagent at Queen and Spadina!

It strikes me as though Toronto, once a pedestrian friendly city, now hates to think about people walking. Every resource available seems to have been poured into the road clearing of late. An important task, granted, but not all of us can afford to drive to work:

In my building, many people don’t even have cars. We pay a premium in rent and property taxes to live near a subway station, which has become well night impossible to access of late:

And of course, the TTC have also overwhelmingly voted to go on strike as of 1 April. I have no confidence at this point that the current snow will have even been removed from the sidewalks in my neighbourhood by then, nor that it will have thawed, which is what it seems the City is waiting for at this point.

I have become so depressed by this situation that I couldn’t even manage to scoop the best Treasure from Trash in a long time:

(which is probably just as well, really, because – never mind the Red Coats, JJ would call in the white coats if I came home with this beauty!)

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the past three days it has taken me on average 10 minutes to walk the 1/2 block from here:
…to here:

(This is my private entrance to the building. It has become necessary in order to avoid all my fans. Ah, the price of fame!)

So, Mayor Miller, Councillor Mihevic and (less and less) kind residents of Toronto, take a lesson from the Pope. Have pity on all of those hapless and carless pedestrians out there and shovel thy sidewalks. Please.

Yours truly,

Kristina Brouhaha
*********************
I wrote a version of the above as a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star yesterday. Not surprisingly, it hasn’t been published. I didn’t expect it to be, what with the religious content and all.

So, I’m in a rather pissy mood – quelle surprise, eh?

But on the upside, I finished knitting my Storm Water Scarf yesterday!

(I couldn’t resist photographing it on top of this subway news rag in order to verify the date. If I had a dollar for every tenant I have assisted who brought some version of this type of photo or video to their eviction hearing, I would never have to assist a tenant again before an eviction hearing as I would be sitting on the beach outside my Greek island villa, knitting.

My personal favourite – when they bring in the camcorder, which features some common or garden disrepair items then pans artfully over to the 24 hour news station playing on the TV and focuses on the date on the screen. These Hollywood hostage films have a lot to answer for…

So, in that proud tradition, here is my screenshot of the day:

I’m still a snow and ice hostage, apparently. Sigh.)

So, here’s nerdy pre-blocking photo, taken at my office:
We’ll see how much she grows by tomorrow when I hope to wear her back to the office. She’s marinating blocking as I rant speak:

And – a coworker has commissioned me to make her a vegan Tuscany. So tomorrow – PayDay – we get to make a little lunchtime journey to Romni to look for bamboo and soy yarn!!!

So, all is not lost.

Happy Thursday!


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