A modest Toronto proposal

Posted on May 14, 2017
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Blog item 170514

A modest Toronto proposal

I am in Toronto at present on a very sad family matter.
I picked my hotel because there is a distinct possibility the direction I have to go each day may change from the south west of the city to the north east. I’m near Yonge and Dundas.
When I lived here, 55 years ago, I used to ride the Queen Street street car every morning and evening going past the hospital where my brother is now. Checking the Toronto Transit Commission web site, I learned all is as it was. First day, I walk down to Yonge and Queen and watch for the cars. Buses keep going by but no street cars. Eventually, passersby direct me to a nearby bus stop. It turns out street cars have been taken out of service until September.
Saturday, I have arranged to meet the daughter of a cousin for dinner out on The Danforth where she lives. We’ve been Facebook friends for quite some time but had never met. I take the Yonge Street subway up to the Bloor Danforth station only to learn the east west subway has been closed down for the day for service. I’m directed to the street for shuttle buses. When I finally find the bus stop, there is a line of people at least 500 feet long waiting for the bus I need. We have set a time to meet at the restaurant so I can’t wait. Dozens of other people have similar concerns so there are mobs looking for cabs. Finally a woman and I looking for a cab to the same intersection join forces and capture one. I barely make it to meet my second cousin(?) on time.
Sunday, I am to meet my sisters, her husband, my brother’s children and his daughter’s children at a church where her older boy will be performing in TC3, a Toronto youth gospel choir that, incidentally performed in a staged White House on “Designated Survivor,” last week. I hadn’t known some episodes of the show are made in Toronto until then.
The church is directly west and a bit north from my hotel so I amble out almost an hour ahead of time to grab a street car to within a couple of blocks of the church.
Surprise again. Not only are the street cars shut down for construction along the line, there are no buses. I have to go a subway stop north to College to get a street car west. I could take the subway but I’m getting nervous so start walking up Yonge thinking I’ll grab a cab unless I get to Yonge and College first.
Surprise again. Yonge Street is shut down for a marathon. Nothing but police cars on Yonge.
Get to College with my time to meet the family getting tight. There is a crowd at the stop. They tell me there has not been a car along in over 10 minutes. Three cars come along going the opposite direction without one coming west. Once again, I scramble to get a cab. The driver has never heard of Huron Street, where the church is. Fortunately I and his GPS are able to get him there although it involves some interesting navigations around one-way streets.
Again make it just in time.
The service, of course, starts 20 minutes late.
The service is amazing but that’s entirely another long story.
My modest proposal after five days of wrestling with Toronto is to blow it up, clear it, level it and plant a huge acreage of marijuana. The city doesn’t work. The citizens have no hope of ever owning a home with the minimum home price at $1,000,000. They spend most of their lives in fruitless attempts to get around. The Feds and the Province pour millions of dollars into trying to make it work with little noticeable effect.
The nation has never liked Toronto. It doesn’t produce anything. With the legalization of recreational pot, there is a good chance to turn it into a solid national revenue producer. It sits on what was once part of the lake bed of Lake Ontario. Sixty-five percent of the best farm land in Canada is visible from the CN Tower. The corporate and bureaucratic towers blown up and cleared away could be easily scattered across the country to the benefit of the country and all its citizens.
If I were to spend one more week here, I’d be considering undertaking the project free lance.
I can’t think of a flaw in my modest proposal. Can you? DAC


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