The Big Picture

Every so often I venture into the heart of this great city I love to call my home, and every time I do I find something new and wonderful about it. Sunday afternoon I took a very long walk through Queen's Park (hooray for inner-city greenery!) and took a trip down Queen Street West because it's been years since I delved into Toronto culture.

There used to be a ton of fun little shops along there that catered to green livers like myself: for example, I'm not into pot myself, but the Friendly Stranger sells a lot of hemp products outside smoking gear that I am really into – hemp clothes and all-natural soaps and the like. Lush is good for that too – I don't really dig a lot of chemicals in my soaps and moisturizers, not just because it's terrible for the environment but it's also terrible for my skin (being Scottish, I am very pale and my skin is extremely delicate).

I was sad to see so many of the cool old stores replaced with high-end haute couture boutiques, but I guess that's progress. Rode the streetcar for the first time in a long time (normally I bike everywhere) and all I can say is I can't wait for Toronto to institute their new light-rail system: it'll be more environmentally friendly and with any luck there will be a little more room!

There's good and bad about every city, I guess, but being somewhat well-traveled I think Toronto is one of the better ones out there. Sometimes I forget just how green this city actually is until I get up high enough to see the big picture. Sunday evening, just as the sun was setting, I was sitting on the patio of the Spoke Club on King Street (one of the best views in that area), enjoying a quiet beer and looking out over the downtown core, and it was genuinely beautiful. Sure, there are lots of urban developments going on in the area (there always are) but the city planners really work hard to ensure that a lot of trees and parks are threaded through the condos and block stores. It's heartening.

Okay, this was a little bit touchy-feely for an angry environmental blog; I think I'm just happy that spring has finally, finally arrived. In fact, I think I'm going to take another walk after work today, hit up the Spoke patio again, and take in the big picture.

1 comment:

Tinman said...

I live in Parkdale, and the gentrification of my neighborhood is a big concern to me. Especially in these tough economic times, i see the mom and pop stores around closing one after another closing down and bigger places like Shoppers Drug mart and Starbucks moving in. Slowly but surely trendy queen west is creeping into Parkdale. The heritage is going to be lost, and we'll just be another casualty of poor city planning, like Sunnyside beach/amusement park.