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remembering east-end life

August 25, 2010

It seems weird to think that before I lived at the Lansdowne apartment I lived anywhere else because I feel like I fit here so well. But before I moved into the Lansdowne place, I lived on the east-end of the town.

If you live on the west-end of Toronto, chances are that you never cross over to the other side of Yonge Street. It’s understandable. If there’s nothing pressing you to go there, the distance can seem intimidating. But I was actually born on the east-end of the city in Scarborough, and I have family there- so I’m pretty comfortable on that stretch of Toronto east of the DVP. I love the Riverdale Park, and Chinatown East, the bazaar at little India, the Beaches.

My last neighbourhood was at Queen and Broadview, the west edge of Leslieville. It had a very different feel than this neighbourhood. Leslieville has secret boutiques and bridal shops, casual fine dining and espresso joints and art galleries- nestled between strip club, and gas station diners. It’s a neighbourhood in the process of becoming gentrified- and young upstart parents with jogging suits and baby carriages. Up here at Bloor and Lansdowne the artists are just starting to unpack, and the gentrification is just starting- but in our little rental house at Queen and Broadview, backyard, parking spot, washer/dryer combo, 3 bedrooms (with only one tenant for each), we couldn’t help but help but feel a little upstart ourselves.

In my Lansdowne apartment above a shop, I live with alternative building methods Mark. In the Queen E. house I lived with Caroline, the only jetset 22 year old I know. Together we had a lot of fun having adventures around the city- and moving to the east end together was one.

Last year Caroline finished her degree at U of T. Caroline’s from Toronto by way of Montreal and also Croatia- although it seems sometimes, like she has friends and family all over the world. So when her degree was done- she put everything into a storage locker and set off for the States and for Europe never to see us again.But you what, she came back because Prague was beautiful but stuffy, and Croatians were closed-minded- and overall she missed Toronto.

I can feel fall coming on. For Caroline fall brings another new beginning and graduate school in England. Having already said goodbye once, this doesn’t really feel real. Especially since we’ve been spending so much time together lately.

This is a picture I took of Caroline on her birthday last year, at her birthday bike gang party. A small group of us got on bicycles and rode up to the Danforth for Ethiopian food and hookah. Over the night I took pictures on the Yashica 35mm camera that Caroline had bought for me- at steal, $10 at the Queen St. E. Value Village. We also had a drawing session on her roof before hand. I had just bought my first set of gouache paints, having been inspired by some work my friend taking an animation course was doing.

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