Going West


Wide Eyed
Originally uploaded by Allen George.

Drive east.

Past Parliament, past the end of the Gardner as it merges northward into the DVP – past even the end of Lakeshore – and you will find yourself on Toronto’s eastern beaches. It’s suburban, though with a much higher density than Toronto’s northern or western neighbours and if it weren’t for the TTC streetcars, you could easily imagine that it were another city. Disconnected; displaced from the downtown core.

But appearances are misleading.

Walk down Queen St. E. and observe the stores. Organic bakeries. Pet stores catering to your “special friend’s” every need – from baked goods to health & cosmetic care and everything in between. A liberal sprinkling of cafes and restaurants. It won’t take you long to realize that you’re in [as my companions at the time called it] Yuppieville. Late twenty ~ early thirty somethings without a family and plenty of disposable income…many call the Beaches home. That would explain why house prices have increased radically – in some areas as much as 20% – over the last year. Houses with asking prices of over 750,000 are common and many homes sell for north of a million.

One million.

Heck, I’ll be a twenty something on leaving university and I can’t even fathom making a commitment of that magnitude.

Notwithstanding the prices, the Beaches is a beautiful area of Toronto. To be honest, I can’t explain my fascination with it – or even why I enjoy its atmosphere. Perhaps it was because the time I spent there left me relaxed…content.

But soon I will be driving west.

And to the west lies trepidation. A nameless rancour with which I view my return to Waterloo. 4 days before I return and I’m already resigned – there is no other word for it – to the 4 months I’ll have to spend there.

Oh yes – it may be growing. It may be developing. For me however, Waterloo holds a very special, cold place in my heart.

It’s a part I wish to excise as soon as possible.

1 comment

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  • Go east enough on Queen E and you’ll hit one of the cafes that define the beaches, but hangs a somewhat joke sign… http://www.thebeachercafe.com . The Fox Cinema Marquee was featured as a picture somewhere in my blog, as I had a membership for that theatre, and I’ve frequented the (Elite) Balmy Beach Club enough to know a number of people who live in the area. Hit the park connecting the beaches to Queen E on a weekend, and any number of festivals are taking place.