April 26, 2005 by Allen George
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.
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.