Nuit Blanche 2015

Nuit Blanche 2015

Nuit Blanche 2015


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The<br />

Storybook<br />

Project<br />

Volume 1<br />

<strong>2015</strong> <strong>Nuit</strong> <strong>Blanche</strong>

© 2017 Department of Imaginary Affairs<br />

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication, reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,<br />

mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the DIA – or, in<br />

case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency – is an infrigement of<br />

the copyright law.

The<br />

Storybook<br />

Project<br />

Stories and illustrations by the<br />

residents of the East side of Toronto.

Welcome to the<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs<br />

We seek, collect, and share stories of Canadians from coast to<br />

coast to coast. Every story helps us learn more about the people<br />

who live in Canada. Through our projects, we share these stories<br />

in the hopes of creating a nation of empathetic citizens, public<br />

services, and policies.<br />

Stories are the key to challenging assumptions, nurturing and<br />

fostering creativity, and giving rise to citizen voices.<br />

2<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

The East side to me is ...<br />

On October 3, <strong>2015</strong> the Department of Imaginary Affairs officially<br />

debuted with its first public project, The East Side Story, an<br />

Independent Project during Scotiabank <strong>Nuit</strong> <strong>Blanche</strong> at St. James<br />

Park in Toronto. The project endeavoured to capture the narrative<br />

of citizens who live, work, and play on the East side of Toronto,<br />

about why they live there and how they see the area developing<br />

in the future. The stories that were collected were bound together<br />

in a 6 by 10 foot (12 by 10 foot when opened) storybook and<br />

displayed in the gazebo of the park. During the 12 hours of the<br />

event, visitors were encouraged to read the 144 stories contained<br />

in the book and collaboratively turn the pages (made of vinyl).<br />

Stories were collected the night of from visitors on a large 5 by 7<br />

foot page hung in the gazebo. Though The East Side Story was a<br />

public art installation, it was also research for the DIA to gain an<br />

understanding of the themese, concerns, questions, and general<br />

excitement of what the East side has to offer its residents.<br />

In 2017, The East Side Story became The Storybook Project. With<br />

each new community we engage with, we will add their stories<br />

to the book, both physically and digitally. It is our hope that this<br />

becomes the largest book of individual stories in Canada.<br />

If you would like to add your story to the book, visit us online at<br />

dia.space.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 3

The East side to me is ...<br />

Elena Basile<br />

East Side<br />

A place of exploration and adventure - I live on the West end, so the<br />

East side is where I go for fun and to visit friends - I love some parts of<br />

the beaches - Had a friend who used to live there and invited me for<br />

early morning walks - The beaches is amazing where NOBODY is there!<br />

I frequently go to Riverside and the Danforth too - but I find things are<br />

gentrifying on the east side as (...) on the west.<br />

4<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

The East side to me is ...<br />

Roberta<br />

East Side<br />

A big big mystery! I moved to Canada 15 years ago and Toronto has been<br />

my city since, but I am still exploring it! And the more I explore, the more I<br />

get curious<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 5

Nature<br />

Dale Davis<br />

Beach<br />

Grew up in a forest of names<br />

Balsam<br />

Sychamore<br />

Spruce<br />

Pine<br />

Beech<br />

Williow<br />

Fern<br />

goes on<br />

Memories of playing in<br />

ravines (Glen manor)<br />

There were rabbits,<br />

turtles frogs<br />

6<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Indian Bazaar<br />

Before Little India was a neighbourhood, there was a movie theatre called<br />

“The Naaz” in the 70’s - that was the only thing there until the influx of<br />

East Indian in the early 80’s. And now they are moving West to areas like<br />

Brampton bringing in new shops.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 7

Leslieville<br />

Betty Yan<br />

Leslieville<br />

The East Side to me is following the lingering scent of fresh bread from the<br />

Weston Bakery, biking around the neighbourhood and stopping by Ed’s<br />

Convenience Store for handfuls of candy for less than a dollar, meeting my<br />

best friend down the street to go to Jimmie Simpson Park, chasing the<br />

ice cream truck down the street to cool off, and above all, the welcoming<br />

smiles from strangers and familiar faces that bond this community. The<br />

East Side is my home and childhood.<br />

8<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Brian Hamlin<br />

Leslie Spit<br />

The East side is where my children and grandchildren have been raised.<br />

I have kept bees near the Leslie Spit for the last eight years. The honey<br />

has become one of the most favoured of all Toronto honeys. The weird<br />

wetland flora and general area of the Portlands is the traditional territory of<br />

the Mississauga of New Credit, we honour their historical connection to the<br />

East side with the hope their contributions past and future will be celebrated.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 9

The Weeping Willow in<br />

Sarah Ashbridges Park<br />

Kate Flaherty<br />

Sarah Ashbridges Park<br />

I was presenting an outdoor poetry reading with my “Tuesday Poets” at<br />

Sarah Ashbridges park on Queen near Greenwood when another actor/<br />

poet and I stood under the magnificent weeping willow tree as we need a<br />

bit of poetry – both of us almost cried with the willow when we read about<br />

the layers of history under that tree. Beneath the soil are layers of common<br />

humanity – common ground: a native heart of vocals for their fire, above<br />

that, the seeds planted<br />

by sectors, and above<br />

that a lady’s English<br />

garden. So many levels<br />

of human connection<br />

with the Earth and<br />

elements. It struck us<br />

both how the sacred<br />

land was revered by the<br />

First Nations here; the<br />

first peoples native to<br />

Canada have so much<br />

to teach us so much to<br />

forgive. It made us weep<br />

with hope for a new<br />

generation of respect for<br />

Aboriginal Peoples.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

10<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

My East End<br />

Darlene Rouse<br />

Danforth<br />

The East End is home for me. I’ve been here in the same apartment for<br />

seventeen years. I really enjoy my surroundings here on the Danforth<br />

between Coxwell and Pape.<br />

Now changes occur – Home Hardware will be greatly missed. The workers<br />

were so kind and helpful. It was a small store but a real landmark for me.<br />

Then Mark’s Warehouse turned into Canadian Tire. Apparently, Canadian<br />

Tire owns both stores. I really miss Mark’s for its quality clothing.<br />

But, most missed are the Zellers store in Gerrad Square, Shopper’s World<br />

and East York Malls. Walmart took over in Gerrad Square. Target tried to<br />

make a go of it in the other two plazas. Now they are closed and those<br />

two stores stand empty. What a waste of space!<br />

Lastly, Scotiabank moved<br />

to Pape and Danforth. Now<br />

it’s a six block walk – does<br />

me good! But some of our<br />

tenants are not able to walk<br />

more than a block.<br />

We are lucky enough to<br />

be situated between two<br />

subway stations. We still have<br />

restaurants and coffee shops<br />

galore. This is still my happy<br />

place!<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 11

Moments to Remember –<br />

Ashbridges Bay<br />

Jessie Hemthorn<br />

Ashbridges Bay<br />

Oh the lake summer of 1999. I had a very nice E.S.L. homestay student<br />

staying with me. He was from Columbia S. America and on this day I<br />

suggested we should take a bike ride in Kew Beach Park, by the lake. It<br />

was a warm sunny afternoon and we cycled around reaching a beautiful<br />

view of the lake with huge boulders on which we could sit. Throwing down<br />

the bikes on the grass area, we sat on top of the boulders to drink in the<br />

vast expanse as smooth unrippled waters of Lake Ontario reaching out<br />

endlessly to the horizon.<br />

There wasn’t a soul about. It was as we were alone on the planet. Few<br />

words where passed. The beauty, the stillness, the hushed silence, it felt<br />

I was in a timeless spiritual dimension; at one with the universe and the<br />

creator.<br />

How much time passed – I don’t know I felt I could stay there forever!<br />

As the sun moved west and its light began to fade, I didn’t want to break<br />

the spell, I thought my young friend must be feeling the pang of hunger. I<br />

asked him about dinner. “Do you mind if we stay a bit longer? He replied.<br />

“No” I said, and we stayed until the sun began to sink below the horizon.<br />

Silently we got on the bikes and rode home. It<br />

was a time to remember and to treasure.<br />

You might still find this now, but in the early<br />

morning before it crowds come! And of course<br />

you would have to be alone or be with a quiet<br />

kindled spirit!<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

12<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Memory Lane’s Treasure –<br />

The East Ends Pleasure<br />

Margret H.<br />

East Side<br />

Come stroll with me, down memory land. Into the fleeting past, and back<br />

again.<br />

The famous Maple Leaf Cottage and tree. The Inspirational Song from<br />

Alexander Muir to us you see. The Maple Leaf forever had become a<br />

National Anthem for a while. In the 50’s it’s rival surpassed it, O Canada<br />

took over. The song did not do as well as the significant tree did. The<br />

damaged tree was almost gone by the ice storms. People are nursing it<br />

back to health with T.L.C (tender, love and care). Thank you Alexander Muir<br />

1830-1906 for your contribution.<br />

Canada’s three most endearing symbols are:<br />

The Maple Leaf, the Canada<br />

Beaver, the Mounties.<br />

This is pure and proud Canadians.<br />

There are many treasures in the<br />

East End to be appreciated this is<br />

only one of them.<br />

Ashbridges Estate<br />

The Gardener’s Cottage<br />

The National Exhibition<br />

The Beaches beautiful library<br />

The Churches in the East End<br />

The Boat House in Kew Beach<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 13

Fish ‘n Chips<br />

Diana Bradley<br />

Leslieville<br />

“Fish ‘n Chips and Vinegar<br />

Vinegar,<br />

Vinegar,<br />

Fish ‘n chips and vinegar, pepper, pepper, salt!”<br />

One of my happiest memories was when Dad took us out or fish n chips. I<br />

lived with my family in Etobicoke.<br />

Today I live in Leslieville which boasts of many such restaurants. My<br />

favourite, however, is the B+B Fish’n Chips near Queen St. E/Carlaw Ave.<br />

It is run by Chinese couple. It’s been in the area for many years. They<br />

have their own method of preparing each delicious serving. They make a<br />

cone-shaped holder out<br />

of newspaper, into which<br />

they insert a clean, white<br />

paper, into which they stuff<br />

the fish ‘n chips! There is a<br />

bench inside and out. So<br />

humble a place, so great a<br />

catch!!<br />

“Fish ‘n Chips and<br />

vinegar… pepper, pepper,<br />

salt!<br />

(But don’t hold the<br />

ketchup!)<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

14<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

A Vision of the East Side<br />

Stella Tan<br />

East Side<br />

One awakens to the serenade of song birds<br />

While transport vehicles whisper by silently<br />

Sped on by hydrogen fuelled cells, fossil fuels<br />

Are no more the air is pure as that in the<br />

Wilderness<br />

Harmless water vapour dampen<br />

The air our skins are moist and fresh<br />

Plants and animals flourish in virgin forests that<br />

Once were<br />

East enders’ homes and water powered by the<br />

Sun all clean and unending<br />

Armed with abundant knowledge East enders turn to<br />

Growing their own fruits, vegetables, trees in<br />

Every space, minerals and organic wastes<br />

Ploughed back to enrich our soil<br />

Little East enders wisely taught send out<br />

Their message of Peace, Love,<br />

Togetherness<br />

Echoing over and over joined by<br />

innumerable voices<br />

Throughout the future ages yet to come<br />

A dream you say? No, definitely<br />

achievable<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 15

Ruslina C.<br />

East Side<br />

The East Side to me is like a flower garden that carries with love, tender<br />

and gives the equal sunshine to all different kind of flowers. And that’s<br />

what I love most about living in East Side.<br />

My kids and my family feel home, feel special by being part of a garden<br />

with every kind of flower doesn’t matter what aroma, colour, or shape.<br />

I wish I will the able to continue live in this garden, for the rest of my life,<br />

and I wish that in 100 years, the East side will continue to the home for<br />

every flower.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

16<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

M.J.<br />

Riverdale<br />

I love the East End because of:<br />

East Chinatown – shopping for a quarter of the price! The fish is so fresh –<br />

it’s still swimming!<br />

Riverdale Park – Track, pool, skating rink > Has the best sledding hills in<br />

the winter!<br />

The park truly helps us come alive!<br />

Riverdale Cemetery tells so much history. The tombs are so old and show<br />

us the reflections of peoples live in the area back in the day<br />

I wouldn’t want to<br />

live anywhere else!<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 17

R.S.<br />

Beach<br />

The East to me… having barbeque at the beach and riding my bike on the<br />

trails.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

18<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Ayda Swaidau<br />

Danforth<br />

The last seven years of my life, I lived on the Danforth and Main Street<br />

area. Nothing was unusual with the area old broken Danforth avenue.<br />

Pompy side walk you even cannot use a (...) on, a littel dark. And suddenly<br />

the last three years they started first fixing the side walk, was all cement<br />

blocks, no pumps and then they fixed the road, no cracks, no broken<br />

walls for disposing waters. And most of all they design the side walk with<br />

beautiful trees and extra black lights and two flower blooms on each light.<br />

My east Danforth area is looking in its best for doing anything, shopping,<br />

joking, or walking.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 19

Ashley<br />

East Side<br />

The East side to me is… coming to St. John’s. It is a beautiful place to<br />

come be a part of and meet new people. What I wish for the East side<br />

is to have more people come and see it for themselves. I hope in 100<br />

years, there will be an inclusive space for people of all kinds together and<br />

contribute to.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

20<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

C.F.<br />

East Side<br />

I am an East-side girl; always have been probably always will be.<br />

Yonge Street seems to be a real defining demarcation point in the city’s<br />

geography; people tend to always live either somewhere on it’s Eastside<br />

or somewhere on its west side, but not often crossing this imaginary<br />

boundary, whether it be a mental and unconscious mindset or social in<br />

nature. I like the East end.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 21

J.H.<br />

East Side<br />

I was born and raised in the East end of Toronto. It’s changed a lot over<br />

time. The past 39 years, especially on Queen Street, there’s a lot more<br />

new restaurants, but some of my favourites have disappeared. The<br />

neighbourhood has become very multicultural; a lot of people have moved<br />

away. All my friends have now moved away, but it makes room for new<br />

ones!<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

22<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Sharon Gorman<br />

Riverdale Park<br />

To me the East Side is a place where I’ve gotten to know myself. What I<br />

love most about the East side is… the view from Riverdale Park.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 23

A.B. Class<br />

East Side<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

24<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Janice B.<br />

East Side<br />

I love it in the East Side.<br />

At the mission were I work, friends and family, they get along.<br />

The barkey, it grows people to came to see the mission and other people<br />

we know they like family, it is a second home to. and the people work<br />

at the they creat time and tea time and dinner. They sit down and eat<br />

together.<br />

Kettle of Fish<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 25

My Neighbourhood<br />

Chinatown East<br />

To me the East side my home and a place I feel very comfortable to be<br />

around. I originally started my East side adventures at the Broadview<br />

and Dundas intersection of the city. Growing up with a 2-minute walk to<br />

Chinatown was probably one of the most exciting thing to me as a child.<br />

The sheer amount of people there everyday was surrounding to me, and<br />

the hustle and bustle became like entertainment.<br />

I feel as though my upbringing in that neighbourhood definitely played<br />

an integral part in how I’ve grown up today. Being exposed to an infinite<br />

amount of people, cultures, foods and influences all varied by place of<br />

origin; all came together in a “melting pot” of sorts.<br />

Today the East side<br />

is a little different. The<br />

hipsters are coming.<br />

Cultural appropriation<br />

and gentrification are<br />

showing up in little<br />

areas now, being<br />

deemed “quaint” and<br />

“exotic”. It’s slowly<br />

happening, but I feel the<br />

East side is resisting.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

26<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Supportive Community<br />

East Side<br />

What I love most about the East side is how everyone works as a<br />

community. People are always supportive of each other and willing to help<br />

with anything. When I lived here it was my favourite place to be. There<br />

were many people my age and tons of places to go an have fun.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 27

Needs to be Cheaper<br />

Alaska<br />

East Side<br />

I wish the East end had cheaper food/stores because I don’t work or have<br />

a lot of money so we need cheaper cafes. Also, then all our friends can<br />

hangout more in the East end which would be cool cause I don’t like the<br />

TTC that much too. The TTC was really hot in the summer. So I hope that<br />

it will be cheaper in a few years!<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

28<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Better Things To…<br />

East Side<br />

The East side is nice but it needs better food places, not just McDonalds<br />

and Subway. We need better things to do in the East side but go to<br />

school, the beach and the movies but those things get boring after awhile.<br />

East side, please get better food joints and better things to do.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 29

Closing Down the Viaduct<br />

Nebula<br />

Danforth<br />

The best thing to ever happen in the East end was when they closed<br />

down the Bloor-viaduct for a free concert. On July 4th, <strong>2015</strong> they closed<br />

off the Bloor-Danforth bridge for the bridge lighting and the part of the<br />

Pan-Am torch relay. But my favourite part was the set that July Talk played<br />

before the bridge was lit. I think that in the future they should close down<br />

the viaduct more often because its kinda fun to dance in the middle of a<br />

bridge, and above a train.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

30<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Second Home<br />

East Side<br />

The East side to me is my second home, I grew up in Scarborough, but<br />

spent a majority of my work life on the East End, serving the community<br />

and getting to know the neighbourhood and its people. It molded me as<br />

much as my own neighbourhood has. … strawberry!<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 31

Chiara<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite place to go for dinner with my family is the Goof or the<br />

beacher cafe on the East side!<br />

St. Denis<br />

32<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

East Side<br />

The east side to me is home and a place that I know about. What I like the<br />

most about the east side is that it has nature and I could have play dates.<br />

What I wish for the east side is that I wish there was all the restarants I like.<br />

in 100 years will look simaler but there will be more elctronics and people<br />

make robots.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 33

Mya Stifani<br />

Beach<br />

What I love most about th east is all of the stores / shops on Queen St.<br />

and Kingston Rd. I also like the Resturaunts on those streest as well. In<br />

100 years, the east side will probably be filled with condos like the rest<br />

of Toronto (Basically). What I wish for the east side is that it does not be<br />

come condo filled and there are still things like parks and shops.<br />

St. Denis<br />

34<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

the Spit /Tommy Thompson 1913-1985 Park<br />

Jenny Harper<br />

Leslie Spit<br />

Enter at the side of the wooden gate and walk along the gravel pathways or tracks and<br />

marvel at the multi hues of vivid wild flowers. Stone artists make inukshuks on the way<br />

down to the small cliffs and on the stone beaches.<br />

This is the Spit peninsular - 5 kilometers of wilderness for hikers, cyclists,<br />

rollerbladers, fishermen and sailors, built up from discarded construction materials on<br />

sandy bogland, right opposite Toronto’s silhouetted skyline. Croc shoes worn for foot<br />

protection from the stones can be comfortable for paddling and swimming - the lake<br />

so warm by August/September.<br />

There are many further wonderful walks along the eastern side - also a pathway<br />

leading to the west side bird sanctuary, which during spring and summer nesting,<br />

visitors are prohibited from entry before September. I have seen red, yellow, blue birds<br />

fly, even an owl swivelling its head and winking in a winter tree. Rabbits, coyotes,<br />

amphibians. From nowhere suddenly appear flight formations of cormorants and<br />

geese - so mesmerizing. Stripped trees like creamy skeletons show bird nests high<br />

and sandy beaches below just gazing across to Cherry Beach. Winter x-country<br />

skiers enjoy the flat open, bare trees for<br />

landmarks and native Osier dogwood<br />

stems. Stunning vivid red against the white<br />

of snow and occasional beaver teeth<br />

marks on logs. By resting on the hill by the<br />

windmill comes that prize view and from<br />

where we can dream!!<br />

The East Side means to me the Spit, when<br />

five minutes from my home, I can leave<br />

Toronto behind and be in the wilderness.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 35

T.L.<br />

East Side<br />

What I love most about the east side is, is too many to choose. The 50<br />

year old, St. Lawrence market, how wide and big the garden district is. I<br />

think the east side of Toronto will still be in a very clean state, and that the<br />

east side will be peaceful in future. Canada itself will be still be a peaceful<br />

country.<br />

St. Denis<br />

36<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Akhansha Fernando<br />

Beach<br />

I live in the east side for most of my life. A person everyone should know<br />

is a crossing guard, he makes everyone smile. If you look outside my<br />

teachers window you can see him, but sometimes he goes on a break. He<br />

loves sports, well at least I think so, he talks abott the games to anyone<br />

who passes him and stops to talk to him. He is very nice.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 37

Beach<br />

East side is to me: Ed’s real scoop! Beach. School. Flowers.<br />

St. Denis<br />

38<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Beach<br />

I like to go bycicling at the bikeing path near the beach.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 39

Jacquie<br />

Beach<br />

This is my school in the East side. It is called St. Denis Catholic school.<br />

I like the East side because of the great ice cream shop called Ed’s Real<br />

Scoop. It has REAL ice cream. I have lots of friends here!!!!<br />

St. Denis<br />

40<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Boyagoda<br />

Beach<br />

The thing I like best is St. Denis. It is the best school in the whole world<br />

because of its teachers and students.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 41

Emma G<br />

Beach<br />

This is St. Denis. I spend most of my time here during the day. I made<br />

lots of friends here and I learn here! Also there’s a lot of places around the<br />

school that I like to hang out at!<br />

St. Denis<br />

42<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Rellason<br />

Beach<br />

The best thing in the East side of town is the good people and the nice<br />

schools like St. Denis. Also my dance studio for the love of it, also the<br />

loving friends and family.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 43

Beach<br />

Ed’s Real Scoop, it’s the home of the East side.<br />

Another great place in the East side is the Balmy Beach Club. There’s<br />

volleyball, rugby, water sports and a great place to get a drink and chill out.<br />

St. Denis<br />

44<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Alison H.<br />

Beach<br />

I love the beaches because it is so friendly. I like to play beach volleyball. I<br />

like to go to movies with my friends.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 45

Sofia G.<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite thing in the East side is when I got to the Balmy Beach Club.<br />

St. Denis<br />

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Julia P.<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite place to go is the beach to watch the sunset.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 47

Beach<br />

The East side to me is a place to hang out. I like to go to the beach, play in<br />

the ravine and go to the cinema! Some things I do at the beach, go in the<br />

water and play beach volleyball. The ravine is a good place to go with my<br />

friends.<br />

St. Denis<br />

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Sofia R.<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite part about the beach is that I get to go swimming. I also get to<br />

make sand castles. I like to collect seashells. I think that the beach would<br />

have more ice cream trucks, hamsters everywhere in a hundred years. I<br />

want there to be free candy stores.<br />

St. Denis<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 49

Roi D.<br />

Regent Park<br />

At the East side Toronto Regent Park there is an aquatic centre<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

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Jazmin R.<br />

Gerrard Square<br />

I like to play volleyball at recess. Volleyball is my first favourite sport. I play it<br />

with my friends everyday!<br />

I go shopping with my mom to get groceries at Gerrad Square<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 51

Yemariam<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

I like playing volleyball with my friends at school. Watching a movie at<br />

Rainbow Cinema<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

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Rose N.<br />

East Side<br />

I live on the east side. I love my home but we had to move the house, we<br />

gone. I miss my finds, my home but we went to a new house.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 53

Rodvin B.<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

To me the East side is a place with many lovely people. Also a place with<br />

many memorial buildings and places. Such as our school and the St.<br />

Lawrence market. The East side is where many of my friends live and on<br />

the East side I do a lot of things even though I live on the West side. I even<br />

do more things on the East side than I do on the West side.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

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Zoe<br />

Cherry Beach<br />

To me the East side is home. My story is…<br />

One day my dad and I went to Cherry Beach. My dad asked me “where<br />

the dog?”<br />

“Behind you,” I replied.<br />

My dad turned around, “Where?”<br />

“Behind you!” I replied.<br />

He turned around again and saw our dog. We smile and laughed.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 55

John A.<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

On the East side of Toronto, I went to the Rainbow cinemas to watch<br />

Avengers 2 the whole movie was about Iron creating a good robot that<br />

went wrong. So he turned evil and could upgrade himself by a very, very<br />

strong metal called “vibranium” so before the movie my mom bought some<br />

popcorn, candy and drinks, after the movie that started at 3:30 to 6:00.<br />

We went out and had dinner and then my uncle picked us up to go home.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

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Quincey W.<br />

Regent Park<br />

One day at RPSM (Regent Park) I did a performance with my choir and my<br />

friends also go to the same choir as I do. We have to perform a lot. Regent<br />

Park is really really fun.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 57

Aquatic Centre in Regent Park<br />

Regent Park<br />

One day at the Aquatic centre. My friend and I were on the diving board,<br />

then he tripped off the diving board.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

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Playing at Nelson Mandela<br />

Regent Park<br />

I like to go to Nelson Mandela soccer field because not only I love soccer<br />

but I’m also really good at it. I also like going to the aquatic centre with my<br />

friends because its fun to be with your friends when you’re swimming. The<br />

adidas store because I can get all the equipment I need for soccer.<br />

St. Paul’s<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 59

Jonathan R.<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

The Eastside is awesome. My favourite place to have fun is the Esplanade<br />

basketball court. I had an amazing time at St. Lawrence summer camp<br />

where we went to many water parks. We went on scary water slides. The<br />

east side to me is a peaceful and fun place. I think in 100 years, the East<br />

side will be floating and there will be flying cars and cyborgs. My favourite<br />

memory of the East side is when I scored soccer team in St. Lawrence<br />

soccer game.<br />

St. Michael<br />

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Mackay<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

The East side is a great place. I’ve grown up here and it has such great<br />

spots to hang, eat, play and just do whatever. One of the things that I<br />

love most about the East side is the extremely friendly people. I love just<br />

seeing someone I know and just talking to them on the sidewalk. The one<br />

thing I don’t love about the East Side is how there is so much construction<br />

and pollution. When I see all of the smoke coming out of building vents,<br />

it makes me sad to know that near the beginning of time everyone relied<br />

on nature and now it’s technology we rely on. Often times I wonder what<br />

it’d be like to not have any technology invented at all – I think it would<br />

help make us more dependent on nature. I love the food here! There’s<br />

chocolate factories, food trucks/stands (not grease trucks!) that are so<br />

delicious. One of my favourite spots to eat is Bellisimo’s Pizzeria (I am<br />

obsessed with the poutine!) and Balzac’s café. The best fries are Jamie<br />

Kennedy’s Frites that are dressed in thyme, salt and sea salt. A great spot<br />

in the East side is the Distillery – gorgeous thing to see, music to listen to<br />

and food + clothing + accessories to buy. The St. Lawrence market is an<br />

amazing and happening place to be on a Saturday. One of the sad things<br />

is the homelessness, there is not a massive amount but not a small one<br />

either. The East side has a great visual too, the parks and some older<br />

buildings are just<br />

stunning. The East<br />

side is Amazing!<br />

St. Michael<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 61

The Carkwheel Story<br />

Jayden D.<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

One school day the lunch bell rang for lunch recess. Suubi, Ale and I went<br />

to a part of the school yard. I did not run, a chatch up then a cartwheel!<br />

St. Michael<br />

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Rediet Y.<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite thing to do in the East side is to hang out with my friends, go to<br />

beaches and go to malls. I also enjoy going swimming at the aquatic center.<br />

St. Michael<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 63

Sarah<br />

East Side<br />

I have enjoyed many things in this area I call home. Such as going to the<br />

movies when I saw Big Hero 6 for the first time. There are many fun parks<br />

to go to for all ages. My whole like I have lived here. I got my first pet at the<br />

tails pet store which has moved twice. I like going to the beach to collect<br />

glass and rock etc. What I might enjoy most is shooting hoops in my<br />

driveway, which is not a distinct thing in the neighbourhood, just going to<br />

mention it. I really like going to my favourite sporting stores where I get my<br />

Saskatchewan Roughrider jerseys. I also enjoy going to my favourite milk<br />

store, it’s flavoured. Someday I hope that there will be good gym really close<br />

to us. Also the CN<br />

tower is one of<br />

the most amazing<br />

buildings ever.<br />

St. Michael<br />

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Leah<br />

Beach<br />

I like going to the beach with my friends and hanging out. I like how there are<br />

lots of trees and parks in the neighbourhood. I think in 100 years, the east<br />

side will be all condos, but I hope there will be more parks and the area will<br />

still be the same.<br />

St. Michael<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 65

Hayden<br />

East Side<br />

I like to have playdates with my friends. I love the beach on the east side.<br />

Also I love the bike path because it goes super far and I also love Ed’s real<br />

scoop for ice cream and I love my big backyard also the big space so I can<br />

play soccer.<br />

St. Michael<br />

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Elizabeth<br />

Beach<br />

I love the East side of Toronto, there are many fun places to go like the<br />

beach. It is fun to live here with so much to do. I love to go to the movies<br />

and play volleyball at the courts on the beach, go biking on the trails, shop<br />

on queen, go to Mcds and get snacks, stroll though the ravine. I love it here!<br />

St. Michael<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 67

Mary H.<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite places on the East side are the Balmy Beach Club and Ed’s<br />

real scoop. Ed’s is awesome because it makes the best ice cream. I like the<br />

Balmy Beach Club because it’s a great place to play sports and hang out<br />

with friends also I like to go there because I do camp there in the summer.<br />

St. Michael<br />

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Isabella<br />

Beach<br />

My favourite part of beach is to play in the sand and swim. Also collect<br />

seashells. I think the beach there is going to be more shops also more<br />

people living in the beaches. I hope for flying car because I want a flying car.<br />

The Eastside means lots of fun with my friends and I like to go to Ed’s.<br />

St. Michael<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 69

Max<br />

East Side<br />

Afterschool in the east side, I normally go to a baseball diamond and hit<br />

some balls. I also like to go on a bike ride down at the boardwalk. I also like<br />

to go to the docs and go to the driving range and go-karts.<br />

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Beach<br />

GOOF: #1 Place to eat in the Beaches!<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 71

Beach<br />

To me the East side is where i grew up. It is my home i love school and<br />

i would not want to live anywhere else. The people on the East side are<br />

known for being friendly and always busy and rushed because there is<br />

so much traffic on the East side. It would be so great if there was not so<br />

much traffic on the east side. It would also be good if there was not so<br />

much garbage down at the beach and all the streets and if the line at Ed’s<br />

wasn’t so long. The best secret is the beautiful beaches.<br />

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Falling, I heard God’s Voice In The Trees<br />

Joylyn Chai<br />

Danforth<br />

My eternal gratitude to the friends and neighbours who helped me after I<br />

was in an ACCIDENT on the Danforth.<br />

We stare at a reflection of ourselves every day and forget who we are. We<br />

might not know ourselves or what matters. We heave and pull at our heavy<br />

hearts: Lie down, crawl, stand still. Then, in a split second, we’ve fallen.<br />

Without help, we cannot rise again. Muck and blood commingle. We are<br />

startled by nothing: the darkness, the descent, the inability to connect<br />

stray thoughts and repetitive words. This makes jarring sense. Everything<br />

is obliterated<br />

oblivion. Nothing<br />

is important.<br />

What remains<br />

is the possibility<br />

of nothing, the<br />

absolute certainty<br />

of nothing. So<br />

much blood and<br />

bruising, pressure<br />

and burning<br />

released. A handful<br />

of water opening<br />

under water.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 73

Corktown<br />

The East side is my home. I have lived here about half my life but it feels<br />

like forever. I like to go to the park with my friends and family and ride my<br />

bike on the bike paths. I think some things could be improved, like more<br />

security around back allies/lanes, because i have heard numerous times<br />

about how someone was shot or killed. Also, I live near a school called<br />

St. Paul’s where there is a good Shepperd shelter across from it and I find<br />

that sad. Who puts a homeless shelter across from a school? I think in 100<br />

years, the East side will be improved in some ways, but the sad thing is, I<br />

imagine grey skies because of all the pollution. I imagine living in the East<br />

side when i grow older, so i can only hope things changing for the better.<br />

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Felicity Z.<br />

Beach<br />

What I wish is that the government will stop building condos and stop<br />

destroying the village of the beaches. My favourite place in the beaches is<br />

the boardwalk and shopping on Queen St. with my friends.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 75

Luella Price Lane<br />

Joanne Doucette<br />

Indian Bazaar<br />

I have suggested to Paula Fletcher, our local City Councillor, that the eastwest<br />

laneway running from Greenwood east, north of Gerrard, be named<br />

the Luella Price Lane. Here is the background below. The laneway would<br />

celebrate a notable woman who survived slavery to come to Canada and<br />

built a new life. There is very little awareness of the Afro-Canadian history in<br />

this neighbourhood. This would highlight it.<br />

Luella Price, 6 Redwood Ave<br />

Luella Price was born June 20, 1858 at the time of slavery in Virginia and came to<br />

Canada in 1885. She died in Toronto on June 15th, 1935 and lived at 6 Redwood<br />

Ave. She is listed on her death certificate as “a housewife” but she was so much<br />

more. She was a dressmaker and for many years she ran a boarding house. She also<br />

had a restaurant on York Street in the heart of Toronto’s black community. Prominent<br />

members of that community, including Elisha Edmunds and John Hubbard, boarded<br />

with the Prices.<br />

Her husband Grandison (or Granison) Thomas Price was born March 1, 1857 at the<br />

time of slavery in Maryland. Grandison Price is listed at Perry County, Alabama in the<br />

1866 Alabama State Census “Coloured Population”.<br />

Grandison Price and Luella Cooper were married in Washington, D.C. in 1875. He<br />

immigrated to Canada in 1883. He was a barber in 1891 but became a porter on the<br />

railroad and worked for the CPR. They had at least one child, a boy, who died young.<br />

They adopted a son, Robert J. Lynch who was a waiter on the railway. They were<br />

active in the Baptist Church. In 1911 they lived on Morse Street and became relatively<br />

well-to-do (having insurance worth $3,000).<br />

In 1915 Luella Price built the three-storey brick apartment house, 6 Redwood Avenue.<br />

It cost about $9,500 to build.<br />

Grandison T. Price died on April 10, 1921. They are both buried in St. John of Norway<br />

Cemetery.<br />

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From Plato to this day at Danforth pt.1<br />

Mohammad Fida<br />

Greektown<br />

The East side in Toronto means to me as ‘my home’ for dwelling around Danforth Ave<br />

since 1982. It has interesting stories on how fast it grew up during the last three decades<br />

of Time. In the beginning it was mostly Greek and English peoples’ old village known even<br />

to Americans. But in 1990’s after the fall of Soviet Union, the new world order made the<br />

‘Toronto East end’ becomes a multi cultural location with a lot to explore<br />

In the beginning I remember the TTC station of Donlands was the Danforth Station. With<br />

the passage of time TTC management got more realist and intelligent by providing its<br />

services in a modern faster and scientific ways. Thus the Danforth Village at the turn of<br />

the century got recognized as the Greek village with a big gate erected by the municipality<br />

at Danforth / Joan Ave intersection and this village ends at the Broadview intersection. It<br />

is not that big area but still have Broadview, Chester, and Pape /Donlands stations which<br />

the residents move around promptly in the GTA. The Greek village is negotiable on foot for<br />

just one hour walk. Interesting scenario is the historical version of its people whom mean<br />

to civilization lot as all recorded civilization on earth begun after the era of Plato, the Great<br />

Greek Scholar before Christ. Just image about the era 430 B.C and visualize Alexander<br />

the great marching over to India. There he could defeat the Indian forces of elephant<br />

infantry of Rajah Pours as his elephants turned back and walked over own soldiers. Since<br />

then lot of import and export occurred between the two civilizations and it is all that history<br />

one may recall about at this corner of the East side of Toronto. This may make you walk in<br />

History with the evolution of philosophy from Plato and Aristotle up to Karl Marks ... and at<br />

each step you will say yes mankind has always been in search of better standard of living<br />

and freedom which even prompted our generations to immigrate to Canada from around<br />

the whole world.<br />

In 1980’s when I came to this area there was no Muslim mosque but those few Muslims<br />

from India and Pakistan had then begun to appear on Danforth Ave. Then about a dozen<br />

strong could gathered on Danforth and Euston Ave where we have a big 7 /11 store now<br />

and they got a basement to do their worship etc. Then to the Eastward of Danforth Ave/<br />

Donland intersection we had many Churches and Muslims could buy one church on the<br />

south of Danfo1ih at Donland intersection. In 1983 it was just available for worship after<br />

a little ofremodeling. And today “Medina Mosque” has become a great Tourist attraction<br />

with its high rising minarets and two domes contributing lot to the beauty of the Danforth<br />

Ave at the Donlands junction as Muslims from all national background do visit the mosque<br />

frequently for their five prayers daily worship and a special gathering on each Friday with<br />

two occasions of Eid prayers annually. Maulana Siraj Its Imam has contributed great<br />

service for the modernization of this mosque.<br />

Applegrove Community Complex<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 77

From Plato to this day at Danforth pt.2<br />

Mohammad Fida<br />

Yes! Toronto’s east end at this corner is a great retlection of our Torontonian cultural mix,<br />

accommodation and multi-cultural-ism which is exclusively the ‘Canadian way’! People<br />

from all walks of life and background are dwelling here for their own good and better<br />

future with a great humor and civic sense.<br />

In this area of Greek Village one has not only access to all sorts of business and services<br />

but government facilities too. For new comers the Wood Green community center is<br />

available around the clock while for massage therapy you have dozens of bars open with<br />

all facilities.<br />

Asian European and African food and drinks are right next door on the Greek Village<br />

at Danforth ave. This means that this side of our Toronto East has opportunities for job<br />

seekers too. Big Groceries are at the walking distance and Indian Bazaar on Gerald and<br />

Cox well is just minutes away. Doctors and dentists ‘besides Eye doctors are available as<br />

bars and bakeries keep the costumers happy round the clock.<br />

The Greek community celebrates three big festivals annually in this area. One is the<br />

Freedom March when they got liberated from the Turkish subjugation, 2nd is the spring<br />

march and yet another festival of the Greek village is celebrating ‘The Taste of the<br />

Danforth’. This year 22nd festival is being celebrated on Friday 7th of August to 9th .lt will<br />

be a great fun. Please visit the web page at www.greektowntoronto.com/ to know that<br />

how millions of people from around the world pour down to taste and feel this international<br />

street festival...<br />

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The Tug of the East Side<br />

Sharon McMillan<br />

East Side<br />

While I spent my earliest years on the west side (in Parkdale), my parents didn’t stay in our lovely, creaky<br />

old house south of Queen St. for very long. When I turned seven my parents moved us to the north east<br />

end of Toronto (Agincourt) where every tree had been removed to make way for crescents filled with new<br />

homes. We eventually went even further north and eastward to Markham where parents finally settled.<br />

I resented our move from the city for as long as I could remember and always claimed the West side<br />

of Toronto was the best because my earliest happy memories took place there. I promised myself<br />

I’d be moving back as soon as I could swing it. Fast forward through university, to work in the U.S.,<br />

and finally to a return to Toronto where I surprised myself by moving my own family not West, as I<br />

intended, but East to the comfort of a Markham home, close to grandparents.<br />

This is what happened: I finally embraced the fact that I am an east-ender. When I travel on the West<br />

side I inevitably get lost (especially around Keel St.) and always miss the familiarity of my East side<br />

neighbourhoods. There was a time I could not admit that publicly, but embracing by East side roots<br />

has been exhilarating!<br />

Two years ago when my husband and I began looking to downsize to a condo, we couldn’t escape<br />

the fact that we loved all things on the east side of the city. The charm, convenience and history of St.<br />

Lawrence Market and Old Town Toronto had grown on us as we commuted over the years to the city<br />

for work and entertainment.<br />

Movies in Market Square; veal parmesan sandwiches at St. Lawrence Market; the Christmas Market<br />

in the Distillery District; coffee at Balzac’s on Market St., the gardens in St. James Park, “everything”<br />

about Corktown Common and; Eggs Benny at Le Petit Déjeuner on King...are just some of the<br />

reasons why I love the East side.<br />

My favourite places to dream on the East side are: Berczy Park in the winter, and the promenade at<br />

Sherbourne Common in the summer.<br />

The East side has lovingly retained the old parts of our city that reflect the earliest beginnings of<br />

Toronto while at the same time making the best use of cutting edge technology, innovation and the<br />

creative ideas of our culturally diverse residents. That mix has helped to<br />

make life on the East side welcoming, exciting, engaging and memorable.<br />

My vision for the East side in 100 years is that we have neighbourhoods so<br />

well connected that everyone feels a part of the East side and each resident<br />

- especially our youth and our seniors - is equipped to participate fully in<br />

the local every day workings of the community. I envision many more parks,<br />

and numerous safe and inspiring places to walk and cycle. I also envision a<br />

strong and vibrant local economy where residents support local merchants<br />

and suppliers because they are served so well by them.<br />

After living in so many parts of the city and even in other countries, without<br />

question my heart lives on Toronto’s East side!<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 79

Diane Walton<br />

Leslieville<br />

Back in October, I adopted a sweet, big old dog named Sunshine from<br />

the Humane Society. As I’ve had dogs before our first venture was to<br />

Greenwood Dog Park. Nope - she had no interest in going there. I tried for<br />

3 consecutive days to lead her up that garden path, to no avail. It seemed<br />

she preferred the company of the sidewalks of Leslieville, where no doubt,<br />

the ‘food pickings’ were better! I quickly learned she was a food monger.<br />

She’s a Great Pyrenees, a breed I had no real knowledge of, so went with<br />

the flow. We walked the streets of Leslieville instead. One day in December<br />

I decided to bring my camera along, took a sweet pic of a man, his son and<br />

their dog. I posted the pic on the Leslieville Facebook Group and told this<br />

story above. Thus began ‘Day 1: A Day in the Life of Leslieville...’ where I<br />

announced that I was going to start a daily photograph post of something<br />

interesting from my morning walks with Sunshine, my adopted dog. As<br />

I write, we are on Day 200, and going strong! The project has not only<br />

introduced me to a whole slew of new and wonderful Leslievillians, but I<br />

am seeing a neighbourhood I’ve lived in for 12 years with new eyes. I am<br />

loving this renaissance. I was a working photographer back in the day, but<br />

had not been that avid a photographer for years until I began this project.<br />

Photographing our neighbourhood has opened a new world for me. To see<br />

the project from Day 1 or any Day, click on the link and begin your journey.<br />

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Comfort in the East side<br />

Lillian Morimoto<br />

Leslieville<br />

The East side to me is comfort. I know I am home when I see the familiar<br />

houses, parks and people strolling along the sidewalk. When I moved for<br />

University I often became home sick, waiting for the days when I can go<br />

back home. Home to me is not just the house that I have lived in since I was<br />

young, it is the area, the East side. I have so many memories in different<br />

parts of the East side. This includes tobogganning down the hills in the park<br />

I live right across from with my cousins when I was younger, and rolling the<br />

largest snowball in comparison to the other kids. Or taking a jog down the<br />

trail towards the beach during the summer time and running into flocks of<br />

geese. The tears, laughter and experiences that I have shared with people,<br />

that have come and gone from my life, will always be remembered when<br />

I walk around the neighbourhood. Although people change, the area and<br />

small details of the East side remain the same. The sight of these places give<br />

me a rush of those memories and a sigh of relief in my heart, as if I can finally<br />

be comfortable and let myself relax.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 81

Friends: They’ve Got Your Back<br />

Michael Bilas<br />

Regent Park<br />

The East side to me is dynamic and life-changing. Ever since I could<br />

remember, I have been living my life in Regent Park. Sprucecourt Public<br />

School was the elementary school where I grew up and also encountered<br />

and gained many friends along the way. After my sixth grade graduation,<br />

I had to say goodbye to a few of my friends since they were not attending<br />

the same middle school, Queen Alexandra Middle School (Queen A.), as<br />

me. It was hard, but during my two years at Queen A. I met new people<br />

who became my friends. High school was the next step for me, so I<br />

entered Jarvis Collegiate Institute and this was where I truly changed<br />

and found my identity. High school was a time of cliques, popularity,<br />

experiences, and figuring out who I was as a person. Sure I have had my<br />

ups and downs, but it was those experiences that made me who I am<br />

today. I met wonderful people whom I cherish even to day and support me<br />

with decisions I make. Presently, I am attending Ryerson University for my<br />

undergraduate nursing degree. Post-secondary life is teaching me how<br />

to become an adult and how to be more responsible with the decisions I<br />

make. Of course, school is stressful and I would not be able to cope with<br />

the stress if it were not for my friends whom I met in my elementary years<br />

since day one. I do not know what the future has in store for me, but what<br />

I do know is that my friends will always have my back to help me with<br />

every step of the way.<br />

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Hiking in the East<br />

Candice Nguyen<br />

Riverdale Park<br />

The East side to me will always be home. It has everything you could<br />

ask for. My favourite place to dream in the East side is on top of the<br />

hills at Riverdale Park after a great workout while looking over the city’s<br />

landscape. My vision for the East side in 100 years is the development of<br />

some neighbourhoods into welcoming areas for families and tourists.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 83

Riverdale Park<br />

Sajida Ahlip<br />

Riverdale Park<br />

I think of myself as a city girl. I love downtown Toronto, including the<br />

skyscrapers, the lights and the seemingly never-ending hustle and bustle<br />

of people. However, sometimes I start to miss wide, open green spaces.<br />

This is why Riverdale Park is one of my favourite places in the East side.<br />

When I was younger, my dad would take my siblings and I to Riverdale<br />

park for some fresh air and exercise. We would kick a soccer ball around,<br />

play volleyball or walk around the track. Nowadays, I enjoy going to the<br />

park with my friends to play badminton during the summer and sometimes<br />

just sit on the hill to relax and catch up on each other’s lives. On snowy<br />

winter days, my siblings and I love to go tobogganing on the steep hills. It’s<br />

a nice, refreshing change of pace from the usual downtown environment<br />

and not to mention a great way to spend time with family and friends.<br />

Riverdale park is one of the many gems in the East side!<br />

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Fairy Tale Wedding Pictures<br />

Louise Maynard<br />

Ashbridges Estate<br />

I have lived in Riverdale/Leslieville my whole life. When I got my first nonbabysitting<br />

job as a receptionist in a car dealership when I was 18 I would<br />

take the 501 Streetcar east from Boulton Ave to Coxwell Ave and pass<br />

the Ashbridges Estate. I loved looking at the beautiful house and the<br />

gardens; watching the colours change with the season, the beauty in the<br />

gardens and the history of the house and the estate. Every time I would<br />

pass the estate I would think to myself one day I am going to have my<br />

wedding pictures taken there; it’s the perfect place. I changed jobs and<br />

the years went on but still every time I passed the estate I had the same<br />

thought - my wedding photos. Fast forward several years to 1994 and I<br />

started working at Applegrove in the Duke of Connaught School behind<br />

the Ashbridges Estate and I met my Wally. Wally proposed and after a long<br />

engagement we set the date September 8, 2001. The hall was booked,<br />

caterer hired, wedding party ready to go and then I was able to make one<br />

of my other dreams come true, I contacted the right people and booked<br />

the Ashbridges Estate for my wedding pictures. The perfect way to<br />

remember our perfect day.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 85

Beef Patty<br />

Danielle Couto<br />

Riverdale<br />

I remember when I was in gr. 8 I used to hang out with my friends after<br />

school. Everyday after school we would go to the corner store to buy a<br />

beef patty. After we would go to the park near the store, sit there, and talk<br />

about life. Those were some of the best memories of my childhood.<br />

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Blair<br />

Beach<br />

Growing up next to the beaches was such a thrill. I love being able to<br />

walk outside and 30 seconds later have my feet in the sand. And in<br />

winter watching the waves crash on the shore and freeze into crazy ice<br />

sculptures was always exhilarating.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 87

My Home<br />

Enney Hoang<br />

Beach<br />

The east side to me is home. It is where I have met all my best friends and<br />

where I’ve spent time with my family. I remembering entering my theatre<br />

to apply for a job because that’s what my friends wanted to do. I had no<br />

expectations of getting hired at 14, but I did. I have been there ever since<br />

and have learned and created bonds that I will never forget. When I think<br />

of the east side I think of family, friendship and the beaches, it’s simply my<br />

home and where I grew up.<br />

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East Side Identity<br />

Karl Wang<br />

Indian Bazaar<br />

I remember when I was a kid, my parents asked my brother and I if we would<br />

be okay with moving North. I remember we were yelling, stomping, and latching<br />

onto our parent’s legs while we screaming No!<br />

The East is a place I call home, as a child I could of never imagined living some<br />

where else other than here. Even now, whenever I travel I miss it, it makes me<br />

sick when I am away from my HOME for too long. I also can not picture my<br />

future without it. The East is a place where I want my family to be, a place where<br />

I can picture my future family being. In a sense, you can say I am attached. All<br />

my fondest memories, places, moments, friends all exist here. The East side is<br />

a place I hold dear to my heart, I feel it is a part of my identity. It has created a<br />

permanent bond with me, a bond so strong that I feel is unbreakable.<br />

The East side is growing, the developments in areas like Regent Park, and<br />

Parliament & King leave a promising feeling inside me. I can’t wait to see how<br />

these places turn out, and how those communities will grow. In a 100 years I can<br />

see the East being full of life, a staple in the city where people feel the need to<br />

be a part of it too. I can see the East side being a leader in culture and diversity.<br />

Just from growing up here in the school system I have felt that. As a child I was<br />

always drawn to diversity, and I always thought to myself that I was quite lucky to<br />

be brought up in one of the most diverse areas in the city!<br />

The East side is not just an area of land in Toronto. It has it’s own identity, just like<br />

how each individual has their own identity. And thus, the East side is completely<br />

unique and unlike any other area in Toronto. The East side does not solely rely<br />

on it’s establishments within it to make it unique. The people, the communities,<br />

and leaders contribute heavily towards it’s name everyday! And I can say I am so<br />

grateful to be a part of it. Whenever people ask me which part of Toronto I live in,<br />

I wear it like a medal on my chest and respond, “In the East side.”<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 89

The Market Gallery Surprise<br />

The Market Gallery City of Toronto<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

On a busy Saturday morning, the elevator door opens to the 2nd floor of the St.<br />

Lawrence Market; allowing a family with a young child a glimpse into the Market<br />

Gallery. A little voice asks in wonder, “What is this place?” as the family enters. They’re<br />

greeted by a staff person that welcomes the family with a smile, and explains the<br />

current exhibit. The child becomes excited by the table that lay just ahead, covered with<br />

paint, crayons, and other art materials. They’ve happened upon the event, Summer<br />

Saturdays at the Market Gallery, where free arts & crafts are offered. “Mom, can we<br />

make a crafty?” says the little voice, almost too quiet to hear. She spends some time<br />

creating her work of art, while the parents tour the gallery. The parents take their<br />

time with the exhibit, but eventually make a move to leave. The child presses for just<br />

a few more minutes, “Please mama, it’s not perfect yet!” The Gallery Clerk engages<br />

the parents, sharing the history of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood and the<br />

Market Gallery. The parents are surprised to hear that the Market Gallery resides in<br />

what was once the council chamber of Toronto’s original City Hall. Again, the parents<br />

try to convince the child to move on. “Oh no, just a few more minutes,” she pleads.<br />

Finally finished, the child, initially so tentative about coming into the gallery, uses her<br />

biggest voice to let everyone know that this was the best place she’d visited in Toronto.<br />

She shows off her work of art with pride and says, “Let’s come back next Saturday to<br />

see what craft they’ll have.” The mother reminds the child that they would back home<br />

by then, far from Toronto; far from Canada. “Oh please mama, I want to come back!”<br />

The gallery clerk hands the child instructions for another arts & craft activity that could<br />

be done later at home. The child and parents, satisfied, leave the gallery for other<br />

adventures. The east side to us at the Market Gallery is welcoming and engaging.<br />

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East-end edition - amydagoldfish<br />

Amy Li<br />

East Chinatown<br />

The east end represents my origin and how I was brought up. I live<br />

between Riverside/Queen street east and the smaller part of Chinatown. I<br />

get to soak in the mix of both western and eastern cultures. Although parts<br />

of the east-end can be intimidating it helped me build a tough skin and to<br />

not be afraid to express how I feel. I got the opportunity to grow up with<br />

my Asian culture and have the access to explore what’s outside of it. To<br />

illustrate, living on the east end is very convenient to the heart of Toronto. I<br />

get to experience and learn and explore what the city has to offer, while still<br />

being close to home.<br />

I’m saddened to see how the area is becoming more industrialized and<br />

modernized. I wish more of smaller stores but they’re being replaced<br />

by bigger chained stores. We get sucked into this void of being rushed,<br />

pushed and pressured that no one really has the time to relax and breathe.<br />

One of a great place to let loose is Riverdale Park. We get to enjoy the<br />

pretty colours of the sun setting. But even then the scenery is disturbed by<br />

all the construction sites going on and the blinding lights of the city and the<br />

cars zooming by and the TTC screeching against the tracks and getting a<br />

whiff of cigarettes.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 91

Daydream at the Market Gallery<br />

Melissa Beynon<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

The East side to me is a great big wonderful community; full of history,<br />

diversity, and culture. One of my favourite spots in the East side is the<br />

St. Lawrence neighbourhood. In the heart of this neighbourhood is the<br />

Market Gallery, one of the City of Toronto’s Historic Sites. It is a peaceful<br />

space tucked away on the second floor of the South St. Lawrence Market.<br />

I used to live next door, and always found the time to stop by the Market<br />

Gallery to see the latest exhibit. It has always been a great place to take<br />

a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the market, and downtown<br />

life in general. I love that the changing exhibits reflect a different aspect<br />

of Toronto’s culture and history. My favourite exhibits in the past include<br />

works from the City of Toronto’s fine art collection. I love learning about<br />

local artists and<br />

seeing our great<br />

city from their<br />

perspective. The<br />

Market Gallery is a<br />

great place to learn<br />

something new<br />

about Toronto, and,<br />

get caught up in a<br />

daydream!<br />

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Cycle of the East<br />

Ivy Quach<br />

East Side<br />

The East side to me is the foundation of who I am today. It is where all my<br />

childhood, teenage, and adult memories have rooted itself and grown,<br />

whether it’s at home, at elementary, middle or highschool. At the age<br />

of four I fondly remember climbing and exploring, what was considered<br />

a ginormous garden as child; picking wild berries, planting seeds, and<br />

capturing ladybugs. I felt like I was in my own little world of curiosity. It<br />

sprouted my love for exploring the outdoor and unknown expanse of the<br />

east. And when I was in my teen years, I was able to go exploring at greater<br />

distances in the larger parts of the east on my bicycle. Each destination that<br />

I rode through would become incorporated into my memories. I find it so<br />

comforting when I can share, experience, and form these memories with my<br />

friends. Whether it’s riding in the cold hard rain and picking/eat wild berries<br />

on tree (on the same day) or serendipitously discovering unknown part of<br />

Toronto; I have many wonderful memories in the east (Riverdale Area). And<br />

one of the most memorable cycling experiences so far was discovering<br />

the existence of Tommy Thompson Park with my friends. We rode our<br />

bikes for what felt likes hours..maybe hours... along a bike trail until with no<br />

destination in mind until we reached an endpoint and discovered a fabulous<br />

light house. The bike ride there was serene and it made me question where<br />

place has been all my life. Exploring the east is like the accumulation of more<br />

wonderful experiences to who I am. As I cycle further east I can’t help but<br />

notice distinct changes to the geographical landscapes and structures. In<br />

the process of cycling through, I feel like I change as these destinations... It’s<br />

a cycle. Just because I’ve opened my eyes a little more to what the east has<br />

to offer. I hope to take in as much as I can before the landscape changes<br />

again. As right before my eyes my community, Regent Park, is redeveloping.<br />

There’s still so much to see, especially when east has many hidden gems. I<br />

recently discovered Rouge Beach. How did I not know of its existence until<br />

this year? Or even Scarborough Bluffs? ....Let’s continue cycling through the<br />

East. Join me will you? Haha :)<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 93

Finding Compassion<br />

Briane Nasimok<br />

East Side<br />

When I finally headed out on my own in the world, I came East (okay<br />

it was only from Bathurst and Eglinton) and found a community that<br />

seemed to care genuinely for each other. I lost my grandparents at an<br />

early age so when I acquired a house on Langley, next to an older couple<br />

I was intrigued. Members of the community were always there when they<br />

needed help with shopping or errands and soon after I joined the “team”.<br />

After her husband died I believe my greatest addition to Bernice’s life was<br />

my dog Scmutzy - who Bernice always called “Sweetie”( mainly because<br />

Bernice was a touch deaf). When I would go off to work in the morning, I’d<br />

drop Sweetie off next door - and pick her up at the end of day. And then<br />

when I took a little sabbatical from employment - I still had to drop the dog<br />

off every day - even though I was still at home. Bernice got sick and went<br />

to the hospital for a week and Sweetie pinned for her each day. When<br />

Bernice passed, Sweetie died the very next day. Three of us at the funeral<br />

remarked about their special bond.<br />

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East side is love<br />

Bonnie Chen<br />

Leslieville<br />

The East side to me is love. Love can be expressed in many different ways.<br />

Love is when I consider my elementary, middle, and high school friends<br />

my family. The ones who have created those childhood memories such as<br />

running around in the playground during recess, eating lunch together, and<br />

staying up working on school projects.<br />

Love is when I have access to everything conveniently and safely. I can<br />

walk on Queen Street East to find the items I need for dinner or ride the<br />

public transit to get downtown. Whether it’s exploring new restaurants,<br />

entertainment for the weekend, or evening strolls to parks, I am<br />

surrounded with endless choices.<br />

Love is when I see smiles all around. People are friendly, happy and<br />

excited to be in the East side. A simple wave or compliment can make<br />

someone’s day.<br />

How do you express love in the East side?<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 95

Dancers Stranded by<br />

Cholera Occupy Former Post Office<br />

Mary Jane Warner<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

Toronto Dance Teachers 1825-1925, Dance Collection Danse Press/es,<br />

Toronto, 1995<br />

In December of 1839 a short-lived dance academy opened in the former<br />

post office on Duke Street. Earlier that year Postmaster Charles Berczy<br />

had relocated the office and his family to Front Street and James Scott<br />

Howard, Berczy’s predecessor and the building’s owner, had to find<br />

other tenants until it could be sold. Two of the new occupants would<br />

be Dominique Checkini and his wife, ballet dancers who had been<br />

touring North America with a French company. They had been giving<br />

performances at the Theatre Royal on King Street until a cholera outbreak<br />

forced the group to disband. In rooms they then rented from Howard, the<br />

Checkinis offered instruction in quadrilles, mazurkas, gallopades, various<br />

waltzes, and fencing.<br />

In the early 19th century it was not unusual for ballet dancers to teach<br />

social dancing, both to supplement their meagre incomes and to promote<br />

their performances. Dominique Checkini certainly had the credentials.<br />

A veteran of the Italian Opera House, Drury Lane and Covent Garden<br />

theatres, he had also operated a dance school in London for eight years<br />

before joining the Ravel Brothers’ truncated tour. Toronto was to benefit<br />

from his expertise only briefly, however, as the couple departed in the<br />

spring of 1840.<br />

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Meet you on Queen St. East<br />

Robin Sokoloski<br />

Leslieville<br />

I moved to Toronto 12 years ago, knowing very little about the city. The<br />

friends that my husband and I went to university with in Ottawa were<br />

all from the Beaches. So, moving to East side of the city made perfect<br />

sense to us. We created a home for ourselves in Leslieville. In a way, our<br />

quaint little corner of the city has grown into itself, just as we have as<br />

Torontonians. No other place quite feels like home as where we are now.<br />

Although there are certainly businesses that have withstood the test of<br />

time, the majority of the store fronts along Queen St. E change regularly.<br />

Queen Street has been referred to as the artery of the City by many. The<br />

perfect cross section of the various neighbourhoods and diversity that<br />

the City has to offer. All that being said, the stretch between Bertmount<br />

and Logan will always exude great<br />

significance to me. This is where,<br />

at the point in my bike ride home<br />

from work that I’m able to shed<br />

my defenses, and meet my family<br />

to walk the rest of the way home<br />

together.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 97

Lara Lum<br />

East Side<br />

“The east side has been our home for 3 years and in that time we could<br />

not imagine being anywhere else. There is a sense of community and<br />

camaraderie that I have yet to find in other Toronto neighbourhoods.<br />

Everyone who lives here is passionate about the area; quick to support the<br />

new ventures, call out the naysayers and embrace the ever evolving aspect<br />

of the neighbourhood and residents. I couldn’t know what Toronto will be<br />

in 100 years, but I do know for certain that growth has come to the east<br />

and that it will continue to flourish as more and more of people discover<br />

the wonderful residents, buildings, schools and small town routines that<br />

only exist here in this big city.”<br />

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It Will Always Be My Home<br />

Kristie Luong<br />

East Side<br />

I don’t live in the east side of Toronto anymore, but it will always be my<br />

home. It is where I met a majority of my friends and it is a place where I<br />

spent the majority of my life.<br />

Many memories were made while living in the East side, memories that I will<br />

forever cherish. I still remember celebrating my birthday at the beach with<br />

everyone close to me, venturing off into the Taste of Danforth, and so much<br />

more. There is an abundance of activities to do and endless amounts of<br />

food to divulge in. The East end is also very multicultural. The diversity in this<br />

close knit neighbourhood never fails to give me a warm feeling inside.<br />

My friends and I go to different schools. Whether we be at McMaster,<br />

Laurier, Ryerson, York, or the University of Toronto we always find time to<br />

see each other in the East Side. East Toronto holds an important place in my<br />

heart even if I’m not physically there.<br />

One of my fondest memories is playing Mah Jong (a game originated in<br />

China) at one of my bestfriends’ houses. It was nice just spending time<br />

relaxing and playing the game leisurely. The game would sometimes get<br />

competitive, but none of us would ever get too roweled up. There were just<br />

a lot of smiles and laughter that day.<br />

My vision for the East side in 100 years is to keep being very multicultural<br />

and to keep hosting different street festivities. In addition, in recent years,<br />

there seems to have been more alarming crimes occurring. I hope for crime<br />

rates to drop.<br />

Lastly, like I mentioned above, although I don’t physically live in the East side<br />

anymore, It will still always be my home.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 99

Ruby Tuesday<br />

Ruby Mathers McHenry<br />

Leslieville<br />

My name is Ruby Cecilia Mathers McHenry. I just turned 5 years old. I<br />

live in a new condo in Lesleville with my Mama, my Mommy, and my little<br />

brother, Cy. I have the best view in the whole house because I can see the<br />

CN tower. I have lived in 5 houses in 5 years, but my moms say we are not<br />

moving anymore now that our condo is done. This home is my favourite<br />

because: my Auntie Linda lives around the corner, I can watch airplanes<br />

land on the island, and GO trains rush past the park; Jimmy Simpson<br />

Park is close; Ed’s ice cream is the best; The Roy poutine is delicious and<br />

I am allowed to eat there even though it is a grown up restaurant because<br />

I am very polite in restaurants; I can walk to my karate class; I can walk<br />

to my uncle Blair’s house (he has a pool!) and I can take a street car to<br />

my uncle’s Robert and uncle Ian’s house. The only thing I wish was in our<br />

neighbourhood that isn’t is the Ex (and I wish it was every day).<br />

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Home<br />

Brandon Smith<br />

East Side<br />

The East Side to me is a place I can call home. After leaving for university<br />

from small town Welland, ON at 18, moving about each summer until<br />

graduating and moving several times for my career, the East Side found<br />

me close to 10 years later. The East Side has given me a place of escape<br />

from the hustle and bustle of downtown, green space to sit, a familiar<br />

community to stroll, neighbours who I greet, a partner who I love and,<br />

once again in my life, a true home<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 101

East enders through and through<br />

Ian Green<br />

East Side<br />

Growing up in Scarborough I am an east ender through and through. I<br />

have an urban family that lives, plays and loves on the east side. When I go<br />

to the west side I immediately appreciate the order and personality of the<br />

east. I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else.<br />

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Feeding the community;<br />

growing engagement<br />

Jeannette Hanna<br />

Ashbridges Bay<br />

My favourite east side innovation is the Beach Community Garden. Located by<br />

Ashbridge’s Bay, this assemblage of raised beds has been producing a bounty of fresh<br />

vegetables for the local food bank throughout the summer of <strong>2015</strong>. It’s the brainchild<br />

of Alex Rochon-Terry and a host of community volunteers who built the beds and have<br />

lovingly tended a cornucopia of edibles that are harvested weekly for needy families.<br />

Alex and the team also use the garden as a learning environment for the community.<br />

They’ve led workshops on medicinal herbs and a how-to introduction to pickling. Local<br />

daycare kids come to learn about plants and how food grows. They’ve made “stinky<br />

spray” (an organic pesticide out of crushed marigolds, dish soap and water), butterfly<br />

nectar sponges and painted rocks for decorating the garden. As Rochon-Terry wrote in<br />

one newsletter, “When we pulled up a carrot from the ground, the whole bunch of kids<br />

went silent and were totally shocked by this crazy phenomenon!” The weekly “garden<br />

bees” for tending the crops, harvest mornings and special activities for youth have<br />

built a strong fellowship of gardeners. Every day, dog walkers, joggers and neighbours<br />

come by to marvel at the how much a little imagination, well rooted, can feed a whole<br />

community in so many ways!<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 103

My East Side<br />

Jade Leadbetter<br />

East Side<br />

I grew up in the west, lived in Harbourfront for over 5 years but have built my home in<br />

the East. I love the East End because there is a sense of family and community here. I<br />

love to support local so I find myself wandering in and out of my favourite places not far<br />

from my home. My favourite spot to rest in the East End is in one of the many parks,<br />

Broadview especially, where I can have a gorgeous view of the City I call home.<br />

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Finding Home<br />

Kirsti Mathers McHenry<br />

Leslieville<br />

I moved to Toronto in 1997. I lived in a rundown apartment above a store at Queen and Spadina.<br />

Then I left. Then I came back. Then I moved west. Then I left again and returned again. I moved south<br />

and north and east (but not that far east - I thought the world ended at Church St.). Over six years,<br />

I lived in eight different neighbourhoods, all west of Yonge. Then I moved away again thinking that it<br />

could be forever. But first I fell in love. With a girl. Who lived in the east end.<br />

I spent a year driving between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Cabbagetown, Toronto. That year included<br />

innumerable long distance phone calls and many, many nights with my soon-to-be wife and her<br />

friends at the House on Parliament. Cabbagetown is where I found a wife and where I found a second<br />

family. In those days, our “urban family” gathered daily at the HOP to share stories of new jobs and<br />

new experiences and to vet people like me - girlfriends who showed up to urban family gatherings a<br />

little too often to be taken lightly.<br />

After a year, I moved to Cabbagetown. The urban family took me in but soon my wife and I were<br />

moving again; we moved south this time to King and Sherbourne. The walk to the HOP was longer<br />

and sometimes we convinced the gang to come south to Betty’s. We got married and decided to buy<br />

a house. The pull west was still strong for me and we ended up living at Harbord and Ossington. We<br />

missed the urban family - most of whom still lived in the east but we biked east a lot and met in the<br />

middle a lot and hosted the family a lot.<br />

Now we have two children and a new condo in Leslieville. We are surrounded by parks and ice cream<br />

and love. Uncle Robert and Uncle Ian stop by Jimmie Simpson park on their bikes when they are out<br />

to visit us. Uncle Blair lives just over the Riverside Bridge and we go there to swim in the summer. Aunt<br />

Lara and Uncle Julian bought a place near Little India and we can’t wait until they move in. The rest of<br />

the urban family lives on the east side, but a little far north for our liking. (We’re working on them.)<br />

Our children live an amazing life - we walk, we<br />

take the TTC, we enjoy great food and amazing<br />

company in parks, restaurants and in our building.<br />

Riding the streetcar over the Riverside Bridge or<br />

passing Regent Park on Dundas trigger a calm<br />

and happiness in me - a sense that I am close to<br />

home. We have a community here that is beyond<br />

anything I have experienced anywhere else. The<br />

neighbourhood is amazing, but the fact that it has<br />

attracted so many of our people to it makes it<br />

something more; it makes it home.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 105

Return to the east side<br />

Heather Worte<br />

Danforth<br />

I’ve lived everywhere in Toronto. In 10 years I’ve moved 8 times. My first<br />

place was on Broadview with a view of the downtown skyline and as a<br />

small town kid first time in a huge city I remember thinking the city seemed<br />

so close. Soon I felt like I grew out of the east end and that downtown<br />

view seemed so far away, I moved downtown, then moved west, then<br />

further west, then north, sometimes by choice sometimes not. And after<br />

10 years in Toronto I’ve found myself back on the Danforth and it feel more<br />

at home than anywhere else in the city. I now like the DVP divide between<br />

downtown and here, I like that it feels more laid back and community<br />

driven. I like the feast of the east, Detroit eatery breakfasts, hitch, left field<br />

brewery, the list goes on. My only hope is that the small community vibe<br />

sticks around as the east end popularity rises. East side till we die!<br />

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East Side<br />

In every city I’ve lived in the East End has been my home.<br />

My bike is the reason I love this city + the East Side is the best way to roll<br />

for adventure!<br />

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Leslieville Farmer’s Market!<br />

Evelyn F.<br />

Leslieville<br />

108<br />

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Park<br />

Umasekhri<br />

East Side<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 109

Rainbow Park<br />

East Side<br />

110<br />

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Park<br />

Kathryn<br />

East Side<br />

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Taylor Creek Park<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

Miranda<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

St. Lawrence Market<br />

Market Street (yummy restaurants!)<br />

Distillery District (cobbled streets)<br />

Historic buildings<br />

Wonderful mix of people<br />

... my home!<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 113

The East side to me is ...<br />

Mark Kerwin<br />

East Side<br />

A noise, a poem, a-fragrance-not-yet-subtle, a Brooklyn in the<br />

making, a hoot, a riot, a colourful parade, a green space, a wanting<br />

micro-manufacturing to return, a huge swath of opportunity, an<br />

#AlleywayofDreams, an artist’s canvas a bohemian haunt, a rollicking<br />

caucus tone and wandering paradise.<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

Beach<br />

home.<br />

My favourite place to dream on the East side is:<br />

a) in my back yard under the cherry tree<br />

b) along the boardwalk and on the beach<br />

c) under a tree in Kew Gardens<br />

I wish the East side had better transit on Queen (more buses to subway)<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 115

The East side to me is ...<br />

Beach<br />

Jazz festival and beaches!<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

Theo<br />

Riverdale<br />

Where I learned to skate – in Riverdale Park – when I first came to Canada<br />

from the UK in 1981. My doctor is still at Broadview and Danforth; I never<br />

changed. I always loved the view of the city from Broadview.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 117

The East side to me is ...<br />

Lynee Patterson<br />

Riverside<br />

My home since 1991. I live in an old row house built in 1887. I didn’t<br />

choose RIverside, it was just that I found my house here. I’ve had the<br />

pleasure and fun of seeing the area change so much since ‘91. I volunteer<br />

with the BIA so am also actively involved.<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

Wallace<br />

East Side<br />

Where everyone knows your dog’s name.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 119

The East side to me is ...<br />

East Side<br />

East End RAWKS! It is one fo the few areas of Toronto that still feels like a<br />

neighbourhood. I know my neighbours people smile when you pass them<br />

on the street. It is a great place to live + work.<br />

I love all the restaurants and the people’s knowledge of what is happening<br />

around the ‘hood.<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

Scarborough Bluffs<br />

the first place I kissed a boy ... on the scarborough bluffs.<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

East Side<br />

4 Farmers markets within walking distance!<br />

122<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

David Setka<br />

Cherry Beach<br />

Cherry Beach!<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 123

The East side to me is ...<br />

my beautiful home. my rest away from the core of the city. (+ streetcars)<br />

124<br />

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The East side to me is ...<br />

East Side<br />

A place where you can have + enjoy communittee<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 125

The East side to me is ...<br />

East Side<br />

• neighbors who care<br />

• the boardwalk<br />

• dog friendly<br />

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Parliament & Queen<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Corktown<br />

“I am an actor and activist. And I probably would place the activist before<br />

the actor if the two were to go head to head. I say that because I came<br />

out of the whole beginning of the civil rights movement here in Canada and<br />

in the US. I was busy involved in that, which ranged from urban renewal<br />

and the scenes of the day like the Vietnamese war to the civil rights<br />

movements. But, I knew that in order to really do what I wanted to do, I<br />

had to take what I was learning and what I was doing and putting it into a<br />

form that I could best put out there, which would be the acting. You never<br />

really know because it takes someone else to let you know if you have<br />

done it.”<br />

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Regent Park<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Regent Park<br />

“You know the stereotype of RP, the “ghetto”, the “hood” or people doing<br />

drugs? It’s not really like that, it’s a community, it’s mine.”<br />

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Regent Park<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Regent Park<br />

The hardest thing I’ve ever done is putting myself through 8 years of<br />

university and coming out the other side hopefully with a really good job.<br />

I studied Nutrition and always had a big interest in food, cooking, just<br />

interested in how we can live a better fuller life through food. I am from<br />

BC originally and one of the things I love about Toronto is all the amazing<br />

places to eat.<br />

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Regent Park<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Regent Park<br />

“I always thought Regent Park was always full of creativity, and love<br />

for the community. It wasn’t without its difficulties, but it is and was an<br />

innovative community. One that brings people together, that is vital and<br />

vibrant. Not everyone shared this view, especially in the media. That wasn’t<br />

something that was considered when people talked about this eastern<br />

neighbourhood. Sometimes, it was dehumanizing and negative, and<br />

they totally missed what was great about it: the diversity or how people<br />

got a long. With the revitalization, I think there is a lot of effort in trying<br />

to recapture that. The difference is that it is more institutionalized; it is<br />

facilitated more by organizers and so on. There is tremendous change for<br />

the better, housing was the number one problem in this area and now it is<br />

incomparable to what it was.”<br />

Does the spirit remain?<br />

“Yes. I see it when I walk around the neighbourhood. Just walk.”<br />

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Parliament<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Regent Park<br />

“It’s a peaceful, where you can mostly be guaranteed food, shelter and<br />

where you can earn a life, that’s all good. But we have to remember<br />

that there are things that are still missing, like homelessness and people<br />

making laws and then breaking them.”<br />

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Sherbourne and Bloor<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Bloor St. East<br />

“I feel guilty about not completing my nursing course. But I give back to<br />

society through my volunteer work and giving back is important to me.”<br />

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Carlaw and Danforth<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Danforth<br />

“I’m kind really ready for this guy. We’re ready.”<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 133

Queen St. East<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Corktown<br />

“In elementary school, I was bullied a lot. It wasn’t necessarily the hardest<br />

thing coping with being bullied, the hardest thing was standing up against<br />

the bully and becoming more passionate about my arts, talents and<br />

myself. Just becoming who I really am and not focusing on how I look like<br />

in the bully’s eyes, but in my heart, in my mom and dad’s eyes. That was<br />

really hard to overcome, all my fears and insecurities, but I did. It was really<br />

good.”<br />

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Danforth<br />

Humans of Toronto – East Side Edition<br />

Danforth<br />

“I don’t remember much. I was young, maybe 16? And I knew I had to<br />

leave. Maybe if she cared, I wouldn’t be here, but I guess I might’ve been<br />

trouble. It’s been more than twenty years since I left. I’d rather be here<br />

though even with the harassment.”<br />

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Amanda’s Story<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

My friend and I went to the St. Lawrence market and it was my first time going there<br />

after 15 years. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. It was really awesome to be<br />

back there. We went on the weekend so it was crowded and busy. You can see<br />

the life and smell freshness out of this place! It was awesome. From the outside<br />

it doesn’t look like it’s going to be all that busy, it looks like a big arena. But on the<br />

inside there are all these little stands and some good sweets going on. We ate fish<br />

and chips, that was really good. I haven’t had a good set of fish and chips.<br />

I remember when I was younger, the St. Lawrence market was much more open and<br />

broad and not as busy but now it’s packed. It was a struggle to move around but in<br />

a good way. We also went to the rainbow cinema right across the market, it was a<br />

touch of nostalgia (not gong to say my age or how old I am), but it was a touch of<br />

nostalgia seeing the old school styles and the old school ways. It also has a touch of<br />

personalization. The side of the theatre had people selling goods that they’ve made<br />

by hand like crochet. I’m like ‘those are skills that I miss’. I come from a small town,<br />

we have these craft fairs that I used to go to as a kid and it brought back some of the<br />

memories. To be able to see people at skills that I don’t definitely do not have. I like<br />

the Rainbow Cinema than the popular theatres because it’s not overly loud, it’s small<br />

and cheaper. That’s a good thing.<br />

I want to know small inner workings of Toronto and little places that are like treasures.<br />

I think that many of them are placed on the east side.<br />

I was worried when I moved here a year and a bit ago. I started attending Ryerson<br />

in Fall 2014. As a student, a lot of places on the east side provide discount which is<br />

cool. I feel like it’s more welcoming, people understand Ryerson is a part of the east<br />

side community. I live at Neil-Wycik which has been around for ages. We get to live<br />

somewhere and be social at the same time. It is all these people from different spots<br />

around the world coming together in one building and learn so much. It’s so diverse<br />

here and it’s something I’ve been craving coming from a small town. I’ve been to<br />

a university elsewhere, not as friendly. The food! The food is so good here. I’m still<br />

learning about the East side. Only now I’m trying to hit the hot spots where people<br />

are telling me about.<br />

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Aneka’s Story<br />

Indian Bazaar<br />

I grew up around India Bazaar by Coxwell and Gerrard. I spent a lot of<br />

time at Gerrard Square and my mom would do her groceries there. It has<br />

developed to how it used to be. It used to be rundown and now when I go<br />

back, it’s a completely different little mall. When I was there, there wasn’t<br />

Wal-Mart, it used to be Zellers.<br />

What I love about Indian Bazaar… my dad developed really good friends.<br />

He has his own renovation business so he became really good friends with<br />

a lot of shop owners and he would do renovations for them. Whenever we<br />

go their stores, they would know our names.<br />

I love their corns during the summertime! They would BBQ roasted corns,<br />

squeeze some lemon and add some seasoning on it. It tasted SO good.<br />

That was my go to spot and they would to sell these yogurt popsicles too.<br />

We would relax and go on walks down Coxwell at night. We’ve built a lot<br />

of friendships with the people around that area. One of my uncles, who’s<br />

not really my uncle, would make curry duck. He’s Indian Guyanese and<br />

he knew a lot of the shop owners. One of the things they always sell were<br />

these stainless giant pots imported from India. So all of our pots and pans<br />

are from there.<br />

There has been a lot of development. I moved when I was 14 and I<br />

moved to Ajax. Back when I used to live there, there would be no Goodlife<br />

Fitness. Every time I go back, it’s definitely developing. Smaller businesses<br />

are being pushed away, the local stores are being pushed away and these<br />

large franchises are coming in. That’s something I’ve noticed when I go<br />

back. When I go back it’s definitely a different environment.<br />

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Community<br />

Chinelle M.<br />

East Side<br />

My experience on the east-side is a mixed of negatives and positives.<br />

We can’t set aside the negatives because they are just as important. It is<br />

not in a way to denigrate the East-side but rather acknowledge area of<br />

improvements, things we can work on towards transcending. Some of<br />

the positives towards the East-side, it is more diverse than where I live<br />

(Scarborough region). I find where I’m from, there is a sense of community<br />

but when I come to the East-side, the diversity I see from people, the<br />

culture and the way things are run, I feel like it might be considered more<br />

inclusive but yet again we have to acknowledge exclusives to others.<br />

In terms of improvement, I would say the east-side needs more community<br />

development. Creating more programs and recreational facilities not just<br />

for youth but infants, children and even seniors to just have a place to<br />

relax and express themselves in different forms, whether that’s through<br />

art, knitting, dancing whatever it is that is comfortable to the individual or<br />

a group of individuals. I think that would be an asset and it will definitely<br />

be beneficial to strengthening community or communities on the east<br />

end. I feel like social service agencies that are willing to do, is lacking in its<br />

funding. There are a lot of them here but not a lot of people know about<br />

them, it could be that the word doesn’t get out or it could be intentional.<br />

They don’t want the word to get out to too many people because they<br />

can only accommodate that many. That’s the problem, reaching out to the<br />

government, provincial, federal municipal, all of them.<br />

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Eric<br />

Beach<br />

I like going to the beaches and play volleyball. I like the beaches because<br />

it’s a great place to relax and has a great bike path if you’re coming<br />

from Woodbine or anywhere on the Danforth. It’s all down hill and is a<br />

nice cruise during the summertime. I really like that there are a bunch<br />

of happy people on a summer day, friendly atmosphere and a diverse<br />

group of people. They have a beautiful Olympic size pool, they have a<br />

beach volleyball and sometimes they have small festivals of bands which<br />

I think is neat and cool. It would be nice for Lake Ontario to get cleaner,<br />

I don’t actually know how dirty or clean it is. I could just imagine it’s not<br />

the cleanest. Been said were initiatives were taken, saying that it’s clean<br />

but I don’t know how and what they did to make it clean. But overall the<br />

beaches is a very cool and good place. In 100 years from now, I think the<br />

beach will smell poopy. I hope to see no poop in the future.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 139

Linda’s Story<br />

Linda<br />

East Side<br />

The East side is a place where I can feel like I am two places at once.<br />

It has both the urban city vibe and a small community neighbourhood<br />

sensation. You get the urban feel of lights, busyness of local stores and<br />

restaurant, easy access to transit, people walking down and enjoying<br />

their days around the corner. You also get this friendliness from each<br />

communities. There are lots of parks, kids playing, dogs running and many<br />

community events. Different vibes in different neighbourhoods.<br />

To name a few:<br />

• St. Lawrence Market<br />

• East Chinatown<br />

• Regent Park<br />

• Cabbagetown<br />

• Riverdale Farm/Park<br />

• India Bazaar<br />

• Distillery District<br />

• Leslieville<br />

All these great neighbourhoods are at a walking distance and we are<br />

fortunate to have these on the East side. It’s important for people to<br />

recognize and appreciate the great treasures our East side has to offer. It<br />

saddens me to see many local stores on Queen St. East being removed<br />

because not many people explore the East Side. There are so many<br />

hidden gems especially people, former strangers you can sit and have<br />

good conversation without buzzing around trying to get somewhere or<br />

even feeling awkward. Check out the East side if you haven’t been, really<br />

got nothing to lose. I can say I’ve been living on the East side for my entire<br />

life and I can also say the East side is my home away from home.<br />

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Allysa Martirez<br />

East Side / Ryerson<br />

What I love most about the East Side is that there is always so much going<br />

on. I feel like I enter a whole new world when I come to the East Side.<br />

Although I don’t live here, I immediately feel like I belong because there is<br />

something for everyone here. The first thing that really made me feel like I<br />

belonged was the Tri-Mentoring Program. I was able to join a community<br />

of amazing people and receive support from great mentors. The east side<br />

opened me up to so many new opportunities, experiences and people that<br />

I would not have met otherwise. The east to me is a second home and<br />

somewhere that I will always dream about living in.<br />

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Mentorship & Community<br />

on the East Side<br />

Jen Gonzales<br />

East Side / Ryerson<br />

I have called the East side my home for the past 8 years. In addition to<br />

living in Cork town, I work at Ryerson University overseeing the work of<br />

talented professionals and students who contribute to the creation of a<br />

vibrant student life on campus. On my walk to work, I love seeing the<br />

changing landscape of the east side- parking lots becoming condos<br />

welcoming people to the neighbourhood, trees preserved standing<br />

strong in Moss Park, and new businesses and old businesses combined<br />

continuing to add character to our community.<br />

My commute to work is meditative, and once I get to Ryerson, I love<br />

popping into the Tri-Mentoring Program office to connect with students<br />

and staff who participate in the program. For those of us on the East side,<br />

we love talking about our commute in, who we saw, what we did, any<br />

adventures that came about as people traveled to the core of the city from<br />

the East. Incredible stories are shared, and while my personal experience<br />

of the East side may be small, it is in the sharing of our stories that I<br />

connect to a more expansive knowing of what the East Side is to many.<br />

Tri-Mentoring is proud to support the East Side Story as one of many<br />

community collaborative projects hosted on the East Side of Toronto. The<br />

Tri-Mentoring program works to build communities via mentorship, while<br />

connecting people to the experiences, knowledge, and empowerment<br />

needed to access and be successful inn post-secondary education.<br />

I love that TMP is part of building community on the East Side. For the<br />

students and staff that have passed through the TMP doors, and especially<br />

for those from the East Side, the welcoming office is a home away from<br />

home where big dreams are discovered, and enabled to come true.<br />

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Michelle’s Story<br />

Moss Park<br />

I live at Dundas and Sherbourne, which can be a pretty rough<br />

neighbourhood at the best of time. A lot of drugs, a lot of fighting and a<br />

lot of prostitution. It can be a tough area to live in, it can be a tough area<br />

and to try to get out, to enjoy the city. Because if you’re not involve in<br />

those activities it’s hard to find places that are safe. The two places that<br />

I found I love in my neighbourhood; one is Allen Gardens. Allen Gardens<br />

is a beautiful place at Gerrard and Sherbourne and it has a dog park. I’m<br />

visually impaired and I have a guide-dog and it’s really awesome to go for a<br />

walk and enjoy the park. We would go to the lease-free area and play with<br />

other puppies. I let Thompson run and play, be a dog. We’ve made lots<br />

of friends in the park, so Thompson he made a lot of doggy friends. On<br />

our way back we love to stop into the True Love Café, right at the corner<br />

of Dundas and Sherbourne to some delicious banana bread or apple<br />

pie, which is homemade, sooo good. Although the building is sketchy<br />

on the outside, the staffs are super friendly and the food is amazing.<br />

Some changes I want to see in my neighbourhood, more community<br />

engagement opportunities. We have a lot of kids in the neighbourhood and<br />

young people who don’t really have anything to do except for hangouts<br />

and get into trouble. We really need a Moss Park Community Centre,<br />

where we have afterschool programs, summer day camp programs that<br />

are cost-effective because families in the neighbourhood don’t have a lot<br />

money to spend. I want to see some cool programs so the kids can get<br />

involved in their community.<br />

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Mitch’s Story<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

I’ve only lived on the east side for 2 years now, my favourite place would<br />

be St. Lawrence market. It feels like it’s an escape from the rest of the city.<br />

You’re able to go in there, surrounded by good local food. It’s very close to<br />

where I live which is greatly convenient. You have a mix between different<br />

culture and niche and people from different background.<br />

You have the nature with the parks and buildings all within a sort walking<br />

distance.<br />

It’s a very pedestrian, friendly and transition area. I don’t even have to<br />

leave my extended neighbourhood. I get fresh local and organic food,<br />

cook them, eat it and go for a walk all in a day. It’s a good thing, all<br />

without leaving the east side all, without leaving my little hood, my little<br />

neighbourhood.<br />

I hope the east would have more of what I love. I want more of the<br />

independent shops, more of the local food markets, small restaurants, a<br />

lot of the cultural things. Taking the area that is now, a little run down and<br />

revitalizing it to bring life back. I want to see more things that encourage<br />

people to walk to places, go to parks, all that fun stuff. It great to see the<br />

socialization.<br />

But there are certain areas that are not the cleanest. We have a lot of<br />

closed shops. That’s one thing I hate. These shops are what gives energy<br />

to this whole community.<br />

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Ravi’s Story<br />

East Side / Ryerson<br />

The TMP staffs are awesome. Working at TMP allowed me to familiarize<br />

the Ryerson Community. This place is full of fun and it’s pretty awesome.<br />

The feeling when you come in to TMP, you feel included and that the best<br />

thing ever.<br />

I will definitely miss the people working at TMP. They are just so nice and<br />

understanding. People can see that I have a disability. Walking into TMP,<br />

the staffs, they did not judge me based on my appearance. I have been<br />

experiencing a lot of judgment, and just seeing and walking in, everyone is<br />

so calm. There was no attention on my disability. I felt like a normal person<br />

walking in.<br />

In 100 years from now, I see more people coming in here. Not only for the<br />

programs TMP offers but just to hang out and chill. I imagine the office to<br />

be more futuristic, more technologies.<br />

Changing TMP is not necessary in my eyes because it is already a great<br />

place to be. Why change something that’s already great? It is pretty<br />

awesome how it is. They should bring a different colour in the building<br />

to brighten the place more. One thing though, focusing on the physical<br />

structure, having the office more accessible in space, that can be<br />

changed.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 145

Rudhra’s Story<br />

Regent Park<br />

I worked in the RP community from 1998 to 2011 in an organization called Pathways to<br />

Education. That organization is set out to assist youth from the Regent Park community,<br />

graduate from high school and access post-secondary education. My role when I worked<br />

at Pathways, is to help youth register in the program with employment preparation and<br />

securing paid summer internships. That for me was the best job I’ve ever had in Canada<br />

just because of the quality and the opportunity I had with the youth. Also because of the<br />

relationships I’ve built with my co-workers during that time. I made friends that I stay in<br />

contact till this day.<br />

Regent Park needs a high school. There is no local high school in Regent Park. That’s<br />

one of the reason why the program Pathways was created. One of the supports provided<br />

for students is that they are given free bus tickets to get to and from school every day.<br />

That program has been in existence in Regent Park since 2001, and it has received<br />

funding from both the province and federal government. However, I do not understand<br />

why the government can find 3 billion dollars for the Pan Am games and can donate to<br />

a program like Pathways to education year over year, yet they cannot find the money to<br />

build a local high school. So that is what I would say is missing from Regent Park. The<br />

revitalization/juridification of the community has been able to entice a lot of businesses. It<br />

was just social housing, and heavily stigmatized community, with that, it has modernized<br />

the neighbourhood. There have been positives, however, that community field that use to<br />

exist where people knew each other would look out for each other, there are children with<br />

extended family unit, rather than the nuclear family. I think that’s a loss some people are<br />

trying to hold on to. I think that the new community member has no idea what it is. Their<br />

perception of Regent Park is one that most of Toronto has, in terms of it being high in<br />

crime area, a lot of negative characters stick and attached to the area. They not knowing<br />

there are really nice people within that community.<br />

I would hope that the youth that come out of the community come back to that<br />

community. Because some of the youth that I have had the privilege to know that came<br />

before me as a staff person there, who came through the programs are really invested in<br />

their community. I would like to see them to lead the charge, to take back their community<br />

and start to question why there is no local high school. If the need for Pathways to<br />

Education to exist, then why is that community development not happening as a more<br />

foundational/institutional level. If you are interested in building the community, then a local<br />

high school is a good start. I hope it happens not in 100 years but before 50 years.<br />

146<br />

Department of Imaginary Affairs

Zayan’s Story<br />

Regent Park<br />

East to me is …. opportunities. There are so many things I’m involved with. My east<br />

side is Regent Park. My involvement with the Regent Park community allowed me to<br />

expand my growth. Pathways to Education provided me that. Pathways is a non-profit<br />

organization that allows students in the community to have access to resources within the<br />

strive to education.<br />

My favourite spot in Regent park is 365 Parliament. This is my friends and I meeting spot<br />

before we go on our adventures. Everyone recognizes the area so it’s easy to navigate.<br />

My memorable spot would have to be on Sumach Street, used to be my old apartment.<br />

I remember when I was little, whenever we go out late with my parents, I would pretend<br />

to sleep so that I didn’t have to walk up to my apartment. My dad would carry me up and<br />

whenever I see my building I know we are close to my bed where I can continue my sleep.<br />

There are so many memories I have with my community but what is most important about<br />

those times, I was young, carefree and I enjoyed my youth.<br />

What I don’t like about Regent Park is the negative assumption that is attached,<br />

unfortunately dominated by what the media sees. What I hope to see more of… actually<br />

right now there is a lot of recognition of what the communities continue to do. This is a<br />

good change and you can see it slowly coming out. Although there are a lot of success<br />

stories, it also follows the negativity that “we made it out from Regent Park”. We are seen<br />

as a “Poster Child” and it does not eliminate the stigma of Regent Park. Ironically, there is<br />

more emphasis on the negatives about Regent Park for it to have a successful story.<br />

What do you think about the construction at Regent Park?<br />

I think it’s good but the way they’ve approached it is not effective. Effective in a way they<br />

are sending out residents/families to other location. This creates obstacles and barriers<br />

for individuals who live within the community to access resources and use the community<br />

in their social life. Once you have established your life in the community, there’s a routine<br />

of your day to day life. The construction generates individuals to restart their day to<br />

day life. In my opinion, many families were not ready to make the move. There is also a<br />

huge disconnect with the resources in Regent Park. An example would be Pathways to<br />

Education, you have the supports and staffs etc. close to Regent Park and now for some<br />

people it can be hard to access it. Because the resources are built close to or in Regent<br />

Park, it may be a mission to get to those recourses.<br />

The Storybook Project: Volume 1 147

dia.space<br />

@dia_space<br />

#deptimaginary<br />


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